Meta’s next-generation VR headset is coming in October, and it’s almost certain to be called the Quest Pro, a new type of head-mounted display from the world’s most popular virtual reality hardware manufacturer.
Several previews have been shared by Meta, so we know roughly what to expect, but thanks to an active rumor mill and plenty of recent leaks, even more information has come out about the next big thing in VR.
Quest Pro release date and price
Mark Zuckerberg revealed on the Joe Rogan podcast that the Project Cambria headset was coming in October, which aligns perfectly with the Meta Connect event that’s scheduled for October 11. That means there are only a few weeks left to decide whether this might be a headset worth buying or if your money is better saved for what’s coming in 2023.
Meta hasn’t shared the exact price of the Quest Pro but after rumors circulated about a cost of just $799, an official statement was made to UploadVR to clear the air. The news broke that the Project Cambria VR headset would cost significantly more than $800. The final price still isn’t known, but some estimates might help to narrow it down to a reasonably accurate range.
Meta Connect, Oct. 11. Don’t sleep on this one https://t.co/jF1Z5tzhMU
— Boz (@boztank) September 6, 2022
The bill of materials (BOM) of the Quest 2 has been estimated to be at least $300, the same as the price of the headset — which is to say, Meta probably made very little on sales of that product. The price recently went up $100, apparently to start earning back some money on the huge investment it has made in VR hardware and software.
The price of the Meta Quest Pro will probably be subsidized as well, and there’s an excellent chance that Meta hardware will continue to provide the best value for your money even if you choose its most expensive VR headset.
Rumors suggest the Quest Pro’s BOM is around $800, which might be how the $799 rumor began. Since Meta added $100 to the estimated cost of the Quest 2, it might be reasonable to expect $200 to be added to the Quest Pro’s cost, making it about $1,000. Other rumors suggest $1,500 or more. It’s safe to assume that this will be an expensive device meant for people that are serious about VR.
Will it really be called the Meta Quest Pro?
There are very good reasons to believe that Meta’s next-generation VR headset product will be called the Meta Quest Pro.
In April of 2022, Ming-Chi Kuo, the famed Apple analyst that often leaks information about the upcoming iPhone and Mac, shared some information about a new version of the Meta Quest. Kuo predicted that this more advanced VR headset would be called the Quest 2 Pro instead of a Quest 3.
At that time, it wasn’t clear whether the rumored Quest 2 Pro would be the Project Cambria headset that Meta teased or something else. More recently, a prerelease version of a Meta headset was found in a hotel room, and the packaging showed the name “Quest Pro,” almost guaranteeing that this is the product Meta will announce at Meta Connect.
Quest Pro photos leaked
Meta has shared teasers of Project Cambria and other advanced VR headsets every few months since last year’s Facebook Connect event. The latest leak goes quite a bit further, showing the sleek Meta Quest Pro itself, its ringless controllers, and even the product packaging.
This is quite a change from the bulky headsets we’ve become accustomed to. If the Quest Pro head strap is comfortable, and there’s no reason to think otherwise, the new design should allow extended use.
Beyond a slimmer front screen design, the sides appear to be much more open, allowing for a more realistic mixed reality experience. Since that is a priority for productivity, it makes sense to build the headset this way. There could be concerns about light leaking in and spoiling the VR immersion, but there is a good chance that a removable interface will be included to block ambient light if desired.
The new controllers also look much less obtrusive, losing the ring that was necessary for the original Quest VR headset and the Quest 2. Overall, it’s an impressive-looking system. Unfortunately, the leak didn’t show the Quest Pro in use, but merely the contents of the product box.
Quest Pro specifications
Meta has shared a few details about advanced capabilities that its Project Cambria headset will be capable of, such as eye and face tracking. That means your Meta avatar could react when you do, in theory. Whether you’re smiling, talking, or looking at someone, other people in VR, face tracking means you’d be able to see similar reactions and movements of your avatar. This is could be possible with the use of many more cameras and sensors that are expected to be embedded in the Quest Pro headset.
Eye tracking also enables a new way to interact with an environment and the ability to look at a virtual object or control might someday outperform the reigning king of pointing, the computer mouse. Imagine being able to look at a text box and begin typing inside without moving a pointer and clicking.
The Quest Pro is also rumored to have a color passthrough camera with higher resolution, allowing a much improved mixed reality experience. Improved external cameras will provide a higher resolution, full-color view of what’s happening outside the headset, reducing the physical isolation from your local environment.
VR analyst Brad Lynch claims to have seen the Quest Pro and shared CAD renders and detailed predictions about the device’s hardware on Twitter. The CAD renders are a match for the prerelease Quest Pro that was recently found in a hotel room, suggesting Lynch received some insider information, as Lynch highlighted in a recent tweet.
— Brad Lynch (@SadlyItsBradley) September 12, 2022
Lynch suggests that the Quest Pro will be based on a custom variation of Qualcomm‘s Snapdragon XR2, as well as having a generous 12GB of memory, Wi-Fi 6E, and a large 5,000 mAh battery capacity. The enhanced XR2 is expected to offer significantly improved performance due to a larger thermal capacity that allows an increased clock rate, along with an improved memory implementation. Qualcomm recently announced a multi-year partnership with Meta to design new XR chips, and it seems like the Quest Pro will be the first device to benefit from this collaboration.
Lynch’s predictions about the improved Quest Pro display include higher resolution at 2160 x 2160 pixels per eye, Quantum Dot technology providing better color fidelity, and MiniLED backlighting for greater contrast and brightness. Meta has already described improved optics using what’s known as pancake lenses that are thinner and have a larger sweet spot of maximum clarity.
Is the Quest Pro for work or gaming?
Meta has made it clear that the Quest Pro is being designed for professionals and work life in mind. The Quest Pro is meant to be a work device that can be used like a laptop with special attention given to attending meetings in VR.
Meta’s Chief Technology Officer Brian Bosworth recently hosted an ask me anything on Instagram and shared additional details about Meta’s next-gen VR headset. A theme echoed throughout every Meta teaser has been that Cambria is meant to be a productivity device, not just one for content consumption.
With so much focus on professional use and business meetings, you might be getting the idea that the Quest Pro won’t be good for gaming; however, Meta has said that it will be compatible with Quest 2 games and apps.
Meta’s upcoming VR headset is expected to feature a sharper and brighter screen with a refresh rate that’s at least as high as the Quest 2’s 120Hz. The Quest Pro is also expected to have a significantly faster processor.
All of the things that make a VR headset into a better computer for metaverse activities, also provide benefits to gaming. That means the same Quest Pro that you wear for work should be used for gaming after hours or on your break.
Is Quest Pro meant to replace a laptop?
Unfortunately, the Quest Pro probably won’t be capable of replacing your laptop entirely. Meta CTO Brian Bosworth’s ask me anything (AMA) explained that long-term comfort when wearing even the best VR headset varies from person to person.
There are plenty of people that feel comfortable wearing a Quest 2 for several hours each day, even when writing code, which requires a large amount of typing with high accuracy while paging through multiple virtual screens of text.
The Quest Pro should have major improvements to size, weight, battery life, render quality, as well as make mixed reality typing on a physical keyboard easier. This will certainly extend the amount of time that you can spend in VR, but probably won’t be enough to make the Quest Pro a perfect solution for everyone. You should hang onto your laptop even if you buy a Quest Pro so you can take breaks from VR throughout the day.
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