Meta quietly confirmed that its next consumer-focused Quest headset (likely called Quest 3) will launch in 2023.

While it was a bit more than a year between the launch of the first Quest and Quest 2, it’s now been more than two years since the launch of Quest 2 and Meta has yet to formally announce the next consumer-focused Quest headset.

Just a day after the launch of the $1,500 Quest pro, Meta today confirmed plans to launch what it called the “next generation of our consumer Quest headset” in 2023; ostensibly Quest 3.

Meta shared the brief confirmation with shareholders during its Q3 2022 earnings call, saying that the upcoming headset was a driver of the growing operating costs of its Reality Labs division.

SEE ALSO
Quest v43 Update May Include Long-awaited 16:9 Recording Mode

A leak from an analyst with a history of accurate details on Meta headsets suggests that Quest 3 will bring some of Quest Pro’s new tech down to the company’s consumer line of headsets.

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  • ViRGiN

    I will buy the quest 3, and anyway it will release before Valve can ship any index 2.
    Just to make Gaben cry, I will buy 3 quest 3.

    • You’re not wrong …. lol
      Quest 3 will most definately be here before Deckard.

      • ViRGiN

        keep in mind, that is some piss poor impersonator. check the url.
        that’s some valve fanatic bored with pcvr so much that he is doing an alt account.

        • Wow, so it’s gotten to *that* point now, huh …?
          A similar thing happend to *me* at the “other place”:
          somebody started a Disqus account called
          “CaryMGVR’s Non-Whiny Cousin” or something like that.
          I forget what it was exactly. lol

          • ViRGiN

            You prove a point here.
            The more the commenter is an annoyance to community, the more some people will make fun of them with alt accounts.

    • Anonymous

      I fail to understand your hate for PCVR and the Index.

      Sure, I fully agree PCVR is not the mainstream way forward and barely keep game developers afloat.
      I also hate those who just hate the Quest because it is FB, who also tend to be PCVR users, but it will be super boring if PCVR just disappears. This is similar to that we don’t all drive family cars. Some want SUVs, some want sport cars.

      • Cless

        Virgin just ain’t big on variety. From what we were discussing the other day, if it was up to him, the Quest should be the only headset on the market, since the rest are leeches to it. Again, his opinion, not mine.

      • ViRGiN

        dude you’re falling for clickbait. someone is impersonating me. that’s how triggered someone got with my polarizing opinions

        • MeowMix

          this comment is correct; there is another ‘ViRGiN’ account that is much newer (only 16 comments).

          It should be banned from RtVR for impersonation? I think so

          • brandon9271

            i blocked them both. problem solved. lol

        • ViRGiN

          Polarizing opinions ahahah.

          More like a poor weirdo with a weird focus on valve and pcs hate.

          • ViRGiN

            yeah i’m the weird one posing as someone else, nice gymnastics

    • Cless

      Uhh… Gaben is not trying to rush any headset. Its valve for fucks sake, they are wordly FAMOUS for being slow AF (Also, did you just downvoted yourself? lol)

      • ViRGiN

        it’s an impersonator. look at the URL

        • Cless

          It is! Christ some people have free time

          • ViRGiN

            I mean, that’s understandable. PCVR sucks so much that some get triggered and instead of enjoying unlimited power, they will redirect their hate to those who see the facts.

          • Cless

            Hhm…. maybe just put a cool profile picture so we can distinguish you easily for the time being!

          • ViRGiN

            Piss off this piece of trash of ViRGiN is a nice hobby actually. Worth the 5 minutes of efforts. Defending someone who spent the past years insulting everybody is not doing any good.

  • JS

    They keep doubling down on weak display. The fact that the Quest Pro has the same resolution display as the Quest 2 tells me this company doesn’t care about visual fidelity. I suspect the Quest 3 will either have the same low resolution display, or have a minor incremental improvement. It won’t be 4K per eye, and it sure as heck won’t be 8K per eye.

    • NL_VR

      there is a reason why Quest doesnt have the most expensive hardware.
      to be able to have as much adoption as possible to keep the cost down.
      Still Quest 2 is good enough for most.

      • ZeePee

        Quest 3 should still be much higher resolution at least. It should to take a leap forward. But we know it won’t have that because Meta are too restrained an unambitious in that area.

        If they’re going to stick with around the 2k x 2k per eye mark, then it should at least be mini-led.

        I think the absolute, absolute best we’ll get for Quest 3 is:

        – 2160 x 2160 per eye
        – Mini-led
        – Pancake lenses
        – same quality AR passthrough as Quest Pro
        – XR2 gen 2
        – same default Quest 2 strap and materials for headset
        – same FoV as Quest Pro
        – Quest 2 controllers

        Best case scenario, this is Quest 3. Against Quest Pro, it actually sounds good. Against any other PC VR focused headset, for late 2023-2024, it’s not good. Against Valve Deckard it’ll suck, probably.

