Oculus has had a year to make advancements with its VR platform, and it's all been shown off at Oculus Connect 5. If you missed the keynote speech, I've put together a list of all the big stuff that has the VR world atwitter.
Oculus Quest revealed
Project Santa Cruz, the codename for the next wireless headset from Oculus that completes its first-gen lineup, has been officially revealed with the name Oculus Quest. Quest is expected to launch Spring 2019 with a price tag of $399. This price includes two updated Touch controllers and the head-mounted display (HMD).
Quest employs six degrees of freedom (6DoF) for a natural VR experience, and it uses the same optics as Oculus Go but will include physical lens spacing adjustment. Also like the Go, 3D audio is built into the headstrap, but bass has been upped for better overall sound.
Thanks to four ultra-wide angle sensors built into the front corners of the headset — known officially as Oculus Insight — computer algorithms will be able to track your position in the real world without the need for any external sensors. Performance hardware will likewise be built into the headset, removing the need for a PC and any cables running from the headset.
Updated Touch controllers that use the same buttons but with a new layout and design for better hand presence will be backwards compatible with the Oculus Rift. Plenty of favorite Rift games, like Robo Recall, The Climb, and Moss, will be available at launch, and it's expected that there will be more than 50 games total.
Some other titles shown off during the keynote included Lone Echo II, Space Junkies, Stormland, Vox Machinae, Project Tennis Scramble, Superhot VR, Face Your Fears 2, Dead & Buried, Deflector, Final Assault, and an entirely new Star Wars project built specifically for Quest called Vader Immortal.
Oculus Quest: Everything you need to know
Oculus platform updates
The work that's been done to the Oculus platform over the last year with Home and Dash updates was reiterated, and this work is now available to everyone without the need for opting into the Beta program.
New features are being added, including hundreds of new items and decor to use in your Home. Developers will likewise be able to add items from their games which can be earned by playing. Avatars are being worked on, and later this year it's expected we'll see expressive avatars that have enhanced eye and mouth movements.
The Oculus mobile app, to which Go users are already accustomed, now supports Rift. From your phone, you'll now have access to events, friends, and the Oculus Store without being near your PC, and you'll even be able to remotely install apps.
Oculus Go and Venues
If you found the image in your Oculus Go to be a bit fuzzy, new hardware-based chromatic aberration correction is set to make everything look much better.
The emphasis on sharing, which was discussed throughout the keynote, isn't missing the Go, which is getting Mobile Casting and TV Casting capabilities in order to better share the view inside your HMD. This will allow friends to watch the VR screen on a phone, and coming later, on a TV.
Also announced was YouTube VR coming to Go, which brings about 800,000 VR videos to the platform. On top of that, Oculus Venues is adding more live music, more movie marathons, and more standup comedy, plus you'll now be able to watch select NBA games in Venues later this year. Everyone who attends an NBA game in VR will get a special jersey for their avatar.
What are you most excited about?
That about wraps up the big news from the Oculus Connect 5 keynote. Be sure to let us know in the comments section which announcement you're most excited about, and let us know if you plan of picking up an Oculus Quest when it releases.
Cale Hunt is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on laptop reviews, news, and accessory coverage. He's been reviewing laptops and accessories full time since 2016, with hundreds of reviews published for Windows Central. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.
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