VR news of the week
As part of a weekly series, Android Central Senior Editors Michael Hicks and Nick Sutrich are rounding up all of the news on hardware, game announcements, leaks, and cool updates related to the Meta Quest 3, Oculus Quest 2, and other VR headsets.
We’re just three weeks away from the Meta Quest 3 launch, with official accessories already leaking ahead of Connect 2023. But VR fans have plenty of future hardware leaks to distract them until then.
Aside from Meta’s second attempt at a Quest Pro with the Apple Vision Pro in its crosshairs, we’ve heard a pretty startling rumor that Nintendo is returning to the VR space with a proper mixed-reality headset, running off of Android software.
Here’s what’s happening in the world of VR this week!
Oculus Quest 2 accessories may not work with Quest 3
A leaked photo of the Quest 3 strap shows that it measures 29.5mm wide, compared to 27mm on the Quest 2. Because of this change, all of the current Quest 2 straps most likely won’t work with the Quest 3.
For people who bought high-end elite straps with battery packs, this is a disappointment; for Quest accessory makers, it means a whole new generation of profit.
As for Meta’s official accessories, a Reddit leak shows what appears to be an official cart of the Quest 3 512GB version, Elite Strap with Battery (€149), Carrying Case (€79), Silicone Face Interface (€49), and Charging Dock (€149).
Just saw this on Reddit. First look at Quest 3 accessories and a 512Gb version? Very interesting. pic.twitter.com/odqthbXSFNSeptember 4, 2023
All of these are available for the Quest 2, but the Quest 3 versions show a decent step up in price — depending on regional variations, obviously. In theory, the Quest 3 will fit easily inside a Quest 2 case, since its pancake lenses make it smaller. But old facial interfaces probably won’t fit, and since the Quest 3 allegedly places its USB-C slot in a new location, old Quest 2 charging stands may not work, either.
This Reddit leak also has a specs list, and while most of the information is already public knowledge, it specifically says the Quest 3 will have 2064 x 2208 pixels per eye instead of 1,920 by 1,832 on the Quest 2.
Nintendo x Google VR?
🔥Leak Express: Nintendo ya tiene un prototipo en pruebas de unas gafas “VR”- Hardware independiente de Switch 2- Realidad mixta- Uso doméstico, no para parques temáticos- Pantalla MicroLED- Sorprendentemente Google está involucrada de alguna manera en el desarrollo pic.twitter.com/e60yNchmsySeptember 3, 2023
We have to take this kind of rumor with a huge grain of salt, but a recent no-longer-called-Twitter leak indicated that Nintendo is working on a standalone, mixed-reality headset specifically for home gaming (aka not for Nintendo theme parks), and that Google is involved in its software.
Google being involved is not a surprise. We know that Google is working on several XR prototypes, along with a baseline XR software platform that Samsung will use for its own headset next year. Android Police reports that it’s already found code evidence of Google’s Micro XR platform being rolled out, so Google may be shopping this software to other gaming companies interested in VR.
Nintendo has its own long history with VR, starting with the 1995 Virtual Boy console and most recently with Nintendo Labo cardboard. Given that Sony has its own PSVR 2 headset, it’s possible that Nintendo would want to try and keep pace in this space.
Despite all this, we suggest you wait for more definitive evidence than a cute rendered mock-up before you get your hopes up about a true Nintendo VR headset with Google software.
We learned earlier this year that the Quest Pro 2 had been canceled, but Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth later explained that just because that Pro 2 prototype had been canceled didn’t mean that the Pro lineup had died for good. Now, it appears Boz wasn’t just trying to downplay negative news.
According to a report earlier this week, Meta has partnered with LG to make OLED Microdisplay panels for the Quest Pro 2. In addition, the report claims Meta will charge $2,000 for this headset — $500 more than the original Quest Pro but $1,500 less than the Apple Vision Pro — and launch it in 2025.
We’re hopeful that by the time the Quest Pro 2 launches, there will be much better software available to make a productivity headset a more feasible business model. Mainly because Apple will attract the companies that Meta couldn’t, thanks to its computing connections.
New and upcoming VR games
The list of upcoming Oculus Quest 2 games is heating up as we move closer to fall. My fellow VR nerd Nick Sutrich wrote about four of his favorite recent games he recommends people play before the Quest 3 arrives, starting with Inverse.
Dead by Deadlight gameplay mixed with a Stranger Things aesthetic combine to make Inverse, a 1v4 asymmetric horror title that Nick and I both had a chance to play, and both thoroughly enjoyed. It launched on Thursday on the Quest Store.
“While the monster is all-powerful and can kill players in just a few swipes, it moves fairly slowly and has a stamina bar that has to be refilled after a handful of attacks,” Nick writes. “Meanwhile, the weaponless players are able to not only revive fallen players but can also set traps, close doors, and otherwise put obstacles in the path of the monster. Plus, thanks to a clever blend of local and walkie-talkie communication, players can intelligently work together to trick the monster and wipe out all traces of The Inverse.”
You should also check out his other recommendations: Dead Hook, I Expect You to Die 3, and Swordsman.
Announced and made available for pre-order this week, Dungeons of Eternity is another cooperative experience for fans of D&D and Demeo — which, coincidentally, was announced as a future Apple Vision Pro title this week.
Back to DoE: it’s a hack-and-slash style dungeon crawler with swords, bows, magic, and more, with procedurally generated dungeons that should help things stay fresh. You can play solo, but it looks like it’ll be especially rewarding as a party.
Lastly, we’re big fans of Walkabout Mini Golf’s steady flow of new DLC courses like Labyrinth and Myst. The latest DLC — Alfheim: Land of the Elves — doesn’t play into any famous IP but has a charming aesthetic that’s meant to appeal to Norse Mythology fans (and probably Lord of the Rings fans, too). On the Quest Store, you can buy the course for $4, while new buyers can snag the bundle and get it for half off.