Oculus Quest Power on Par With PS3/360

Oculus’ John Carmack has revealed the computing power of the all-new Oculus Quest. The standalone, wireless VR headset is on-par with last generation consoles — the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Carmack revealed these details during a keynote at Oculus Connect 5. The Oculus Quest power is not fully comparable to those systems though.

Carmack spoke about the Oculus Quest in the keynote.

“In terms of raw processing power there’s always a lot of hedges,” he said, “and if buts when you are discussing different things but Quest is in the neighborhood of the power of a previous gen like Xbox 360 or PS3. Just in terms of CPU and GPU, what you can expect to do on it. But the important thing to keep in mind is that most games that generation rendered a 1280×720 view at 30 frames per second. While in VR we’re hoping you can render at 1280×1280 twice for stereo, and 72 frames per second. Which is eight and a half times more pixels than you would have on an old 360 game.”

He also noted that the Quest is aiming to have trilinear texture filtering and 4X multi-sample anti-aliasing, on top of that massive bump in raw pixel output per second.

“It is not possible to take a game that was done at a high-quality level for that generation and expect it to look like that in VR. It’s too many more pixels to wind up rendering,” Carmack said.

He went on to note major positives of the Quest — in particular the amount of memory available on the device. While RAM specifications for the Quest have not been released, the Xbox 360 only had 512MB of RAM for video and system processes. The Oculus Rift has an 8GB RAM requirement for compatible computers.

Carmack said he believes that the increased memory of the Oculus Quest will afford developers more freedom, and to trade complex shaders for “really rich textures” in VR. While the Oculus Quest power may seem low, Carmack reiterated that the core magic of Rift experiences will be possible on the standalone headset. Oculus sees the Quest as being a direct competitor with the Nintendo Switch.

“I don’t think there’s gonna be that many people that say ‘I’m not gonna buy a PS4, I’m gonna buy a Quest instead.’ I think we’re gonna have people that (…) pick up a Quest as a mobile device,” he said.

The Oculus Quest was revealed earlier this week at Oculus Connect 5. The $400 standalone VR headset is being billed in between the PSVR and Oculus Rift, in price range. A handful of titles have been announced including Superhot VR, and Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series. John Carmack is the chief technology officer at Oculus, a company he joined in 2013 after spending over two decades at id Software.