Meta, the social media giant, appears to be parting ways with its flagship VR headset, the Quest Pro. The high-end mixed-reality device, launched with great anticipation in October of the previous year, failed to meet expectations within the mixed-reality community. Its heavy weight, uncomfortable fit, and lackluster software drew criticism, while the steep $1,500 price tag deterred potential buyers, leading to a subsequent reduction to $1,000.
Recent reports indicate that Meta has ceased ordering new components for the Quest Pro and has no plans for a second-generation model. The company reportedly notified its suppliers earlier this year that they won’t be requiring any more parts for the device. Goertek, the manufacturer responsible for producing the headsets, will continue production only until the existing supplies run out.
In light of these developments, Meta seems to be shifting its focus towards more affordable headsets. The upcoming Quest 3, set to launch in the coming fall, is said to offer a superior XR (extended reality) experience compared to the Quest Pro. With a higher resolution and the inclusion of a depth sensor, the Quest 3 aims to impress VR enthusiasts seeking immersive experiences without the premium price.
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While the discontinuation of the Quest Pro is evident, Meta is not completely abandoning the VR/AR (virtual reality/augmented reality) domain. The company is actively working on its first-ever AR headset, codenamed Artemis, scheduled for release in 2027. However, there have been adjustments to the original plans. Instead of using advanced microLED panels, Meta will opt for older LCoS (liquid crystal on silicon) technology for the display, resulting in slightly lower contrast and brightness compared to competitors like Apple’s Vision Pro, which boasts a high-end screen.
Another alteration in the Artemis’s specifications is its field of view (FOV). Initially envisioned to have a 70-degree FOV, recent reports suggest that the AR headset will have a 50-degree FOV, potentially impacting the overall user experience.
As for Meta’s long-term vision for the premium VR/AR market, uncertainty looms. The success of Apple’s Vision Pro could potentially influence Meta’s decision to re-enter the high-end hardware development arena. Until then, the focus remains on refining affordable VR offerings and shaping the future of immersive technologies.
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