Last week it was reported that 120Hz support could be rolling out as early as March. An experimental update had been given the confidence of MEDIUM for March 2021. Now, that won’t be happening.
Facebook’s official Quest Platform Roadmap has been updated and the information has been changed. Instead of MEDIUM confidence and March 2021, it now states LOW confidence and Q2 2021.
No reason has been given for the change at this point, but it is reasonable to assume that there would be many challenges for the development team. Making a mobile processor on a standalone headset run at 120Hz does seem like a stretch. Even John Carmack went on the record to say that, “Only a few existing games will be tweaked for 120, but some new titles will consider it an option in their design phase.”
Since it has been designated as an experimental update, users will have to opt into it, and it may not be perfect right out of the date. However, this could be huge news for those people that tend to experience nausea at lower framerates.
“120Hz Refresh Support (EXPERIMENTAL)
“This release offers experimental support for 120Hz refresh rates only for apps that support it. The feature will happen in two parts - API support for devs, Experimental Settings toggle to enable 120Hz and user being able to toggle 120Hz for supported apps.”
The issue with high frame rates and refresh rates for headsets like the Quest 2 that do not have the power of a high-end gaming PC behind them means that developers will have to sacrifice visual quality and the complexity of the game. This will be a tough challenger for many developers, and I would expect that only a few simple apps will be able to run at 120Hz.