At Oculus Connect 6, Facebook’s chief VR researcher stated that the company won’t deliver a truly next generation VR headset “any time soon”.
Abrash has spoken about his predictions for when a next generation VR headset will arrive on multiple occasions. His first concrete vision of a next generation headset was delivered at Oculus Connect 3 in 2016. During his keynote, the researcher laid out his predictions for a headset with 4K resolution per eye, varifocal optics, eye tracking, wireless, and a 140 degrees field of view. He stated that he expected this to arrive by 2021.
At Oculus Connect 5 last year, however, Abrash revised his timeframe. He stated that he expected some specifications to be higher than his predictions, but that it would arrive a year later than predicted. This is one of the reasons we warned to not expect a Rift 2 at Oculus Connect 6.
But at Oculus Connect 6 today, Abrash rolled back his expectations even further:
“The honest truth is, I don’t know when you’re going to be able to buy the magical headset I described last year. VR will continue to evolve nicely, but my full vision for next generation VR is going to take longer. How much longer? I don’t know. Let’s just say not any time soon. Turning breakthrough technology into products is just hard.
Abrash did however share two new advanced VR headset prototypes, Half Dome 2 and Half Dome 3. These headsets use improved optics to significantly reduce the size and weight, while still having a “20% wider” field of view than today’s Oculus Quest. But what seems clear is that this kind of technology won’t be arriving until 2023, or even later.