Priced at $1,500, Meta’s new Quest Pro headphones may have put a lot of people off. It’s not designed or marketed for gamers, leaving VR’s largest demographic wondering when it will be their turn for new hardware. However, fans of virtual reality games may not expect much more.
Speaking during Meta’s third-quarter earnings call, the company’s CFO Dave Wehner confirmed that a new “consumer Quest headset,” likely the Quest 3, will hit shelves “late next year.” . Unlike the latest Meta hardware, a Quest 2 sequel is expected to be built around an affordable price point, likely at a similar retail price as the Quest 2. Mark Zuckerberg has previously thrown out figures between $300 and $500, which is great for sales volume, but can limit what the hardware can do.
Pancake lenses, which allow for a much smaller headset, are present on the Quest Pro. They are also very likely to be present on any sequel to the Quest 2, particularly as Meta’s rivals Pico have managed to put the high-end lenses in its direct competitor of the Quest. A new chip, replacing the Quest 2’s Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1, is another likely feature.
Eye and face tracking are other Quest Pro features that could trickle down to Quest 3. While face tracking has applications in social apps and could be a cornerstone of Meta’s plans for the Metaverse, eye tracking is more important. It allows for something called “fove rendering,” which means the device only has to render the area you’re currently viewing in great detail. The process can help overcome processor and display limitations, allowing a device to punch above its weight.
Details on Quest 3 are currently scant, but if previous releases are anything to go by, you can expect a series of leaks, a big announcement at next year’s Connect, and a full release around this time next year.
Source: Meta via Engadget