If you’re an Oculus Quest user, there’s some great news to share: One of the standalone VR headset’s worst annoyances — a “wait for it” firmware update process — is getting fixed today in a version 9.0 firmware update, which also includes a handful of new features that have been in the works for months.
Since the hardware was released earlier this year, updating the Oculus Quest’s firmware has been maddening: As of the prior 8.0 firmware release, you need to turn on the headset and let it sit on your Wi-Fi network, plugged in, awaiting a push from Oculus’ servers while draining your controllers’ batteries. Following the 9.0 update, you’ll be able to manually pull future firmware directly from the headset’s settings menu while in VR.
As previously teased by Oculus CTO John Carmack and discussed onstage at Oculus Connect 6, the new Quest firmware adds support for over 50 Oculus Go apps, including free cross-play for users who previously bought them on the Go platform. According to an UploadVR count, the total number of supported Go apps on Quest is now 66. Updated Go apps will be able to display at the Quest’s higher resolution and benefit from 6DoF tracking.
On a related note, the update enables Quest to operate in a more passive 3DoF tracking mode in situations where 6DoF might not be necessary or beneficial, such as movie viewing in bed, with the lights out. Previously, the Quest would interrupt app or game access and complain that the ambient lighting was too dim for 6DoF tracking.
Passthrough, a mode that enables the Quest to display a flat black-and-white view of the real world during Guardian tracking setup, has been upgraded to Passthrough+ — a stereoscopic version similar to what’s offered on the Rift S headset for PCs. For the time being, Passthrough+ will be solely for Guardian setup, but as UploadVR notes, an on-demand version is coming to the Quest later this year.
The 9.0 firmware update is making its way through Oculus’ servers today and will start appearing on devices soon. To apply the update, leave your headset on while connected to power and Wi-Fi, then keep your fingers crossed for a day or so.