        I think this is a very optimistic spec list. I doubt the mini-led, for one thing. I’d bet on it being crappy LCD.

        • Blaexe

          Everything points towards Quest Pro 2 being the first Meta Micro OLED with 3k resolution. Which totally makes sense – Micro OLED in high volumes are not even available today, even less so with high enough brightness, good enough quality and a low price.

          Quest 4 with Micro OLED might be possible.

          I doubt there will be any other company with a similar product that’s better than Q3. Same goes for Q2 after all – even the Pico 4 is not exactly better overall, and that’s 2 years after release.

          • Indeed.
            Like all the garbage from other there, Pico 4 is cheap derivative crap.
            Imitative, NOT innovative.

      • ViRGiN

        “most expensive hardware”? there is no better mobile processor in the universe that they could have put inside. the rest of hardware is depending what they want to achieve as complete package.
        what is even the most expensive display they could possibly put? that’s not how things work

        • NL_VR

          i think you know what i meant, you can spend how much you want if there was no limit the cost. if the rumours is true that they skip eyetracking etc they slim hardware down to cut costs.

          • ViRGiN

            face and eye tracking is for nerds right now – not users.
            things takes time to develop.

            if magically quest 2 got an update adding face and eye tracking (hey its facebook) – there is literally nothing to use it with except for like horizon which has very limited access still. quest pro has exactly that situation – there is nothing to really use it with. so what’s the point of including it at this stage?

          • NL_VR

            Well if its not Maddes there will be no use case.
            Red Matter 2 Added foveated rendering upscaled the resolution 30% thanks to that.
            Impressive devs add that to a headset för $1500

          • ViRGiN

            Yeah, the first one that has already proven itself to be superior. Let’s see what follows. Red Matter 2 ETFR is not a game changer in itself. PCVR developer to this day don’t really support index tracking nor vive trackers.

    • ZeePee

      At this point I suspect the best you could hope for is 2160 x 2160 per eye.

      Quest 3 should be 2.5k x 2.5k per eye – but it won’t be.

      We have the Pico 4 at 2160 x 2160 per eye with the exact same chip as Quest 2. It drops frames here and there depending on the content, but it apparently manages fine.

      Quest 3 using a next-next generation XR2 gen 2, should absolutely be able to take a leap forward in resolution.

      But yeah, I have a hard time imagining Meta going beyond 2160 x 2160 per eye.

      It’s crazy but I just think they have lost all ambition there and don’t care about pushing resolution or FoV anymore. Both of these things are very low on the priority list.

      What they’ll do is they’ll say, well look, the pancake lenses provide that extra clarity, and edge to edge too, so that makes up for the low resolution for the time being, and the extra MR functionality is a key selling piitn and makes up for it- exactly what they did with Quest Pro.

      This is why I will always stick to PC VR and will never get a Meta headset, until they start upping those specs and using OLED.

      I suspect Quest Pro 3 is when they might offer something truly worthwhile, with high res micro oled and varifocal lenses.

      Until something like that, PC VR focused headsets will always be better for VR.

      Deckard will be a PC VR headset with standalone capability – not the other way around. I’m very excited for Deckard.

      • Cless

        I don’t think saying anything about “Deckard” is wise. We literally know absolutely nothing about it.
        The Quest 3, most likely will be a “Quest 2, 2”, which isn’t bad, just a mainstream appealing VR headset. Will need to be mediocre since it needs to have a very affordable price, and so will its specs be, just like the Quest 2.
        Thank god they will drop the ancient XR2 for it though.

        • Blaexe

          The jump from Quest 2 to Quest 3 seems way bigger than going from Q1 to Q2, so I don’t understand this whole “Quest 2, 2” sentiment.

          Did people forget about the past? The biggest advantage of Q2 over Q1 was the SoC, almost everything else was a trade off, the same or flat out worse.

          The jump in performance might be even bigger in Q3 and it seems like basically everything else will be improved aswell.

          • Cless

            What kind of insider info do you have to maintain such claims?

            I’m just expecting about a 30% improvement in total performance, which would be in line with most 3 year cyle tech, 50% at most… If it has a 0% improvement in internal resolution, we most likely can expect a jump similar to PS4 to PS4 pro.

            If to that they add some fancy new stuff like, eyetracking, maybe we could have a slightly bigger jump, but again, at such high resolutions, don’t expect too much change.
            To be honest, they’d do better investing in an actual decent display, some fancy oled instead of more terrible LCDs. That would do way more for image quality than a slight uptick in framerate.

          • Blaexe

            No insider info needed. Just take a look at the Snapdragon 865 and then the Snapdragon 8 Gen1. About double the GPU performance. And with the XR2 Gen2 being based on the SD8 Gen2, expect around 2.5 times the GPU performance.

