The Oculus Quest 2 VR headset has just got an update to bring smoother, slicker images to your virtual worlds.
The latest v23 update ramps up the max refresh rate for your VR games to 90Hz, a decent step above the 72Hz enjoyed by the original Quest headset.
One of the Quest 2’s biggest selling points is the improved refresh rate over its predecessor – though at launch the new headset only supported 90Hz for a number of menus. This update ensures that all system software can benefit from the hardware’s increased capabilities, with selected third-party software that can maintain a 90fps frame rate also getting a visual boost.
The release notes for the update cite some other improvements, including “latency reduction technology” to reduce lag, and “improved image resolution” for all “system UI” – so we’re expecting at least a small uptick in viewing quality from this.
The English writer G. K. Chesterton wrote that “the essence of every picture is the frame” – and we think we can apply that to the frame rate too. The ability to cram 90 frames into every second ensures a smoother visual experience with less screen judder, compared to 72fps, and likely less motion sickness too.
For fast-moving VR games, say first-person shooters like Half-Life: Alyx or the high-tempo Beat Saber, you’re getting a lot of visual information per second, so having a high refresh rate really does make a difference to what you see and when you see it.
The Oculus Quest 2 launch has certainly been a success, with a huge number of pre-orders showing increased interest in VR – even if Facebook’s handling of the Oculus platform has drawn criticism. The need to sign in to any new Oculus headset with a Facebook account, and the danger of having your data and downloads deleted if you ever try to leave the Facebook ecosystem, is understandably ruffling feathers.
Evaluating the Quest 2 is tricky, then – but as a piece of VR hardware, with ever-improving capabilities, it’s hard not to see its potential.
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