Android Central says it viewed a note from Ming-Chi Kuo claiming Facebook & Sony have ordered high quantities of new, more expensive VR lenses for 2022.
Kuo is a TF International Securities analyst mostly known for predicting Apple products & moves over a year in advance. Apple Track gives him a 77% accuracy rating.
Facebook last shipped a new lens design in May 2018 with the launch of Oculus Go (now discontinued). That same ‘Super Libra G’ design was used in Quest and Rift S, and seems to still be used in Quest 2.
The PlayStation VR headset launched back in late 2016, and had been shown at trade conferences since 2014. Sources tell us Sony’s next-generation headset for PlayStation 5 has significantly higher resolution, inside-out tracking, a vibration motor, and even foveated rendering – so new lenses wouldn’t exactly be a surprise.
Current VR lenses have a field of view roughly around 100 degrees wide. New lenses could allow Facebook & Sony to increase the field of view, the area of clarity, or both. In an Instagram AMA back in March, Facebook’s VP of AR/VR Andrew Bosworth said he likes the idea of a taller field of view, which he claimed could be more impactful than wider.
Android Central’s headline names the 2022 Oculus headset as ‘Oculus Quest 3’, but the article notes the source isn’t actually claiming that. In a public Q&A session in April, Bosworth said Quest 3 “doesn’t exist yet” and claimed “Quest 2 is going to be in the market for a while – for a long while”.
In that same April Q&A session Bosworth did, however, discuss the idea of a ‘Quest Pro’, suggesting it could add new features but won’t launch in 2021. It’s possible Facebook plans to introduce new lenses in a Pro model first – unlike Sony, Facebook also has to include mobile processing components too. As the cost comes down over time, it could then bring these lenses to a mainstream Quest 3 – but of course that’s just our speculation based on Kuo’s claim & Bosworth’s statements.