            Now they’ll probably use the same (highly praised) pancake lenses of Quest Pro together with 2 separate screens (which makes for a better panel utilization than Quest 2) and you’ll have a more comfortable, significantly better looking headset with smooth IPD adjustment with WiFi6E for better wireless PCVR.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            The Quest 1 SD835 GPU offered around 700GFLOPS, the SD865 on which the XR2 Gen 1 in Quest 2 was based “up to” 1.2GFLOPS, so roughly a 70% increase in power, paired with a 50% increase in pixels.

            The XR2 Gen 2 is supposed to be twice as fast as its predecessor, so the increase in render power should be larger from Q2 to Q3 than it was from Q1 to Q2. We don’t know if the next Quest will noticeably increase the resolution or have extra computational demands for new sensors like eye or face tracking. If it does, the relative performance increase we’ll see in a Quest 3 upgrade after three years of Quest 2 might end up not being dramatically bigger than what we saw with Quest 2 after 1.5 years of Quest 1. To beat the performance gain per month between the Quest 1 and Quest 2 releases, the Quest 3 would have to be almost three times faster than the Quest 2.

          • Blaexe

            These sensors shouldn’t tax the GPU though, rather the CPU. Although there’s a good chance it will have some specialized units / features to help with that, as Carmack hinted.

            “Performance gain per month” is a really strange metric though. Quest 1 simply started out with an older SOC. We should compare SoC release vs. SoC release.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            “Performance gain per month” is admittedly very unfair, the SD835 was already 2.5 years old when the Quest 1 released in May 2019. So far we have only the announcement for 2023 without any details, which is still a big improvement over just guessing, but not enough to estimate real world performance gain. But just from the way Meta treats the Quest platform so far, I wouldn’t expect it to be earth shattering.

            Sony regards each console generation as separate, caring little about backwards compatibility, and actual user behavior seems to prove them right. With seven years of technology improvements between generations practically requiring updated game rereleases or remasters for the newer device also makes a lot of sense.

            In contrast Meta has treated the Quest 1/2/Pro as a family, all running the same apps, with only a few being limited to newer hardware due to performance or feature limits. Which makes a lot of sense considering the small user base, which wouldn’t necessarily justify separate releases for each generation. I’d expect to see the same with a Quest 3, basically running Quest 2 apps at a higher resolution with more details or less FFR, throwing most of the extra power at making the experience more comfortable and only later getting some titles that will run exclusively on the new and more powerful headset.

            Meta might even conclude that to increase traction with the mainstream, the most important factors to improve are usability and comfort, and throw lots/most of resources on that. Which would probably be fine with developers, as they could target a Quest 2 and Quest 3 as a similar baseline. We’ll have to wait and see how fast the Quest 3 will turn out to be, but I’m pretty sure that the actual performance increase we’ll see will be nowhere near to what the raw performance difference between the two SoCs used would suggest.

          • Blaexe

            Honestly, it might aswell go the other way: A performance gap that’s even bigger. Just speculation of course, but the GPU clock on the XR2 in the Quest 2 is heavily restrained due to the thermals. With the XR2+, they changed the package so that it’s easier to cool and can therefore sustain higher clocks.

            What if that knowledge went into designing the XR2 Gen2 aswell, giving it an even bigger advantage than the raw specs suggest?

            At least we can pretty sure that Metas involvement in designing the XR2 Gen2 was even bigger than with the XR2 Gen1.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            The improved cooling allows the XR2+ to consume more power without overheating and throttling, but this alongside the less efficient pancake lenses and the extra computational requirements for face and eye tracking causes the much worse battery life in the Quest Pro despite it having an almost 40% higher battery capacity than the Quest 2. High performance, high resolution or high FoV all make very limited sense on a consumer VR AIO, as pushing any of them will come with disproportionately increased costs somewhere else, not only regarding money.

            The Quest 2 may be comparably slow, and slower than the SoC would allow with better cooling, but is it well balanced with its sub 2K resolution, FFR and Fresnel lenses. And in games like RE4, Red Matter 2 or Green Hell we see that this seemingly weak hardware can deliver very impressive results when properly utilized by developers with a lot of knowhow and experience. There is no way a Quest 3 will come close to current PCVR entry level performance, so Quest app development will remain in a separate camp, requiring a lot of optimization to deal with limits of the hardware, with Meta betting more on providing new tools like AppSW instead of raw power. I’d expect the Quest 3 to be conceptually close to the Quest 2, a very well balanced device that can be produced at low cost, aiming for “good enough” in most areas instead of maxing any features that might mess with usability, battery life or price.

          • Sven Viking

            Not confirmed of course, but the Quest 3 design leak claims no face or eye tracking and I think that’s very plausible considering the price focus.

    • MeowMix

      It won’t be 4K per eye, and it sure as heck won’t be 8K per eye.

      JFC, no shit Sherlock

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      You don’t want 4K displays in an HMD that has twice the performance of one with sub-2K displays. You don’t even want 3K displays, unless they are driven by smart upscaling.

