In place of GDC this year, which was postponed due to the coronavirus, Facebook is announcing some of its news via the decidedly more sterile environment of the Oculus blog, starting today and going until Thursday, March 19th. Today, the company unveiled its next major update to the Oculus Quest system experience.
Facebook says in a blog post that its next Quest update will make VR “more flexible, social, and easy to use than ever before,” touting a redesigned Universal Menu, new immersive overlays, and multi-window support for 2D apps. The updates are slated to launch as Experimental Features on Quest later this month.
The redesigned universal menu is supposed to organize information more clearly, something Facebook says will let you navigate to commonly-used system apps like Explore, Store, Browser, and TV with more ease.
Settings such as brightness and volume are also included here, which all seems like a nice quality of life tweak. Much like a mobile OS, the universal menu redesign will bring recently and frequently used apps to the forefront.
To boot, the new immersive overlays make it so you don’t need to return to Home, as you will be able to bring the Universal Menu up while in-game. Tools such as friend requests, casting, and livestreaming is also supposed to be easier and quicker to find while you’re in a VR app.
Facebook says the new overlays will first be available in WebXR apps launched from Oculus Browser, and will later come to “more apps on the Oculus Platform as developers add support.”
Something Quest users have been waiting for: multiple window support for Oculus Browser. A new control box is said to let you open, close, and rearrange windows. Support for more 2D apps like Chats and Store is coming at a later date.
Outside of the experimental user-focused updates, Facebook is also about to make it easier for developers to manage and create DLC and in-app purchases for their games. Facebook says the update, which is also slated to arrive sometime this month, will make it this ‘add-on content’ more searchable and purchasable directly from the application page for consumers.
The company also revealed a few other tidbits of info, including the news that OpenXR is coming to Quest developers soon, and that over 20 Quest games have already broken $1 million is revenue.
Facebook has plenty more up its sleeves, so check back with us tomorrow for the latest in Oculus reveals.