By all accounts, the Oculus Quest is easily one of the best VR headsets on the market right now. Compared to other devices like the Valve Index, HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, or even the Oculus Rift, the Quest has the benefit of being able to be used virtually anywhere and doesn’t need a complicated setup of tracking devices in order to follow your movements. Overall, it’s definitely the simplest VR headset to utilize if you just want to immediately jump in and start playing games as fast as possible.
Despite having so many great features though, the Quest isn’t perfect by any means. Notably, it’s a bit weaker when compared to other VR headsets and some ancillary aspects of the device could definitely use some upgrades. In short, despite being such a fantastic accessory, there’s definitely room for improvement.
Now, with Oculus reportedly working on a new revision of the Quest which could release later this year, we have our own wishlist of what we’d love to see in a new model. Especially when it comes to the realm of VR fitness, which continues to be an ever-growing community than even folks like John Carmack are now integrating themselves within, here are some potential changes we’d love to see implemented in a future iteration of the Oculus Quest.
If you’re using your VR headset primarily to play games that will have you working out and staying active, then the lighter your device is, the better. You’ll be working up quite a sweat when you play games like Audio Trip, BoxVR, or Supernatural, and if you have a hefty device attached to your head, that’s only going to make you sweat out even more.
As it stands, the current version of the Oculus Quest isn’t that heavy to begin with and only weighs in at around 1.25 pounds. However, while that might not seem very burdensome, the Quest is actually one of the heavier VR devices that you can utilize right now. Compared to the Vive and Rift, the Quest is a few ounces heavier, likely due to the fact that its tracking tech is all packed directly into the headset.
If Oculus could find a way to make the next revision of the Quest just a bit lighter, it would definitely make extended play sessions all the less tiresome, especially with those games that really have you moving about.
Improved Power to Run Rift-Level Games
Perhaps the biggest drawback of the Oculus Quest right now is that it can’t utilize every game in the Oculus library. Games that are playable on Quest have to be specifically optimized for the platform by developers, meaning that some games that might release on the Oculus Store can only be played on the Rift instead.
Obviously, more power is always a desirable addition in any hardware revision, but if Oculus is indeed working on a new model of the Quest, then allowing the device to be compatible with Rift-level games natively would be a major boost. As it stands, games that are compatible with the Rift now can technically still be played on Quest, but doing so requires you to use the link cable and connect directly to your PC, essentially negating the Quest’s most prominent feature which is that it requires no wires.
Of everything we’d love to see in a new version of the Quest, this definitely seems like the biggest ask, but it cannot be understated just how awesome this upgrade would be for the platform. And at the very least, if the reported improvement to refresh rate is all we get in the way of additional power, that would definitely be appreciated as well.
Extended Battery Life
Yeah, this is a really clear thing to want in a new version of the Oculus Quest or for any new piece of wireless hardware for that matter.
The current model of the Quest has a battery life that typically lasts between two and three hours before then needing to be charged. Considering most who use the Quest for workout purposes surely aren’t utilizing the device for this long, it’s still always nice to have as much juice as possible available on the headset. A longer battery life for the Oculus Quest would also mean you’d have to worry less about charging it, especially if you’re someone who likes to take the platform with you on the go.
Battery life improvement is an obvious ask when it comes to any hardware revision and it’d surely be welcome here in a new version of the Oculus Quest. And even if this 2-3 hour battery life can’t be improved upon, shrinking the recharge time (which typically takes close to two hours) would be just as lovely.
This is definitely more of a luxury than it would be an actual necessity, but a new SKU of the Oculus Quest with more memory capacity would be excellent. Currently, the Quest has two different models that you can purchase: one with 64GB of storage for $399 and another with 128GB of memory for $499. All in all, both of these current iterations of the Quest definitely get the job done, but additional memory, perhaps in the realm of 256GB to 500GB, would be a fantastic addition.
The biggest reason as to why this would be a great update for the Quest is because it would allow Oculus to future-proof their device a bit more. For now, most VR games are relatively small in size, but that will likely change in the future. Looking at the console market, specifically, that of the PS4 and Xbox One, when both of those platforms launched back in 2013 they each shipped with 500GB of storage. At the time, that seemed like more than enough memory, but all these years later, some single games alone are now coming in at nearly 200GB in total.