      The PS5 has twelve times the GPU power of the Quest 2, the PSVR 2 will have 16% more pixels than the Quest 2, and ETFR to boost performance. This is what allows for the high visual fidelity and very impressive virtual worlds, something that wouldn’t be possible if it had to render 3K (2.25 times the pixels) or 4K (4 times the pixels).

      One of the main criticisms of the Quest 2 compared to PCVR is the simplified graphics and limited lighting, due to the much slower GPU compared to PCs. An upgraded Quest 3 based on the XR2 Gen 2 could finally improve that, but not if all the extra performance has to be spend on more pixels.

      In the Quest 2 the Fresnel lenses limit visual clarity once you go beyond about 30° FoV, adding pixels in the periphery is somewhat wasted, something even more pressing on the 2.5K HTC Focus 3, also using Fresnel. The Pancake lenses in Quest Pro/Pico 4 provide a higher edge-to-edge clarity, making higher resolutions feasible, but pancake lenses are less efficient and waste more light coming from the display. So to increase the resolution in the Quest 3 in a balanced way, you’d need not only higher resolution displays, but also pancake lenses, a much faster GPU and a much larger battery to power it, which will require a construction with the battery at the back of the head like with the Quest Pro, Pico 4 or Focus 3.

      The Quest 3 will still be a subsidized consumer headset, so this is a lot of expensive technology that would have to be added to significantly increase resolution, and with the available SoCs you’d basically still only be able run current Quest 2 type apps, just with more pixels. An only moderate increase in resolution that still allows to create a new generation of graphically more demanding games seems to be the better design choice for mobile HMDs. True 3K/4K resolutions will remain the domain of PCVR for some time, where you can buy GPUs with almost 50x the power budget of the whole Quest 2, so you aren’t limited to Beat Saber or Job Simulator when rendering at native HMD resolution or more.

      • Guest

        I don’t think they can afford to subsidize on the scale Sony will and that’s what pushed them upmarket.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          Don’t count on the PSVR2 to be heavily subsidized.

          • silvaring

            I’m worried about this too… it might have a $800 price tag the way things seem to be going in the still nascent VR market.

          • Andrew Jakobs

            Don’t count on the Q3 to be $800, it will be around the same current price as the Q2 (don’t believe they will go down to the initial Q2 release price).

          • Guest

            They are are building inventory to dump with the heaviest impact and are even skipping the holiday season to do it.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            I don’t think they will (have to) subsidize the PSVR 2. With a 2K resolution, USB-C connection, Fresnel lenses, b/w passthrough, no built-in audio and other costs reducing measures it will be rather cheap to produce, way below what a Quest 2 or Pico 4 costs to build, allowing them to sell the PSVR 2 for much less than those. Whether they will do that remains to be seen, but my guess would be that they intend to at least tripple or quadruple the 5m PSVR 1 sales, and that requires offering the headset and bundles at a low price. Sony stopped selling consoles below production costs after the PS3, since then they always made a (tiny) profit from the start which rose over time due to falling production costs.

            Skipping the holiday season isn’t necessarily due to building a large PSVR 2 launch inventory. Sony said they expect to solve their component shortage problems currently still constraining PS5 availability in the first half of 2023, so delaying the PSVR 2 is more about not adding to the expected shortage of PS5 during the 2022 holiday season and being able to actually have enough PS5 to sell to new PSVR 2 costumers on launch. So it is more about building a PS5 inventory. And no matter how good the PSVR 2 will be, VR is still a niche product and people will take some time to get convinced, so I wouldn’t expect them to sell millions on the first day.

          • Arno van Wingerde

            Hi Christian, I liked your previous contributions in this article, but this one puzzles me: AFAIK the PSVR2 has superior specs compared to the Quest2 in just about every aspect I can think of – higher resolution, OLED, more vibration in headset and controllers, better sound, so why should it be cheaper to make? It that because it has no processor, batteries and uses a wired connection?

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            Unfortunately Sony just announced the prices as USD 550 a few minutes ago, so while Sony now definitely doesn’t have to subsidize the HMD, they obviously will not pass that to customers.

            The specs are somewhat improved over the Quest 2, but not a lot when considering that the PSVR 2 is released three years later. The most expensive parts of a phone are usually the SoC and the screen. The SoC should be simpler in the PSVR 2 compared to Quest 2, depending on how much of the tracking can be delegated to the PS5. OLED screens are more expensive, but not significantly more, and Sony is one of the main users of OLED in smartphones, designed by Sony, produced by Samsung or LG. Sony actually produces 4K 120Hz HDR OLED phones, most likely based on the same panels as the PSVR 2 with only 16% more pixels than the 2020 Quest 2. The battery and the electronics needed to charge it add minor costs, but not needing any on the PSVR 2 of course reduces cost. The improved haptics are based on LRAs and voice coil actuators, more expensive than the usual vibration motors, but are also not very expensive, nor is the hardware for eye tracking. There is no audio on the HMD itself, though the PSVR 2 now seems to come bundled with headphones, and the Fresnel lenses should be cheap too.

