Facebook’s second standalone VR headset will soon be able to emulate apps from its first.
Yes, Oculus Quest will add the ability to emulate Oculus Go later this year. Word comes by way of Oculus CTO John Carmack. In a series of tweets, he confirmed that a “compatibility layer” will make “Quest report as a Go” and emulate its controller.
Despite both being standalone headsets, Quest and Go are very different devices. You could consider the latter a stripped back version of the former. Oculus Quest has six degrees of freedom (6DOF) tracking for the headset and controllers, allowing you the physically move through virtual space. Go meanwhile, only has 3DOF tracking for your head and one hand. Quest is also more powerful than Go. The trade-off being that Oculus Go starts at $199, not $399 like the Quest.
1/3: Go emulation is coming to Quest later this year, by way of a compatibility layer that makes Quest report as a Go and emulate the Go controller for old apps.
— John Carmack (@ID_AA_Carmack) July 23, 2019
Carmack added that Oculus will be working with developers to test emulation. It will even be possible for some to build hybrid apps that support both devices with “explicit support.” According to Carmack, some apps even “magically” support 6DOF tracking as is.
This likely explains why most of the Oculus Quest games we’ve seen thus far are Rift ports.
This could be a significant update for Quest. With some exceptions, Oculus Go shares a library with Gear VR and has thousands of apps available. Far from all of them would meet the high bar Oculus has set for Quest curation, though, so we wonder how the company will approach its usage. For now, we’re just thinking of all the Go apps that could really benefit from a tune-up for Quest.
Carmack didn’t provide a more specific timeframe for emulation on Quest. It might be that we hear more about it at Oculus Connect 6 in September.