As VR games continue to grow in size, which they almost certainly will be doing, having more memory is going to become something that many Quest owners will come to appreciate even more. Being able to load up your own Oculus Quest with every game you own at once rather than having to pick and choose which games you want to download and which ones you have to delete to free up space would be quite beneficial in the long run.
Even though it isn’t outright terrible whatsoever, the audio quality of the Oculus Quest is definitely on the lower end when compared to other VR appliances. Unlike other headsets such the Valve Index, the Quest’s audio comes from built-in speakers attached to the device which support spatial audio.
While the addition of actual earphones attached to the Quest would likely not be the way to go, if Oculus could just generally iterate upon the built-in speakers that headset currently has, then that would surely make many current owners of the device happy. Audio might not seem too beneficial at first when considering that VR experiences tend to focus on visuals first, but the auditory aspect of VR games cannot be downplayed.
An improvement to the overall audio quality that comes from games that are played on the Oculus Quest would all around be a fantastic enhancement. Considering just how many workout-focused titles in the VR space utilize fast-paced music (Beat Saber, Supernatural, BoxVR) to keep you locked-in, the more clearly you can hear what it is you’re playing, the better.
Better Head Strap
This is one area that many who own the Oculus Quest often cite as one of the biggest drawbacks of the platform in its current form. Compared to many other VR headsets, the Oculus Quest’s strap that keeps the item firmly snug to your face doesn’t feel as tightly locked-in as others. As a result, if you ever start moving around a whole lot, the headset can start to feel a bit loose, meaning you need to reset its positioning and lock it back in place.
Because of this, Oculus should just take it upon themselves to somehow slightly remodel the Quest’s head strap in a new revision of the headset. While obviously not wanting to make the device too hefty, if this new strap could somehow counterbalance the Quest from feeling far too front-heavy, then that would be ideal. While all VR headsets are front-heavy by nature, the Quest suffers from this a bit more than others purely due to its completely wireless setup.
Overall, the current strap that the Oculus Quest boasts isn’t awful at all, but it could absolutely be better than it is. Considering there are already a ton of modding solutions out there to improve the Quest’s head strap as it is, Oculus should just pack in an improved version of the band out-of-the-box to prevent users from turning to third-party options so often.
Image Credit: Oculus
We’ve already talked about ways that Oculus could potentially improve on the Quest to prevent sweating, but likely the biggest addition to the headset to help alleviate this issue would be the inclusion of some sort of internal cooling fan.
Currently, there are various third-party cooling accessories on the market that can attach to VR headsets to ensure that you don’t get overheated while playing, but if Oculus were to pack one of these fans natively into the Quest, it would be a game-changer. Being able to worry less about how hot you are while playing games on the Quest would let you get into the zone more easily and instead focus on burning off those calories.
It might increase the overall price of the Quest quite a bit if Oculus were to include an internal fan in the headset, but the cost-benefit for those who primarily use VR to workout would surely be worth it. The cooler you can stay while being active, the better your workout will likely be.
Easier Cleaning Process through Foam Pad Inclusion
And staying on the topic of sweat, if you’re going to be getting your Quest all wet routinely, being able to more easily clean up after yourself would be very much appreciated.
The current version of the Oculus Quest isn’t too complicated when it comes to cleaning up as most of the pieces of the headset come apart pretty easily. When you want to clean the area where your face sits specifically, the face pad portion of the Quest can simply be taken off and wiped down before then placing back onto the device.
That said, one simple addition that Oculus could make to the Quest’s larger package would come in the way of foam pads. For any of us that use the Quest for workout purposes, you may have invested in some of these pads (like this one from VR Cover) to help offset how sweaty your headset gets. These slim pads really help keep your Quest cleaner overall and are much easier to clean than some of the other parts of the device. Plus, the part of the headset that is getting oily and dirty routinely technically isn’t even part of the Quest itself, meaning you’ll be keeping it nicer in the long run.
It might seem odd to ask Oculus to throw in even more than they already have with the Quest’s current bundle, but if a foam pad or two came with the new version of the VR headset right away, it’d surely be valued by those who end up purchasing it in the long run.
All in all, it’s not expected that Oculus will bring about any or all of these features to the new version of the Quest, but for those of us who routinely use this VR device to stay active and get their daily workouts in, these would be some of the most welcome new additions.
Hopefully, when Oculus formally announces that it is planning to release an updated version of the Quest down the road, these are some of the improvements we can look forward to seeing included.