            I did a breakdown of all the components, tried to find sources for them with actual prices, and they are simply not particularly expensive. I even made estimates regarding the license cost for the Tobii eye tracking (< USD 18) based on Tobii's stock price.. Sony benefits from waiting till 2023, with a lot more technology for VR now being more easily available. Which is why I came to the conclusion that the main design objective was low production costs, and I still would expect the HMD and the controllers to be (significantly) cheaper to produce than USD 250. I was hoping that their main reason to do this was to keep the sales price very low too, in order to reach a broader audience by lowering the entry bar. At least that last part turned out to be very wrong.

      • silvaring

        Christian do you have some numbers on the performance hit from hand tracking on standalone or PCVR headsets? I’m curious how heavy the impact is vs. using inside out tracking like the current Quest 2 / Windows Mixed Reality devices.

        • Christian Schildwaechter

          I don’t have specific numbers, only some references. One of the nifty tricks Meta managed with the Quest was to delegate all positional and hand tracking to the Hexagon DSP integrated into the Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC, leaving CPU and GPU (mostly) free for applications. Digital Signal Processors are optimized for tasks like image processing and recognition, on mobile phones the Hexagon is used for photo enhancements, so I’d assume that the hand recognition part runs on the DSP, while generating a skeletal model still requires some CPU.

          In comparison to that, the Ultraleap hand recognition seems to have relied fully on the CPU, at least for older versions. The Leap Motion sensor, consisting mostly out of two nIR cameras just like those in the Quest 2, has been around for a decade. I started using their hand tracking with the Rift DK1, and waited for years for them to release their SDK for Android, but they never did beyond a closed alpha version from 2015, seemingly because the performance requirements were too high for mobile.

          In 2020 Ultraleap partnered with Qualcomm to bring their latest generation to the XR2, so it seems that hand tracking just became feasible with the XR2. I don’t know if their implementation has changed, they may also use the DSP that got a significant performance boost in the XR2. AFAIK the SD865/XR2 DSP should be at least four times faster than the one in the SD835 used in the Quest 1.

          Meta’s hand tracking initially trailed far beyond Ultraleap, but they now have almost caught up, with Ultraleap still being better at fast movements and detecting hand overlap. And surprisingly the Quest 1 also got an update to Meta’s Hand Tracking 2.0, though with half a year delay after the Quest 2, so they must have been able to optimize it quite a bit.

          When Meta introduced a 60Hz hand tracking mode to improve accuracy over the standard 30Hz in early 2021, they warned developers that running their apps at the highest performance level 4 with hand tracking could lead to the whole SoC overheating, so apps would have to be restricted to levels 2 or 3. So hand tracking at least back then meant a significant performance hit, despite running mostly on the DSP, meaning the reduced performance was due to SoC thermal issues forcing to run the CPU slower, not necessarily due to taxing the CPU too much. As it has seen significant improvements and a port to the Quest 1 since then, computational requirements might be lower today, or less of a problem on the Quest Pro with improved cooling.

          Take all this with a grain of salt, as it is derived from reports from different sources. I have never seen numbers on actual performance costs, which might be even hard do come by with the primary problem not being CPU load, but added heat from the DSP.

          • silvaring

            Thanks for the reply. So the original leap motion uses the same sensor system as the Quest 2? I didn’t realize that, interesting. I also used a Leap with a DK1 back in the day, and I remember it using quite a lot of CPU power but still very reasonable for a mid to upper range system (i had an i-7 at the time).

            I also didn’t realize that 60hz hand tracking mode was causing chips to overheat, thank you for sharing that information. At the time of the update I remember wondering how well hand tracking would work with faster movements, and you’ve given me a good understanding of the situation with the different improvements and updates and how these thermal issues were affecting performance.

            Do you know what kind of sampling rate the new Oculus touch controllers are using and how they compare to the older ring tracking systems? I’m guessing its more than 90hz from my experience with Window Mixed Reality, but I don’t know for sure. Thank you again for the wonderful feedback Christian.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            It is the same type of sensor, near infrared cameras. These are actually just regular b/w cameras without a filter to remove non-visible light, which is usually integrated as the nIR light the camera sensors are sensitive to would otherwise distort the image. This is why they work in the Quest for both scanning the room and providing a grayscale passthrough image, while at the same time helping with controller and hand tracking, as the nIR LEDs on the Touch controllers and the warmer hands will glow brighter, making their position and shape easier to detect.

            The Leap Motion runs two cameras at 120Hz compared to 30Hz/60Hz on the Quest, most likely due to having the extra computational power of PCs. Ultraleap now also offers a tracking module for integration into HMDs with a larger FoV, but limited to 90Hz, so I’d assume that the 120Hz isn’t strictly necessary or worth the extra power it needs.

