It seems that the last week of August is the ideal week for announcing new VR headset launches. Just days after Sony teased the early 2023 launch of its much anticipated PSVR 2, Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has revealed plans to release its new headset in October.
Oddly, the news was announced on the Joe Rogan podcast on Spotify, and the official launch looks like it’ll coincide with the Meta Connect conference.
Last year, a new high-end VR headset was discussed at the Connect conference called ‘Project Cambria’. All signs indicate that October’s VR launch will be the final version of this prototype.
So, what do we know about this new headset? Here’s the lowdown on Meta’s next step in its metaverse plans.
The Meta Quest Pro?
Last month, a Bloomberg report revealed that Meta’s next headset might be called “Meta Quest Pro”. This information was gleaned from code on Meta’s VR iPhone app; however, there has been no official comment from anyone at Meta to either confirm or deny this.
Of course, this might all mean nothing at all, and elsewhere there is speculation that Project Cambria will simply be named ‘Meta Quest 3’.
Regardless of its name, the big question is, what can we expect from it?
On Rogan’s podcast, Zuckerberg confirmed that the new headset would focus on social presence and use a range of new features, including eye-tracking and face-tracking. Zuckerberg talked about how the headset can capture users’ facial expressions and replicate them in real time on avatars. The use of facial expressions on avatars will aid non-verbal communication.
Even though we’re some time away from Meta’s proposed AR glasses, the new headset will, however, make use of mixed reality.
Meta’s Metaverse Goals
The new Meta VR headset is the first to launch since the company rebranded from Facebook last year. This is significant because Meta is on a journey toward becoming a metaverse company, and the hardware they release now will either help the world buy into Zuckerberg’s vision, or add to scepticism of what could be tech’s biggest folly.
With increasing losses racking up in Meta’s VR department, Zuckerberg and co will no doubt be hoping to turn their fortunes around after the new headset reaches the market.
Zuckerberg stringently claims that the new headsets the company is working towards will unlock the feeling of being with another person. The Meta Quest Pro, as it might be called, may help us see this possibility.
How Much Will the New Meta VR Headset Cost?
At the moment, there’s no price information available. However, it’s only been a matter of weeks since Meta increased the price tag for its Oculus 2 headsets by £100.
The new headsets are described as a big step up from the company’s previous offering, so they’ll likely cost significantly more than £400, with some suggesting they’ll retail at as much as $800 or even $1,000.
In the current economic climate, will such a high-ticket product be a commercial success? Let’s see what happens when the headset launches in October.