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The resolution of your Oculus Quest 2 isn’t as high as you imagine, but that’s not a problem

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In virtual reality, screen resolution isn’t everything.

image credits: future

Cheon Hong Kim, a Meta display engineer, revealed various information regarding the Meta Quest 2 (previously Oculus Quest 2) during a session at Display Week 2022, including that its resolution isn’t nearly what we thought it was.

The Quest 2 has a 1920 x 1832 resolution display for each eye, however due to the lenses, we don’t see that resolution (via UploadVR). For starters, because the lenses are circular and the screen is rectangular, the corners are cut off – and Meta has literally sliced the corners off the displays to save space.

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Furthermore, as you switch between the lenses’ three IPD settings – which alters how far apart they are – the portion of the screen that can be viewed changes.

The outermost areas of the screen will not be seen while the lenses are pulled together, and vice versa when the lenses are pushed apart. These invisible areas of the display aren’t active to save processing and battery power.

The fact that we aren’t viewing the screen’s full resolution isn’t a problem, as Meta goes on to explain. The pixel density of the display is more important than its resolution.

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By way of the screen door

The screen door effect is a problem with virtual reality headsets. Because displays use an array of pixels in a repeating pattern, lines in the image can be seen, giving the impression of seeing through a screen door, especially up close.

While this effect will never be completely erased, it can be greatly reduced by increasing the pixel density of a screen. Gaps become less obvious as pixels are packed closer together in the same location.

Meta intends to combine high-pixel-per-inch displays and foveation technology to gradually increase pixel-per-degree counts beyond 60PPD (the limit that humans can perceive).

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Project Cambria is projected to use new 2.48-inch micro LED screens with 2160 x 2160 pixels per eye, according to current rumours. The new headset’s pixel-per-inch should increase to 1230PPI, up from 773PPI on the Quest 2.

We don’t know Cambria’s focal length, so we can’t calculate it, but assuming it’s the same as the Quest 2, we’re looking at a PPD of 33. That would still be a long way from the 60PPD target, but far closer than the 21PPD of Quest 2.

However, given on what Meta has indicated, there’s a good probability Project Cambria will have a more compact design, and hence its focal length will be different. So, like with any rumours, we’ll have to wait and see what Meta actually says.

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However, Meta has stated that enhancing the quality of their displays is a primary goal, so expect plenty of upgrades when Cambria and future headsets (such as the Meta Quest 3) are released.

Looking for a fun game to play? The best Quest 2 games we’ve tried are listed here.

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