Carmack: Oculus Quest hardware is as powerful as Xbox 360

Posted on Friday, September 28 2018 @ 10:06 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Earlier this week, Facebook teased the Oculus Quest, an upcoming standalone VR headset that will hit the market in Spring 2019 for $399. But just how powerful is the device, will it be suitable for games with decent graphical quality? Speaking at the Oculus Connect conference, CTO John Carmack explained the Oculus Quest's hardware is in the neighborhood of a last-generation console like the Xbox 360 or PS3.

Unfortunately, this doesn't mean you can expect Xbox 360-like image quality on the Oculus Quest. While a console of that generation did 30fps at 1280 x 720, the Quest's display target involves 1280 x 1280 at 72fps. That's 8.5 time as many pixels per second, without accounting for additional anti-aliasing needed to make things look smooth.

Carmack added that game developers will need to adopt a different programming style than what's been typical on the PC, as the Quest has a power consumption of only about 5W.
Expecting Rift-level performance from a self-contained mobile headset like the quest isn't realistic, Carmack said, partly for simple electrical reasons. While a high-end gaming PC often draws up to 500 watts of power, Carmack said the Quest only uses about 5W, a tidbit that should be of benefit to the Quest's still unconfirmed battery-life statistics.

That relative lack of hardware power is going to require some developers to adopt "a different programming style that's been necessary on the PC," Carmack warned. "With a modern PC, you have so much extra power, you don't need to be a hotshot programmer to make a game people love. You don't really have that convenience on any mobile platform, really, but especially not on our platform."

Via: ARS Technica

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