The latest Oculus Quest 2 update brings mixed reality casting to the VR headset, effectively allowing you to film yourself in a virtual reality space. So far just six of the best VR games are compatible – like Beat Saber and Pistol Whip – but the new feature is able to quite convincingly film you superimposed over the game you're playing.
As reported by RoadToVR, this new Quest and Quest 2 feature is unfortunately only compatible with Apple handsets, specifically the iPhone XR, XS, XS Max, SE (2nd gen), and the full iPhone 11, iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 ranges. So you'll have to own one of Apple's flagship phones in order to try out mixed reality casting.
There's currently no word on whether or not the feature will make its way to Android phones in future, but we certainly hope it does.
Frequent Oculus Quest users may remember a similar feature by the name of Live Overlay, which could also place an image of the player in-game, in place of the usual avatar. However, the new mixed reality casting differs in that it better integrates the player into the game – though that increased complexity is likely why the feature is only available in six games right now.
Mixed reality casting isn't the only feature added in the latest v35 update, either. It's joined by global cloud saves, a much-needed feature that will automatically backup your Oculus Quest 2 game save files. Need to uninstall Resident Evil 4 VR for something else? Worry not, as your saves will be stored in the cloud for later retrieval.
Another new arrival is the addition of voice calls to the Facebook Messenger app for Oculus Quest devices. You may not see this feature right away, though, as Meta has confirmed it'll be rolling out "over the coming weeks," so don't be surprised if the feature doesn't launch immediately alongside the new update.
Analysis: Do we need mixed reality casting?
Oculus Quest 2's new mixed reality casting feature, as you can see in the video above, isn't perfect. It's easy to spot choppy outlines around the player, made all the more apparent by a supremely kinetic game like Beat Saber.
However, the addition of the feature is a net plus, overall. Similar setups can be achieved with expensive, complex green screen setups. But we'd wager that most Oculus Quest 2 users won't have the resources (or the room) to make this a reality. Instead, having a much easier solution baked into the VR headset is a fantastic alternative.
So, who stands to gain? For one, smaller content creators who dabble in VR have a whole new feature to play with. Having a second person operating the phone camera to capture the event could lead to some pretty creative entertainment, all without having to spend a penny extra on a professional setup.
Our only real complaint would be that we'd love to see mixed reality casting apply to more Oculus Quest 2 games in future, particularly the aforementioned Resident Evil 4 VR, or other horror games like Edge of Nowhere or Dreadhalls.
Update v35 has rolled around at just the right time, too, as we've just seen some pretty good Cyber Monday Oculus Quest 2 deals go live over the past few days, meaning there's likely more than a few new adopters of the Meta VR headset.
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Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.