We already knew that Oculus’ upcoming standalone headset, Oculus Go, would be able to perform better than many recent iterations of the Gear VR thanks to the use of dedicated hardware. What we didn’t know, however, is that both Go and the upcoming Santa Cruz will offer a new refresh rate option.
During Oculus’ headlining session at the 2018 Game Developers Conference today the company announced that both Go and Santa Cruz will have 72Hz modes. For the former, this mode will be optional, as Go runs much of the same content that ran on Gear VR at 60Hz. That said, Oculus fully advised developers to aim for the higher refresh rate if their apps can accommodate it.
When it comes to Santa Cruz, all the company said of the refresh rate was simply that it renders at 72Hz, suggesting this might be the standard for that device and not optional. The company cited Santa Cruz’s use of hand presence as the reasoning behind the higher refresh rate, though PC VR users will be used to a minimum of 90fps anyway.
Refresh rate is a vital part of the VR experience, as higher framerates create a smoother and thus more convincing virtual world. Oculus Go is set to release in the coming weeks for $199 and utilizes three degrees of freedom (3DOF) tracking. Santa Cruz is a little further out (expected to ship as a dev kit later this year) but supports full 6DOF tracking. Hopefully this new refresh rate update means the apps inside both headsets will be more immersive than ever.