If you’ve been disappointed by the Meta Quest Pro’s visuals when using it for PCVR then you’ll likely want to download the headset’s next software update, as it should greatly improve your experience.
One of the biggest updates to the Quest Pro compared with the Oculus Quest 2 is its improved display. As we highlighted in our Meta Quest Pro review, its miniLED LCD panels offer 37% more pixels per inch, 10% more pixels per degree, and 75% better contrast than the Quest 2’s – with the contrast improvement afforded by an effect called local dimming.
However, local dimming has been an opt-in feature, so developers have to enable it for their Quest Store applications. This opt-in system has meant that PCVR software – which Quest Pro owners can access by using a Link Cable or Air Link – is unable to take advantage of the Quest Pro display’s improved contrast. Thankfully, that looks set to change in system update V51.
According to users in Meta’s Public Test Channel Beta, the next update will turn local dimming on by default for Link and Air Link titles (via UploadVR (opens in new tab)), finally allowing PCVR games to look as good as they can on your souped-up Quest headset.
Local dimming, and what it means for VR
Local dimming is an effect used by LCD and QLED displays to help them better mimic the light and dark contrast offered by OLED panels.
OLED panels can produce incredible contrast because every pixel can be turned on and off independently. LCD panels on the other hand use a backlight, so even if an LED is switched off it’ll still provide some light – meaning you can’t achieve true blacks. In VR this constant light can ruin the immersion of scenes set at night or in a space that’s meant to be dark and gloomy.
This is where local dimming comes in. Rather than using one big backlight, the Quest Pro can use hundreds of small LED backlights which can be individually adjusted to provide more or less light depending on what’s required for the scene. These local dimming zones allow LCD panels to better mimic the contrast of OLEDs, while also maintaining the advantages of LCD – namely that colors appear brighter and more vibrant than those produced by OLEDs.
Unfortunately to take advantage of the Meta Quest Pro’s improved PCVR visuals you’ll likely have to wait for the full V51 update to release. The Public Test Channel is capped at a certain number of users, and there’s no waiting list – so joining the beta requires a lot of luck. It shouldn’t take long for V51 to roll out to everyone though, typically it takes only a month or so for beta updates to be finalized.
Looking for something to play while you wait for the next Quest Pro update? Check out the best Oculus Quest 2 games you can play on the upgraded hardware today.