The Oculus Quest Pro: Release Date, Price, & Other News Leaks
We've reached a new era of virtual reality — one in which VR headsets are more accessible than ever. VR now represents mainstream entertainment, thanks in large part to Facebook's exploits with Oculus. Change is afoot, however, as the company takes on its new status as Meta.
The evolving VR experience will play a huge role in this transformation. Get ready to see Oculus products take over in a whole new way.
When Facebook purchased Oculus back in 2014, gaming fans were initially skeptical of the social media giants' plans for the device. Thankfully, the fruits of Facebooks' labors have been plentiful, beginning with the Oculus Rift and continuing with the Oculus Quest. Despite heavy competition from the likes of Sony, HTC, and Valve, Oculus continues to command respect for producing the best VR headsets. If Facebook has any say, this is only the beginning.
The next leap in VR technology will be aided by a high-end headset: the Oculus Quest Pro. Focused on providing a mixed reality experience, this will serve as a significant upgrade compared to the Oculus Quest 2. Details remain murky at this point, but we provide insight into this upcoming VR wunderkind below:
Pinning down the release date for unannounced hardware can be tricky. Thankfully, intrepid reporters and anonymous leakers usually manage to get their hands on these details before the devices are even unveiled to the public. This is the case with the Oculus Quest Pro, which is currently codenamed Project Cambria.
XR hardware analyst Brad Lynch dropped a bombshell on Twitter in early January, speculating that the new device will be available in stores in Q2 2022. This was met with some skepticism. After all, an April, May, or even June release seems optimistic for a headset that still hasn't seen the light of day. That being said, Facebook is no stranger to announcing a new piece of hardware and then releasing it soon after.
For example, the Oculus Quest 2 was announced in September of 2020 and released just a few weeks later. The Q2 release window is typically a dry period for new tech, which would give the Oculus Quest Pro a leg up in a hypercompetitive market.
Project Cambria 2 and Other Rumored Models
Recent news shows that Meta plans to release four new VR headsets in the next two years.
Project Cambria, the higher-end Meta Quest Pro model that we've been talking about, is expected to be released in September 2022 for about $799
Another VR headset codenamed Funston, is believed to be an updated version of Cambria, which is estimated for 2024
And there are two other headsets in development, but nothing is known about the specs for these models yet. Codename Stinson is rumored for 2023 and codename Cardiff is rumored for 2024.
When speculating on the price of a new VR headset, it's often necessary to look to the past to make a prediction for the future. This might be relevant with the aforementioned Oculus Quest 2, which hit stores at $299 for the base model and $399 for the unit with larger storage. The Oculus Quest Pro might not follow this pricing pattern, however.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is on record stating that the new device is a premium product and, as a result, will "be at the higher end of the price spectrum." Just how high is anyone's guess, but most peg the device as being in the $600-800 range.
Another piece of juicy information hails from analyst Brad Lynch's tweet concerned the Oculus Quest Pro utilizing Mini LED screens. While it's still hotly debated whether Mini LED is a superior technology to OLED, there is no question as to whether would be a big improvement from the screens currently used in modern Oculus hardware. The new lens system is said to utilize pancake optics, thereby enabling a lean headset.
The processor and internal guts that will power the Oculus Quest Pro aren't clear as of now — but if it's going to be a premium product at a hefty cost, there's no doubt the tech powering the device will be cutting-edge.
Another seemingly far-flung possibility? Facial tracking sensors. These would be used to accurately convey users' facial expressions and, in turn, their emotions while in the Metaverse or in other online games. Gone are the days of escaping the real world and blowing off steam in a game; now friend and foe alike will know exactly how players are feeling, for better or worse.
Speculation also has it that Oculus Quest Pro's improved Mini LED screens could come with a 144hz refresh rate. This is crucial for maintaining the frame rate and immersion necessary to limit motion sickness or take the user out of the illusion of VR.
Keep in mind that the Oculus Quest Pro will be an all-in-one headset, free from the constraints of a connected PC — but also unable to get any rendering help from an outside source. It will be powerful, but there's only so much a standalone headset can accomplish.
How Does It Compare to Other VR Devices?
When considering whether a future Oculus device will be worth the increased cost, it helps to get a sense of the competition. The following are a few of the main alternatives to the Oculus Quest Pro:
- Oculus Quest 2. The next generation of Oculus headset will share plenty in common with its predecessors, such as build fit and quality. The interface may also be similar.
- HTC Vive. From a pricing perspective, expect the new Oculus Quest 2 to be very competitive with the $799 Vive. To get an edge, it will need to achieve the stunning visuals for which the HTC Vive is so highly praised.
- Valve Index. The Oculus Quest Pro won't require the base stations that make Valve's Index VR headset so effective, yet prohibitively expensive for some users.
- PlayStation VR 2. Powered by the PlayStation 5, PSVR 2 could be the biggest threat to Oculus and its VR gaming crown, given the immense popularity of the PlayStation 5 itself.
Meta Connect 2021 Announcement and Facebook Rebrand
Facebook ended the Connect 2021 presentation with a bombshell: the company will now be known as Meta. This branding will also extend to Oculus — a name that will be phased out and replaced with Meta. It's entirely possible that the first new device to hit store shelves with the Meta branding will be the Oculus Quest Pro. It might not seem advisable to drop such a respected moniker, but Facebook appears to be all-in on this transformation.
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