Later this year Oculus Quest is going to get access to a heap of new VR content thanks to support for Oculus Go apps via official emulation.
Oculus CTO John Carmack this week confirmed that Oculus Quest will eventually support Oculus Go apps “by way of a compatibility layer that makes Quest report as a Go and emulate the Go controller for old apps.” The feature will be added sometime later this year, and will potentially bring hundreds of new apps to Oculus Quest.
It isn’t clear if the entire library of Oculus Go content will be unleashed on Quest out of the gate; a likely scenario would be that that Oculus asks developers of Go apps to opt-in to allow their Go app to run on Quest.
“We will be working with developers to test against the emulator, but I hope some will be inspired enough to convert older apps to proper ‘hybrid’ Go / Quest apps with explicit support,” said Carmack.
While Go apps aren’t built to support Quest’s 6DOF head and controller tracking, Carmack says that, for many apps, the emulation brings full tracking and then some.
“Not everything works, but many old apps do magically get 6DOF headset and controller tracking, as well as higher resolution and frame rate, so it is fun to dig through some old favorites,” he said.
The move seems at odds with Oculus’ decision to be more strict about the quality of apps it will allow on Quest compared to its other headsets.
“We’ve set a high bar for content quality on Quest, higher than we’ve ever enforced before, in order to build a platform where everyone has confidence in the quality of the titles they’re buying and developers know that their investments have a strong chance of success,” the company said about the decision back in February.
Indeed, Oculus Quest has a far smaller library of apps available today than Oculus Go, but the selection is choice compared to many smaller scope and generally less polished apps in the Go library. And while there’s certainly some gems on Go, allowing Quest to run Go apps—which weren’t even designed for the headset in the first place—seems like it could become a trojan horse for getting apps onto Quest which otherwise wouldn’t meet Oculus’ more stringent quality standards. We’ve reached out to the company to understand how they’ll approach this.