            Meta only warned that 60Hz hand tracking wouldn’t work with the highest performance level, but many apps run just fine at the recommended levels 2 and 3. As decoding video streams only requires very little energy due to the dedicated hardware decoders, it shouldn’t be any problem to use the faster tracking frequency when using the Quest 2 with (Air) Link. I’m not 100% sure here, because AFAIK the h264/h265 decoder is located on the DSP also used for the tracking, but I doubt that they will interfere. If you have a headset which can display a native DP signal like the Pico Neo 3 Link, there has to be a separate decoder chip for that, as the XR2 is lacking native DP decoding capability. In this case the XR2 will experience even less load, so the DP decoder would have to be terribly inefficient to run hot enough to cause the whole device to have to throttle down or reduce the hand tracking frequency.

            As video streaming is a very common use case on mobile phones, this is highly optimized to increase battery life. The decoders themselves take only a tiny part of the silicon, and John Carmack managed to get even the SD821 in the Oculus Go to decode 5K@60Hz h264 video to be used as 360° background video in VR apps, despite Qualcomm engineers telling him that this was impossible. The XR2/SD865 is much faster and has another specialized subprocessor for video capture that can record and compress 8K@24Hz or 720p@960Hz video, and obviously has to be able play these as well. So it should be quite a challenge to get it to overheat with decoding any type of video stream.

          • silvaring

            Amazing info there. Thanks for jogging my memory on the leap motion sampling rate, I forgot about that little nugget of info. Any ideas why Meta or Microsoft are blocking hand and face tracking from working when not in standalone mode? The reason given stated it was due to “platform and technical restrictions”, I’m curious what you make of that Christian.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            I don’t know why they don’t allow it, but it is not strictly due to technical limitations. There is a fork of the open source ALVR streaming alternative to Air Link or VirtualDesktop called ALXR that allows sending the hand tracking information to the PC for OpenXR applications.

            Hand tracking is currently an extension in the OpenXR specification, so there has to be a translation layer that takes the Meta specific XR_FB_hand_tracking_xxx data and spits out XR_EXT_hand_tracking, XR_HTC_hand_integration, XR_MSFT_hand_interaction, XR_ULTRALEAP_hand_tracking_XXX or whatever the app is able to handle. So the main reason for (currently) only allowing it in standalone might simply be that it is not yet part of the regular OpenXR specifications, forcing developers to deal with vendor specific extensions. A problem that is similar for eye tracking and other features, something future versions of OpenXR will most likely resolve.

          • silvaring

            Could it be that the reason for not having hand and face tracking compatibility when wired to a PC is because of a bandwidth bottleneck? I’m unaware of the amount of bandwidth required to send hand, face and headset tracking information back to a PC for low latency processing, but I can’t imagine it’s a trivial thing getting all that data to function well together with low latency? Or am I completely misrepresenting the issue here? Apologies if so.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            We are talking about different things here. I was referring to only sending the results of the face/eye/hand tracking from the Quest back to the PC, which shouldn’t cause bandwidth issues, as it would be just a few vectors for eye tracking and a few more for the rig of the skeletal model of the hands, but the total amount of data should be negligible. It should also be feasible as long as the type of data is defined in OpenXR in some way, and both the client on the Quest and the receiving PC host software can produce/interpret OpenXR compliant data.

            You are talking about sending (raw) sensor data from the Quest to the PC and doing the image analysis and tracking there, which is much more difficult. It would seem a good idea due to the higher processing power on the PC, but besides actual bandwidth issues you first of all have to run matching tracking software on the PC, which usually isn’t available. Pretty much the only VR hand tracking software on PC comes bundled with software from Ultraleap or HTC, and these don’t accept raw image feeds, instead directly query their sensors. Most PC eye tracking will be based on proprietary software by Tobii, also bound to their sensors. So even if you could get the sensor data from Quest Pro to PC, requiring raw access on the Quest which we don’t get due to privacy issues, you’d currently have to create your own tracking software to then again create matching, OpenXR compliant data and still need apps that will actually accept this type of OpenXR tracking data and do something useful with it.

            Bandwidth could be an issue when trying to send multiple camera feeds, though the resolution of the nIR cameras used for tracking is rather low. AFAIK the Leap Motion sensors resolved 640*240 pixels, the eye/face tracking sensors on the Quest Pro 400*400, all in b/w. The hand/room tracking cameras on the Quest 2 aren’t highres either, the only multi-megapixel sensor is the RGB camera. Looking only at the five face and eye tracking sensors, combining their data into a single image and sending it to the PC would result in a smaller images than the 1280*720p many webcams can send back, usually encoded frame by frame as Motion JPEG. It would be difficult to send raw, uncompressed sensor data, but if the Quest can do at least some image preprocessing the bandwidth needs will drop drastically. The XR2 is obviously capable of live recording the current Quest app, encoding the image as a 1080p h264/h265 video stream and sending it to the Oculus app or another streaming target for spectators, thanks to the previously mentioned Spectra image subprocessor that could actually handle a lot more pixels.

