The Oculus Quest 2 is almost certainly getting support for a 120Hz refresh rate in an upcoming update, according to Facebook Reality Labs. When asked about whether the standalone headset would be receiving yet another refresh rate bump in a recent Q and A session on Instagram (good spot, RoadToVR), Facebook Reality Labs' vice president Andrew Bosworth gave a thumbs up as his answer.
Of course, given this is Facebook we're talking about here, a thumbs up could just mean that he 'liked' the idea of 120Hz support rather than giving a non-verbal confirmation that it's definitely coming. In all likelihood, though, it probably means the Oculus Quest 2 is getting 120Hz support, especially given Oculus recently updated the virtual reality headset to support a 90Hz refresh rate back in November last year. When the headset originally launched in October 2020, its refresh rate was limited to just 72Hz.
Alas, Bosworth didn't expand on when the Quest 2 might actually receive its 120Hz support, but I'd imagine it will likely roll out in a future software update - much like they did for the Quest 2's 90Hz update. It's also likely that Facebook will give developers the option of running their games at 72Hz, 90Hz or 120Hz, depending on how demanding they are. After all, running games at 120Hz will likely take a greater toll on the headset's battery life, which is only around 2-3 hours on its default settings.
Of course, if and when the Quest 2 does receive its 120Hz support, this will put its tech specs surprisingly close to what's available over on the considerably more expensive Valve Index, which is our current recommendation for those after the best VR headset money can buy. This PC-based headset can also run games at 80Hz, 90Hz and 120Hz - although its top experimental 144Hz mode still gives it an edge over the Quest 2.
Still, now that Oculus Link is properly up and running, you don't technically need a big expensive Index to play PC-based VR games like Half-Life: Alyx any more - and if the £299 / $299 Quest 2 can offer similar refresh rates and just as smooth an experience as the Index (provided you've got a powerful enough PC to get those high frame rates, of course), then this could be a serious shot in the arm to Valve's flagship VR headset.
It's an interesting development, to be sure, and one I'm looking forward to trying out once it eventually arrives. Of course, the Quest 2 still has that age-old problem of requiring a Facebook account in order to start using it, which is... yeah. Not great. Still, with the Rift S going end of life and the disappointing Vive Cosmos providing little to no decent competition, it's pretty much a choice between the Quest 2 and the Valve Index for VR headset buyers these days, and if it means signing up for an empty Facebook profile versus spending an extra £700 / $800, I'd probably be increasingly tempted to bite the bullet and re-join Facebook for the sake of my wallet.