As the new branding for Oculus takes hold, we're now watching carefully for anything and everything Meta Quest Pro, especially when its release date could be.
The Meta Quest Pro is assumed to be on the way, but not confirmed as of yet. It should also be noted that the name given to this potential release is also not confirmed, in much the same way as many refer to the next Oculus release as simply, Oculus or Meta Quest 3.
Interestingly though, we may know more about this Meta Quest Pro than we thought...
Meta Quest Pro Release Date Speculation
At the moment, there is a bit of debate going on as to what the Meta Quest Pro is... namely if it's actually Project Cambria.
However, a tweet from Ming-Chi Kuo has suggested that Meta's upcoming headset will be released in the second half of 2022 and will likely be called the Oculus Quest 2 Pro.
Mark Gurman's latest newsletter has also backed this up, suggesting that the next headset to be released from Meta will likely be called the Quest Pro.
In terms of a release date, according to a report from May via The Information, Meta has a roadmap to release four new products by the end of 2024.
Zuckerberg himself, speaking on the Joe Rogan show but not referring to the headset by name, has said that the Meta's next VR headset is around the corner and will arrive in October.
This makes sense, as it aligns with Facebook Connect, where Project Cambria was announced last year.
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While we have some idea of Project Cambria's specs, perhaps the most interesting is its inclusion of pancake lenses and the fact your facial expressions will be mimicked by the headset's included sensors, which will be handy for metaverse interaction.
Pancake lenses look to be becoming an exciting feature of a couple of headsets including Arpara's crowdfunded 5K Micro OLED VR headset, which could suggest big things are on the way for VR displays in a more general sense, especially if the metaverse does take hold, and also Apple's AR Headset looks likely to use them (via MacRumors)
A leak courtesy of Brad Lynch has suggested the Quest Pro will utilise Mini LED panels with these pancake lenses.
Moreover, its controllers are said to be lighter, and will reportedly ditch the tracking ring from previous Oculus headset generations in favour of using cameras to track the position of your controller.
In addition, the OS it could use looks to be a reworked version of Android as, according to The Information, Meta has shelved plans for a new AR and VR operating system that supposedly was years into development and involved hundreds of employees for headsets and AR glasses, which sounded interesting.
This contrasts Apple, whose AR Headset, according to several leaks, may be running its own operating system, rOS - references to it have now been found in the App Store source code, suggesting that headset may not be too far away.
When it comes to design, we even saw a number of 3D renderings, that give us a sense of what the more streamlined Project Cambria could be.
In addition, the headset (under its production name of Seacliff) has reportedly been spotted in a dev version of the Oculus App, suggesting a release may be not too far away if the headset is being added for developers.
Intriguingly, there's been no new references to 'Seacliff' found in the upcoming Quest v38 update code though according to data miners, but reference to 'Seabright', which is supposedly a uLED variant of Project Cambria, which is rather interesting as the only headset that has been suggested to have uLED panels is the Meta Quest 3.
This could suggest there are two different versions of Cambria or the Quest Pro being developed at the same time and when it comes to releasing them, we may see both launch together, or Meta may choose to favour one variant over the other.
With this, it would make the Quest Pro the first of that new sect of VR headsets to launch under Meta's stewardship, and it could also be the case that this headset will utilise the brand's own silicon like the Meta Quest 3 is somewhat expected to.
This would allow Meta to tailor their VR experience to the constraints of their processor, which could help to optimise the metaverse and allow them to build things completely under their own steam.
We do know, according to another tweet from analyst Brad Lynch that Chinese firm Goertek will be in charge of the mass production of Project Cambria.
Goertek will also be producing components for Apple's AR Headset and in charge of PSVR 2's mass production, too, which suggests all three brands are lining up for a release date that may only be a handful of months away, although it may not be wrong to assume there could be delays, which could push this release date back.
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It looks like the Meta Quest Pro won't be alone at the top of the VR and AR headset space as Apple is supposedly gearing up to announce their own AR headset in 2023, following reports of some delays.
Apple's headset looks to be quite a powerful all-in-one device in itself, so for the Quest Pro to compete, it'll need to be able to match Apple's beefy suspected spec sheet, for starters.
This means it'll need to be light and also look the part if recent concept renders for Apple's headset are to be believed, have high levels of computing power to provide a brilliant AR and VR experience, and feature support for WiFi 6 to take advantage of quicker network speeds and lower latency, amongst having a host of other clever features.
Intriguingly, the leaked sales figures predictions for both headsets look to be rather similar with the Quest Pro/Cambria anticipated to shift 3 million units, whilst Apple expects to sell three million of their AR Headset in its first year, according to Ming-Chi Kuo (via GSMArena).
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In addition, if the Quest Pro is released when we expect it to be, there may also be another big player to join both Meta and Apple as Google is reportedly developing its own AR headset with a projected release date of 2024, and may add some more competition, especially from big tech firms.
Meta has also already primitively laid sketches of what the metaverse could look like with the launch of their Horizon Worlds game which looks to be having more features added as the days go by, and it is possible that the Quest Pro could be a vital organ from which people can access the metaverse and harness the headset's power for social interaction.
