Meta teased this update following the Meta Quest 3 announcement where a press release revealed that the Quest Pro and Quest 2 would see their CPU speed rise by up to 26% each. What’s more, the Quest 2’s GPU will, according to Meta, improve by up to 19%, while the Quest Pro’s GPU will improve by 11%.
These hardware upgrades are achievable via a software update because Meta’s new update is allowing the CPU and GPU in each headset to run at a higher clock speed. Previously both headsets ran underclocked systems – read: maximum performance is being held back – in order to prevent the headsets from getting too hot and causing discomfort for the player. Clearly, Meta decided that it was a bit too conservative with its underclocked approach, so now it's releasing a bit more power.
On top of its faster processing, Meta has announced that the Quest Pro is getting a boost to its eye-tracking accuracy. While the update post doesn’t go into much detail we can’t help but feel like this is Meta’s first step to helping the Quest Pro catch up to Apple’s newly unveiled Vision Pro headset – which threatens to usurp Meta’s spot at the top of the best VR headsets list.
One innovation Apple’s headset has is that it uses eye-tracking to make hand-tracking navigation more accurate. Rather than awkwardly pointing at an app you just have to look at it and then pinch your fingers.
The Quest Pro’s improved eye-tracking accuracy could allow Meta to implement a similar system to the Apple Vision Pro – and help make its eye-tracking technology more useful.
More minor changes
Beyond these performance boosts, the Meta Quest v55 update brings a few minor software improvements.
Now when using Direct Touch hand tracking, you’ll be able to tap swipe notifications away or tap on them like buttons as you can with other menu items. If this doesn’t make interacting with your headset feel enough like using a smartphone, Meta has also said that the full Messenger app will now launch on the Quest platform – allowing you to call and message any of your contacts through the app, not just the people that use VR.
Two new virtual environments will be made available too. The Futurescape – which was featured in the 2023 Meta Quest Gaming Showcase – combines futurism with nature, while the Great Sand Sea is a vast desert world that’s an exclusive space for people who have preordered Asgard’s Wrath 2. To change your current environment to either of these options you’ll need to go into your Quest headset Settings and find the Personalization menu. You should see the option to change your environment to either one of these new spaces or the previously released virtual homes.
Check out our interview with one of the developers to find out how Asgard's Wrath 2 will bring out the best of the Oculus Quest 2.