            I’ve made a similar argument for the PSVR2, which uses DisplayPort over USB-C to send the image from the PS5 to the headset by rededicating the four USB superspeed data line pairs to DisplayPort lines thanks to the so called DP Alternate Mode that is part of the USB specification. This results in only a USB-2 speed data channel remaining available to send back data from the PSVR 2 to the PS5, not enough for raw camera sensor data. So the PSVR2 has to have some type of SoC onboard to do either the tracking locally or at least preprocess and compress the image sensor data to reduce its size to fit through the narrow USB-2 connection.

            On the PSVR2 this might actually make sense and allow for a cheaper HMD, as the tracking software on the PS5 would obviously work with the PSVR2 sensor data, just like Tobii eye tracking on the PC works with Tobii eye tracking modules on the HTC Vive Pro Eye. I doubt that we will see any type of open solutions that will allow the Quest tracking camera feed to be analyzed on the PC for the above mentioned privacy issues and lacking software to do that. Someone could try to implement it with e.g. existing hand and eye tracking solutions based on OpenCV, and calibrate it for well known sensor types like those in the Quest Pro, but it will be much, much easier to just translate the OpenXR results from the Quest Pro internal tracking to something an app on the PC can use directly.

          • silvaring

            I just re-read my comment and see where I mistakenly assumed processing could be offloaded to the host PC, but thank you for correcting me and adding a lot of extra useful information. Based on what you’ve said above, it seems like the ability for OpenXR to be useful depends completely on the manufacturer of the VR headset to allow for those vector based / skeletal data points to get shared over the wired or wireless connection, right? Then that would mean the reason given for the lack of compatibility with face and eye tracking when in wired mode on the Quest Pro is not bandwidth, and not the fault of Microsoft, but rather Facebooks reluctance to let OpenXR access their tracking data, right?

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            Yes, using the data depends on the manufacturers providing access to the tracking devices via OpenXR, but that shouldn’t be an issues, as this is the actual purpose of OpenXR, which every significant XR player besides Apple supports. Sony hasn’t officially announced an OpenXR compliant SDK yet, but Quest, Steam and Pico as major consumer platforms all have started switching from their similar, but incompatible SDKs to OpenXR. All the ports of Quest apps to Pico are based on this and the fact that most VR apps are created in Unity, which adds its own, now also OpenXR based abstraction layer.

            So the incompatibility is not due to Meta’s reluctance to grant access to the data. They already provide it, otherwise ALXR couldn’t have released a client app for the Quest allowing to pass the results of the Quest hand tracking to the PC. Usually any function accessible to Quest developers could be forwarded to a PC, unless restricted by the license agreement similar to what HP did with the Reverb G2 Omnicept that requires an extra Inference Engine SDK subscription for advanced eye, face and heart rate data.

            The problem is more that OpenXR is still new and somewhat incomplete. Quest and Rift got full support for the current version in July 2021, and that version hasn’t standardized either hand nor face nor eye tracking yet. It just acknowledges that these (will) exist and included a way for manufacturers to provide their own, again incompatible extensions. This way developers can at least use them in combination with the main OpenXR specs instead of being forced to use proprietary SDKs. If Pico or anybody else really wanted, they could implement their own versions of the Meta, Ultraleap or HTC hand and eye tracking extensions, allowing developers to port Quest Pro apps by basically recompiling them. As these extensions (currently 101 from multiple vendors) are described in the OpenXR spec, Meta couldn’t stop them even if the wanted to.

            A future version of OpenXR will define a standard way to access the new tracking data, which will incorporate what has been learned from the current vendor extensions, and manufacturers will start to switch from their proprietary extensions to this standard. This is very similar to how OpenGL developed over decades. It makes more sense for Pico and others to wait for the improved spec instead of now reimplementing multiple extensions from other vendors, but this process will take some time. In the mean time it is at least possible to either port apps from for example Quest to WMR and only have to alter the parts that currently still require vendor specific extensions, or write an abstraction layer that translates one extension to another, if their features match.

            VR is still such a tiny niche that the different vendors are forced to play somewhat nice with each others. It is hard enough to get larger studios to invest into VR, so making it even harder by sticking to a lot of incompatible SDKs would pretty much hurt everybody. Many problems with incompatibility come from the tech simply being still new and the standardization processes both taking time and first having to wait until standard industry practices have established themselves, which the next specifications then try to match.

          • silvaring

            You’ve outlined the situation really well it sounds like. It’s quite amazing that these things take so long to become standards, with OpenXR not even updating their specifications even though hand tracking was already introduced on Quest in early 2021 if I remember correctly. Do you think the OpenXR team are waiting for the hardware to become more mature before updating their spec, or do you think it’s just purely because of software maturity, or a combination of both? Or maybe its because they waiting until more of the major manufacturers add compatibility to their SDKs (like you mentioned, Sony, and Apple being outliers at the moment).