With regards to Horizon Worlds, the game has reportedly reached over 300,000 users since its launch, and this could be key in setting the wheels in motion for further development.
Speaking of harnessing the headset's power for social interaction, in a March 2021 interview with The Information, Mark Zuckerberg noted that he wanted to bring both face and eye-tracking to the next generation of Quest headsets, and this would be a great addition to the Quest Pro.
September's announcement of a partnership between Meta and Qualcomm, sees the companies renew their acquaintance, in order to 'collaborate on customised VR chipsets powered by Snapdragon XR platforms and technology for our future roadmap of Quest products' claimed Zuckerberg.
A recent facebook post by Mark Zuckerberg seemed to indicate that we could be seeing the Meta Quest Pro make an appearance on October 11th, at Meta Connect.
But Is Project Cambria The Meta Quest Pro?
At this point, it's hard to say, but Mark Zuckerberg himself has said that "This isn't the next Quest", although "it's going to be compatible with Quest,".
If we take this literally, that means that Project Cambria will not be the Meta Quest Pro, but since it'll be compatible with Quest and be a higher-end product we can't help but think that it will 'feel' like a Meta Quest Pro.
We'll keep a close eye on any more announcements.
Meta Quest Pro Price
Of course, there are no official prices revealed just yet, but it's worth mentioning that the Oculus Quest 2 does typically retail at $299.
As the Quest Pro is touted to be a lot more powerful than current Oculus headsets, recent reports have suggested that the new headset may cost around $1,500.
This would exceed the existing pricing of higher-end headsets like the Valve Index and HTC Vive Pro 2, and therefore cement the Meta Quest Pro as a properly decent bit of kit, providing the specs can back it up which it does look to be doing, given what we know so far.
In addition, this would allow the Quest Pro to cement itself ahead of the release of other more gaming-oriented headsets including the Valve Index 2, which is rumoured to be coming our way in 2023 or later.
The head of Facebook Reality Labs, Andrew Bosworth, in a recent Instagram AMA, called out a question mentioning the Quest Pro releasing with a $600 price tag.
Whilst he didn't respond to the question at all, if the $600 pricing does come to fruition, it would make the Quest Pro quite the appealing option as it would undercut existing premium headsets from HTC and Valve, amongst others.
It is also possible that the Quest Pro could even stack up against Apple's AR Headset with its $1000-3000 expected price tag and ludicrous power as an all-in-one headset.
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Ming-Chi Kuo (via The Verge) has said Apple expects to sell 3 million units of its headset in 2023 with 8-10 million the year after, and 15-20 million units in 2025.
With this information, Meta's pricing could undercut Apple's so they could sell even more if the Apple AR Headset is perceived as being its primary competition.
The recently announced Pico 4, will aim to compete with the Meta Quest Pro, and looks to be retailing for around $450. An October release will put it directly in the firing line, and it could offer a great all-round budget VR alternative.
In addition, Meta will also have to be receptive to the world of smart glasses which is looking to include some formidable competition from the likes of Oppo and Lenovo, and in the future, Google and indeed Apple with the Apple Glasses, alongside lighter headsets such as MeganeX and Magic Leap 2.
These could also affect the pricing strategy of the Quest Pro, and also any future headsets the brand makes, and it may even be the case that Meta may decide to enter into the world of smart glasses.
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The pricing strategy Meta will utilise also depends on the way in which they see the headset and in addition the way it is marketed.
If it is a bona fide gaming headset then it may be a higher priced item than if it were more of a lifestyle device, and considering it is going to be a vital part of accessing the metaverse, it will need an egalitarian price point so as many people can access the virtual world as possible.
The pricing of the Quest Pro is going to be key in realising both its successes in terms of sales and uptake, and if the price is at a point that most can afford, then the metaverse could take off in the way that Meta has suggested.
Will There Be A Meta Quest Pro?
A report by the Independent, covering a supposed leaked Tweet, appears to show the design and packaging of the upcoming Meta Quest Pro, as unboxed by a hotel worker. This would appear the confirm the Quest Pro ahead of October's scheduled Meta Connect announcement.
The discontinuing of the long-running Rift line opens up a gap in the product line-up for a more powerful VR gaming headset to enter the fray, so having a Meta Quest Pro headset will help in filling the void, whilst the Quest 3 will fill some of the gap left by the Oculus Go to go with the Quest 2.
In addition, we do see a pattern amongst practically all technologies whereby there are standard and pro models. Take the iPhone, Google Pixel, and PS4 with the PS4 Pro for example - all of which have their pro versions that boast better performance at a higher price point.
The extent to which the Quest Pro could be more powerful than the Quest 3 or even the Quest 2 is unknown, but the fact it is being touted as such a high-end device does suggest promising things for Oculus/Meta to further cement themselves at the top of the best VR headsets tree.
We think it's likely we'll see a Meta Quest Pro, but when exactly is still very much a mystery.