Oculus had a lot to say about its new standalone VR headset, Quest, at the opening keynote for Oculus Connect 5 yesterday, but one thing it didn’t really mention was the processor powering the device. We now know it’s a Snapdragon 835.
Oculus confirmed as much following the kit’s reveal in San Jose. The 835 isn’t the latest processor from Qualcomm (it’s used in Samsung’s Galaxy S8 but was replaced with the newer 845 in this year’s Galaxy S9), but it is a step up from the 821 found in Oculus’ other, lower-cost standalone, Oculus Go. It’s also used in other standalone devices like Google and Lenovo’s Mirage Solo.
Go, though, is still able to run a wide range of Gear VR apps given that its older hardware is entirely dedicated to VR performance and not being partially applied elsewhere as it would on a smartphone. We can expect the same to be true of the 835; it won’t be as strictly powerful as an S9 but all of its horsepower will be going on VR alone. That might be one of the key reasons why Oculus is going to be able to get games like The Climb and Robo Recall onto the device. Still, don’t expect these games to make it to Rift unscathed in some way, be it visual downgrades or reduced enemy numbers, and we doubt more intense games like Lone Echo will be able to make their way over.
We also know Quest offers 1600 x 1440 resolution per eye, which is basically the same as Go, and it sports built-in audio too. It’s also got full six degrees of freedom (6DOF) control using the new Oculus Insight inside-out tracking system.
Additionally, at Oculus Connect 5, we talked to Sean Liu, Head of Hardware Product Management at Oculus, and he explained the cooling process inside Quest as “active” with a fan: “We’ve designed the thermal dissipation in this device differently, this one actually uses active cooling with a fan inside, as opposed to Go, which is all passive.” This should help the 835 run much more efficiently.
Quest is going to be launching in the spring of next year for $399. We’ve been hands-on with it at Connect this year so expect a full rundown of the experience later today.
Update: A quote about active cooling was added.