Update: Meta Quest Pro hands-on: The future of the metaverse is here for $1,500.
The next Meta Quest VR headset, ostensibly called the Meta Quest Pro, is due to be officially unveiled at Meta Connect on October 11. But, with just under a month to go, it seems that the headset might well have leaked in full.
A video purportedly of the headset was posted on Facebook by Zectariuz Gaming (via The Verge). The video — which we are unfortunately unable to embed below — shows off the headset from several angles, and it unsurprisingly looks a lot like the headset leaks we’ve seen in the past. These have included images from leaked setup videos, and prototypes Meta (formerly known as Facebook) has been showing off in recent months.
The video seemingly confirms that this headset is the Meta Quest Pro, a name we’ve seen pop up elsewhere in recent weeks. Likewise, it implies the headset will come with two controllers, which will lack the ring-shaped design of previous Quest controllers — though the rest of the design and button layout looks pretty similar.
The headset itself appears to be slimmer than previous Quest models, including the Meta Quest 2. Based on the video at least, the display doesn’t protrude nearly as much this time around, which could reduce some weight and make it more comfortable to wear. However, we won’t know for sure about these aspects until we can get our hands on the Quest Pro and take it for a spin ourselves.
While the seemingly slimmer profile makes the Quest Pro look a little less dorky, the front-facing cameras don’t do it any favors. It looks like there are at least three actual cameras, which will likely be used for either bringing real-world objects into a virtual space, or some kind of pass-through augmented reality functionality — possibly even both.
The former seems more in line with the company’s Metaverse ambitions, and despite the mockery it’s serious enough about its endeavors to change its name from Facebook to Meta.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has already confirmed that the Quest Pro will come with eye and facial tracking, with the goal of syncing your real-world expressions to your digital avatar in real time. It’ll be interesting to see just how much lag there is, assuming ordinary people actually want to start interacting in virtual environments, rather than through a phone screen or in person.
The downside is that rumors suggest the Meta Quest Pro is not going to be an impulse purchase. While the Quest 2’s original $299 price tag isn’t particularly low, it’s low enough that people can afford to buy the device out of curiosity — rather than for any specific purpose.
So far, rumors suggest that the Quest Pro could cost as much as $1,500, which is enough to price out everyone except for die-hard VR enthusiasts. While there are smartphones that cost this much money, they are typically the absolute top of the range. The most expensive iPhone 14 Pro Max, for instance, is $1,599, but that is the most expensive iPhone 14 and has 1TB of storage. Much cheaper options, with less storage, are on sale.
Plus, a smartphone has a tangible benefit, and most people are already sold on the benefits of having a miniature computer in their pockets at all times. VR is still in the phase where it needs to justify its existence to mass market consumers.
We’ll be hearing more about the Meta Quest Pro on October 11, when Meta Connect kicks off. Though no doubt we’ll be seeing a bunch more leaks and rumors in the coming weeks, all of which we'll round up in our Meta Quest Pro hub.