Facebook slipped up and accidentally (it seems) posted an advertisement introducing the next generation of Quest, the company’s virtual reality headsets. The Quest 2, which we’ve already seen quite a bit of for a device that hasn’t even been announced yet, is rumored to launch tomorrow, September 15.
This isn’t the first time the Quest 2’s imminent launch has been pre-empted by leaks. We first heard about the product’s existence because of a leak nearly two months ago. Leaker “WalkerCat” shared images of the white, second-gen headset on Twitter along with the September 15 release date. We’ve also been hearing whisperings of the Quest 2’s development since May.
The leaked specs are very, very enticing, with 2k resolution in each eye and a much lighter headset overall. If there’s any downside to the forthcoming Quest, it’s that the project is entangled in Facebook’s empire.
What we know — The accidentally published ad is framed as a beginner’s introduction to the Quest hardware line. The ad calls it Facebook’s “most advanced all-in-one VR system yet.” In the ad, a person plays through some video games while listing the Quest 2’s impressive specs.
Inside the Quest 2 is:
- a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 processor
- 6 GB of RAM
- 3D positional audio
- nearly 2k resolution in each eye (over 50 percent more pixels than the original Quest)
- Up to 256 GB of storage
- A lighter frame than the original Quest
The leaked ad also shows off new tactile controllers to go with the Quest 2 and confirms that all games from the original Quest will work on the new device.
But…Facebook — We are in the midst of a virtual reality innovation wave. Oculus has largely been responsible for that innovation, pushing the technology to be much more user-friendly and accessible, especially when it comes to VR devices that work untethered from a console or computer.
Here’s the problem: Facebook owns Oculus. Six years after the tech giant acquired what was, at the time, a fairly small VR startup, Facebook is now forcing its branding and software solutions upon the Oculus line. As of October 2020, all Oculus users will be required to connect their device to a Facebook account for it to work. By 2023, Oculus accounts will not be supported on the platform at all.
Facebook is also renaming its entire Oculus VR division as “Facebook Reality Labs” and changing its annual Oculus Connect conference to be called “Facebook Connect.” The company says this initiative is meant to bring together Facebook’s initiatives under one roof.
With top-of-the-line specs and a headset that’s more comfortable than ever, the Quest 2 is looking like it will quickly become the VR device to beat. It’s also looking like Facebook is going to keep tightening its vice grip on the Oculus line until it’s almost unrecognizable