During the Oculus Connect 5 conference, Doom co-creator and Oculus CTO John Carmack detailed some of the Oculus Quest’s techncial specs.
Carmack spoke about the Quest, which is an upcoming VR headset that allows users to play VR games without an accompanying PC. He compared the machine’s power level to the last generation of consoles, saying that it is ‘in the neighborhood of power of an Xbox 360 or PS3.’
Carmack makes the point that most games of that generation targeted a 1280×720 resolution at 30 frames per second, and that the Quest has two 1280×1280 images per frame at 72fps. He also went on to say, ‘It is not possible to take a game that was done at a high-quality level [on the Xbox 360 or PS3] and expect it to look good in VR.’
Essentially, he is saying that expecting Oculus Rift levels of performance on the Quest isn’t realistic – a lot of which comes down to electrical reasons, with the Rift pulling in up to 500 watts when connected to a gaming PC.
This means that developers would need a ‘different programming style’ than what they are used to on PC. ‘With a modern PC, you have so much extra power, you don’t need to be a hotshot programmer to make a game people love,’ said Carmack. ‘You don’t really have that convenience on any mobile platform, really, but especially not on our platform.’
The Oculus Quest will cost $399 and is due to be released in Spring 2019.