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Oculus Quest: Meta’s Soon-to-be Newest Headset

🗣 Meta Platforms’ upcoming virtual reality (VR) headset will debut in October near its annual Connect event, Company Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg told Joe Rogan in a podcast last month.

At the Joe Rogan Experience, the executive said the new VR headset would host numerous updates and features to boost the device’s “social presence” capabilities. Additional functionalities include novel face and eye tracking for real-time control of avatars.

“There’s more nonverbal communication when people are with each other than verbal communication,” he said, referencing Project Cambria while not mentioning the headset’s name.

Following Meta’s massive reveal of the Cambria headset at the 2021 Connect event, numerous updates on the device and its capabilities have surfaced across the internet. According to reports, the device will also include a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 processor, pancake lenses, 2160×2160 resolution per eye, 90 Hz refresh rates, dynamic foveated rendering, 12 GB of LPDDR5 RAM, 256GB storage, and six degrees of freedom (6DoF).

In May, Zuckerberg teased followers with a video on his Facebook profile with him wearing a blurred Cambria headset, which unveiled updated Presence Platform tools, high-resolution outward-facing sensors, and other innovations.

In November last year, Twitter users leaked several artist renderings of the headset on social media, triggering discussion on the device’s potential capabilities. The renderings were released just a month after Meta’s rebranding at the Connect Event last year, where Zuckerberg teased details of its Project Cambria and Nazare devices powered by VR and augmented reality (AR), respectively.

👀 Let’s see what we know so far.

🗣 The Oculus Quest 2 is a great VR headset, offering impressive standalone performance and a suite of apps and games ready to download and play, but that doesn’t mean Meta isn’t working on the next big thing. While we expected Meta to reveal the Quest 2 Pro at the Connect 2021 event, what we got instead was a teaser for “the next Quest” – a premium VR headset codenamed ‘Project Cambria’, due sometime this year.

At the event, Mark Zuckerberg made it clear that ‘Project Cambria’ is a premium product. While he called it “the next Quest” and said that it would be compatible with Quest, he emphasized that it was a “completely new, advanced, and high-end product” that will be at “the higher end of the price spectrum”.

That said, Zuck did say that Meta plans on building out the product line and releasing the most advanced VR developments through the proposed top-end gear before those advancements can eventually trickle to entry-level Quest prices.

Here’s everything there is to know about the upcoming Quest Pro headset right now, including release date and pricing rumors, and what to expect.

🗣 Andrew Bosworth, the VP of Augmented and Virtual Reality at Meta, said “Quest Pro, huh? Interesting” and winked when replying to a question about a more powerful model of the Quest 2 in an Instagram AMA back in 2021, teasing the idea that Meta was working on something behind closed doors.

That was confirmed at Facebook Connect 2021 when Mark Zuckerberg revealed Project Cambria, the high-end headset that many unofficially dubbed the Quest Pro, suggesting a release could be on the cards for 2022.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo initially predicted a “new Oculus Quest” in 2H2022. That claim was reiterated in a late June 2022 tweet, with claims that the high-end headset will begin mass production in Q3 2022 ahead of a launch sometime in the second half of 2022, with the aim of shipping around 2 million headsets this year.

Interestingly, Meta recently pushed out a public test version of its upcoming v43 update that also hints at the new Quest’s imminent arrival. Reddit users noticed that, after installing the v43 beta update, they were prompted to give permission for the headset to track their eyes and facial expression. These are features that are irrelevant on the Quest 2, but they are wholly relevant – and a huge focus – of the rumored Quest Pro, suggesting Meta is pretty far along in the development process and just about ready to launch.

🗣 This one’s a little harder to predict right now. The Oculus Quest 2 comes in at £299/$299, which is an impressive price for any VR headset, let alone one that doesn’t need a gaming PC to work.

The Pro version, quite obviously, would cost more than that, but there’s no word on how much it might cost. Mark Zuckerberg himself described the upcoming headset as “advanced and high-end” at Facebook Connect 2021 with features including real-time face tracking, suggesting a much higher price point than the entry-level Quest. We’d expect something close to the £699/$699 mark if Meta is aiming for mass-market adoption, and rumors back up the prediction.

Though much more expensive than the Quest 2, comparisons between Project Cambria and a Chromebook suggest Meta is looking at this more as a ‘laptop for your face’ than a standard VR headset.

  • More processing power
  • Redesigned form factor
  • Redesigned controllers
  • Face- and eye-tracking
  • Improved lens system

Mark Zuckerberg gave us our first look at the high-end VR headset, dubbed Project Cambria internally, at Facebook Connect 2021. With a focus on blending the real and virtual worlds with mixed reality, face and eye-tracking, and a high-end VR experience, it’s set to be an exciting one.

That’s all we know officially, but what about leaks and rumors? There have been plenty of those…

👉 Power and display

The Oculus Quest 2 isn’t lacking in the power department by any means, sporting Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2 platform paired with 6GB of RAM and either 128GB or 256GB of storage, but the ‘Pro’ moniker of the upcoming model suggests that the Pro model will be even more capable in the processing department.

The issue is that Qualcomm is yet to release a successor to the Snapdragon XR2, which means Meta may need to design its own chipset if it wants more processing power from the upcoming headset.

👉 New lens system

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, famed for his Apple product announcements, suggested in a June 2021 note to investors that Meta and Sony have both ordered large quantities of new VR lenses for 2022. Though no detail was given on what the new lenses could offer, they could bring benefits to the FOV.

At the Facebook Connect 2021 event, Facebook’s Head of VR Devices Angela Chang said the new Project Cambria headset would use “pancake optics” to fold lights multiple times over into the lens. The process would help with creating compact lenses, helping keep the headset lean.

👉 Improved tracking

The Quest 2 does a great job at hand tracking, but the upcoming headset looks to take that to another level. Meta has already confirmed that hand tracking will be available, but rumors suggest there will be a plethora of new trackers dedicated to tracking various parts of your body.

Rumors suggest that the Project Cambria headset will be able to track your eyes and facial expressions for a more realistic avatar experience, with leg and torso tracking also said to be on the way.

👉 Improved controllers

There will likely be improvements to the controllers too. While the current controllers are well designed and offer decent vibrational feedback, enhanced haptics like those available on the PS5’s DualSense controllers would vastly improve the overall experience.

However, leaks suggest a more dramatic change could be in the works. Reddit user Samulia posted a series of low-res images of what was claimed to be new Oculus Touch controllers in late September 2021.

Given there are several separate leaks that all point towards a new controller, an Oculus Touch controller redesign is looking more and more likely – though the usual grain of salt should be applied.

Now that we’ve told you all about them, let’s hear from you! What would you like to see from the Meta Quest Pro? Tell us in the comments! 👇

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