Dubbed as the “… step toward VR becoming the next computing platform.” Facebook is making a series of Oculus-related announcements this week through what it’s calling the Game Developers Showcase because the Game Developers Conference is not taking place as planned. The first big news centers mostly about Facebook’s own software: the Oculus Quest. It is getting a major UI overhaul that the company says represents “a step toward VR becoming the next computing platform.”
Currently, the Quest’s main UI includes a complex organized floating menu system that appears in a virtual living room whenever you push the Oculus button. This new menu looks to be stripped down and easier to work with, and it can also be brought up right inside apps to access system functionality without returning to the home interface.
Plus, Oculus is also adding multi-window support for the Quest, beginning with the built-in web browser. Users will be able to open, close, and rearrange windows around you, like having three giant floating monitors — Oculus suggests, for example, watching a gameplay video in one, reading news on the next, and (of course) checking in on Facebook updates on the other. Support for other apps like the store and chats will come later.
“The VR platform of the future must enable people to multitask easily, navigate between apps seamlessly, stay connected with others, and quite simply do more,” Facebook says in a blog post. “From gaming to media and entertainment, from social experiences to getting work done, VR as the next computing platform will support the full spectrum of uses that people expect from their devices, like phones and laptops, today.”
Still, amidst these, Oculus Quest has been reviewed as a great system with a frustrating compromise. The Oculus Quest is primarily a self-contained games console right now, though, and Facebook is also highlighting its success in that regard. More than 20 titles have brought in over $1 million in revenue just on the Quest alone, according to the company, and 90 percent of people who started using the headset over the holidays hadn’t owned an Oculus product before. Facebook says it’s “thrilled to keep welcoming new people to VR.”
The new software updates will be distributed out this month, although you will have to switch them on yourself in the Experimental Features section of the settings menu to get them first.