Beat Saber saved the Oculus Quest, says Facebook
The rhythm-based VR game was more influential than you may have thought…
The widely successful rhythm title Beat Saber was responsible for the Oculus Quest’s success, according to a blog post from Facebook.
However, it’s not for the reason you may think.
In a post entitled ‘Five Years of VR: An Oral History from Oculus Rift to Quest 2’, several Oculus developers detailed how Beat Saber made them rethink the Quest’s controller tracking.
How Beat Saber saved the Oculus Quest
“Quest would have failed without Beat Saber,” said Sean Liu, the Director of Product Management at Oculus.
When the team tested Beat Saber on the Oculus Quest, it exposed flaws in the tracking system.
“The tracking seemed very good until you tried to play Beat Saber on Expert+ difficulty,” said Oculus’ Director of Content Ecosystem Chris Pruett. “If you were good enough to play on Expert+ you’d find that although you had the skill, you couldn’t get the score.”
Fixing the tracking with Beat Saber
Once Oculus discovered the issues using Beat Saber, they then used the game to fix the problems.
“We actually invented a KPI for the tracking team based on Beat Saber scoring,” said Chris Pruett.
The Engineering Director for Input Explorations Jenny Spurlock explained this further, commenting: “I would play songs in Beat Saber and record the data and look at the gap between Rift S and Quest to see what was going on.”
READ MORE: Which VR consoles can play Doom 3?
Beat Saber’s wider influence
Aside from the tracking changes, Beat Saber’s impact on VR goes further.
Having sold over 4 million copies, Beat Games’ rhythm game is one of the most successful VR titles available. For many VR players, Beat Saber was the entry point into the platform, or even the sole reason for buying a VR headset.
In describing why Beat Saber was so successful, Jaroslav Beck said: “What I’ve seen since the very beginning is that you instantly get it. You understand what’s going on two seconds after seeing it.”
“When you see Beat Saber videos, some of those people look like superheroes playing the game. Maybe that’s why it went viral when we released that first trailer,” commented Ján Ilavský, the Head of Development at Beat Games. “People were like, “Oh my God, what is this?””
READ MORE: Best VR headsets 2021: The top VR gaming systems to get you started