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            The Khronos group that manages OpenXR isn’t a specific team, it is a consortium of 170 organizations defining standards for all things 3D, and most of the members are from the industry. So there isn’t necessarily a sort of planed roadmap and a conscious decision when to include things, it is an ongoing process. OpenXR 1.0 was released in July 2019, we are currently at OpenXR 1.0.25. The changes are minor and mostly happen in the extensions, so the core remains stable, but for example the XR_EXT_hand_tracking is now in rev 4 and was last modified 2021-04-15. XR_EXT_ extensions are already a step further from vendor specific ones, they try to create a common reference even though it is not yet part of the main definitions. These XR_EXT_ will probably go through a couple of iterations and become part of the spec with an OpenXR 1.1 spec.

            If the XR_EXT_hand_tracking meets all the needs at Meta, they might decide to switch to it and deprecate their own extensions, but they don’t have to while things are still developing. And as far as I can see, they already did that, as rev2 of XR_FB_hand_tracking_aim from 2022-04-20 already refers to XR_EXT_hand_tracking, though I don’t follow it close enough to be sure. The OpenXR spec is intended for developers and vendors, not for end users, so its purpose is to make development easier without complicating it. While it would be great for users if we already had a final definition of how hand or eye tracking works across all platforms, so you could connect all the parts anyway you like, the current approach with vendor extensions for testing out things, the XR_EXT_ as a voluntary shared common and then finally an updated specification is a good compromise considering that there we are just seeing the first implementations, often still buggy like with hand tracking or yet unproven benefits like with eye tracking.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      4k or 8k per eye is in 2023 for a consumerpriced headset still overkill. Yeah ofcourse we wants it, but if you are being realistic that won’t be possible for the next 2 years for sub $500 (including better controllers and gpu/cpu and lenses).

    • gothicvillas

      If they manage to get higher res screens, I would sacrifice that to increase FOV

    • Jonathan Winters III

      “The Meta Quest Pro has 37% more pixels per inch compared to the older
      Quest 2, which is still surprisingly sharp despite its age. Pixels are
      not the whole story when it comes to VR headsets since the lenses that
      allow you to focus closely play a critical role in sharpness also. The
      Quest Pro features pancake lenses that are much thinner and increase the
      portion of the screen that remains sharpest. It’s not that the Quest
      2’s lenses are bad, but rather that the Quest Pro’s are more advanced.
      The Meta Quest Pro also has a more vibrant display with a 30% greater
      color gamut and local dimming that provides 75% greater contrast.”

      -Digitaltrends

    • Alexander Sears

      While a bump in resolution would be nice, being able to run appropriately detailed games at a stable frame rate is preferable I would say.

    • shadow9d9

      Your complete lack of understanding of how this all works is astounding.

      • JS

        Apparently you know nothing about the resolving power of human vision. The eye can see at 60 pixels for every degree of arc. With only 15 pixels per degree of arc, the Quest 2 can never equal human eye resolution, but you keep believing Zuckerberg that VR headset resolution is perfect and your eyes can see everything perfectly and read fine text in it.

        • Arno van Wingerde

          Yes, doubling the resolution is a great idea… all we need then is a nVidia 4090 als a mobile chip that won’t set your headset on fire in the 5 minutes or so it takes to empty your battery … What you seem to be looking for is a heavy PC with excellent VR glasses. be prepared to spend upwards from €3000 though!

  • guest

    That’s really a Mother Zucker who thinks her son is going to be the Messiah of XR that’s going to save the world from Gaba the Hut!

  • ViRGiN

    holy shiet. thanks for reminding me about this title!
    i always enjoy reading old crowdfundings comment section.

    • ViRGiN

      You sh!t on crowdfunding but your beloved meta/oculus is a kickstarter project….durrrr

      • ViRGiN

        no shit! damn you are right! wow!
        cool way to ignore that i said on multiple occassions that kickstarter is a scam that essentially brought nothing relevant to this world, with the exception – you guessed it – oculus rift dk1 – the first true vr headset in ages. a device that without it steamvr would never exist.
        they also did not scam anyone, and did not have years long delays. and everyone got final consumer headset for free years later.
        find a bigger sandbox to mess around.

  • Cless

    I mean, yeah, but its making that person do a little more annoying work, eventually they would stop I’d say :P

  • Jonathan Winters III

    Don’t be so confident; that title has missed it’s release date by years.

  • Alexander Sears

    Meta.
    Sir.
    Please do not make our 3rd party headstraps obsolete with a new arm design.
    Judging by SadlyItsBradley’s datamines, this might very well happen and all of our precious BOBOVR headstraps will be relegated to the landfill.

  • grindathotte .

    If it doesn’t have a bigger FOV, I’m not interested.

  • Ordinary_Failure

    This was an enjoyable read.