After months of teasing, it’s time for Meta to introduce its high-end virtual reality headset. Mark Zuckerberg will open Meta Connect 2022 with a keynote presentation sharing updates on his company’s work on their various metaverse projects. Expect updates on Horizon Worlds and Horizon Workrooms — its apps for fun and business in the digital world — plus at least one big new hardware announcement: the introduction of the much-teased and occasionally leaked Quest Pro headset.
This is a big moment for Meta. The company is a year out from its rebrand away from Facebook, its metaverse initiatives have been burning billions of dollars, and the company has been struggling with revenue and user growth all the while. The result has been some very unhappy investors, with Meta’s stock falling by more than half over the course of the year. At Connect, Zuckerberg has a chance to show what the company has been working on and prove that it’s all starting to add up.
Meta Connect 2022 kicks off at 1PM ET / 10AM PT. The event will be streaming online — and, naturally, in VR as well inside Horizon Worlds for those who own a Quest 2 headset.
Oct 11, 2022
Mark Zuckerberg takes a shot at Apple’s closed ecosystem
Mark Zuckerberg is making it clear that he’s ready for a fight with Apple. During Meta’s Connect conference today and in an interview with The Verge, he said that Apple’s currently unannounced VR platform is going to be worse for consumers because it’ll be a “closed ecosystem” while extolling Meta’s system as “open.”Read Article >
He’s made this point before to his employees, telling them that Meta is in a “very deep, philosophical competition” with Apple for building the future of the metaverse, but today, he made that pitch public. While talking to my colleague Alex Heath about the partners Meta’s working with to improve its VR system, he mentions how the future of VR — be it a closed or open ecosystem — isn’t set yet:
Oct 11, 2022
Mark Zuckerberg on the Quest Pro, building the metaverse, and more
As I sat down with Mark Zuckerberg at his office last week for an hour-long conversation, I was wondering if he’d be less enthusiastic about his metaverse vision than he was a year ago.Read Article >
For one, Facebook is in a very different place than when he rebranded it to Meta. Its user growth is slower than ever and its revenue is declining for the first time. Meta’s stock price has fallen a staggering 60 percent this year. Low-priority projects throughout the company are being canceled, and there’s a hiring freeze in place. Meanwhile, it is losing billions a year building hardware and software for the metaverse, and managers are having trouble convincing even their own employees to use its flagship VR platform, Horizon Worlds.
Meta figured out legs for its avatars
Meta’s Horizon avatars will be getting legs. So far, the company’s avatars have weirdly just hovered off the ground, but sometime later next year, Meta will let you add legs to your avatars on VR, mobile, and more as part of the company’s next generation of avatars.Read Article >
Legs are “probably the most requested feature on our roadmap,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at the company’s Connect event while showing off the new avatars, which look significantly better than the avatars available now. (Imagine the improved avatar Zuckerberg showed after his current-gen avatar got memed on but in motion.) “But seriously, legs are hard, which is why other virtual reality systems don’t have them either.”
Xbox Cloud Gaming is coming to the Meta Quest
Microsoft is bringing Xbox Cloud Gaming to Meta’s Quest VR platform. The two companies announced the partnership at Meta’s Connect event on Tuesday but didn’t announce a release date.Read Article >
With Xbox Cloud Gaming, “You’ll be able to play 2D games with your Xbox controller projected on a massive screen on Quest,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said during the event’s keynote.
Oct 11, 2022
Microsoft partners with Meta to bring Teams, Office, Windows, and Xbox to VR
Microsoft and Meta looked like they were on a collision course last year, poised to compete heavily for the future of work in the metaverse. But today, both companies announced they are partnering to collaborate on how people will work and even game in virtual reality. That starts with Microsoft bringing its biggest services — Teams, Office, Windows, and even Xbox Cloud Gaming — to Meta’s Quest VR headsets.Read Article >
It’s a surprise partnership that will see Microsoft and Meta combine their strengths. Microsoft sees an opportunity to bring Teams and its other productivity experiences to a capable VR headset, and Meta gets a key partner in its grand metaverse plan.
Oct 11, 2022
The Meta Quest Pro will feature the new Snapdragon XR2 Plus VR chip
Meta finally showed off its Quest Pro virtual reality (VR) headset at its Connect event on Tuesday, revealing that the high-end device will sport the new Snapdragon XR2 Plus Gen 1 chip. Qualcomm says the chip offers 50 percent higher sustained power and 30 percent better thermal performance than the XR2 Gen 1 chip included in the Meta Quest 2.Read Article >
The Quest Pro headset features 12GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and 10 high-res sensors distributed on both the inside and outside of the headset, with the XR2 Plus Gen 1 chip helping to enable face and eye tracking. This technology’s paired with the Snapdragon 662 chip in the Quest Touch Pro controllers that Meta and Qualcomm say “can self-track through multiple embedded positional cameras and offers ultra-low latency to the headset.” Combining the capabilities of both the headset and controllers is supposed to make users’ virtual avatars appear more lifelike.
The Meta Quest Pro is a cutting-edge headset looking for an audience
The first thing I notice with the Meta Quest Pro is the fit. Even after eight years, Meta’s (formerly Facebook’s) virtual reality headsets are typically bulky, front-heavy affairs. But the Quest Pro rests around my head easily, with its battery shifted to a back mount and its electronics pared down to a lighter layer over my face. Though it’s bigger than your typical pair of glasses or even your typical ski mask, it’s a major step forward for the biggest VR headset maker around.Read Article >
It’s clear where that step is going, but for now, I’m less sure where it’s landed. The Quest Pro is a $1,499 variation on the $399 Meta Quest 2, improving on that headset in several ways — from better ergonomics to an upgraded processor. It adds eye tracking and a high-resolution color video feed that blurs the conventional line between virtual and augmented reality. In theory, the Quest Pro primes Meta to enter a professional-oriented VR market that has, so far, been an afterthought for the Quest.
The Meta Quest Pro costs $1,499 and ships October 25th
Meta has finally announced the Meta Quest Pro: a $1,499 virtual reality headset it’s been teasing for the past year. The Quest Pro is a new branch of the Quest VR headset lineup, featuring a new processor and screen, a dramatically redesigned body and controllers, inward-facing cameras for eye and face tracking, and a color video feed for mixed reality apps. Preorders open today in 22 countries, and devices will ship on October 25th.Read Article >
The Quest Pro will sit alongside the $399 Quest 2, which Meta will continue selling as well. But where the Quest 2 user base favors fitness, games, and other entertainment, the Quest Pro is aimed at businesses and professionals who can afford its higher price tag.
Oct 11, 2022
Meta’s workout-friendly Quest Active Pack is releasing October 25th
Meta announced that a new sweat-resistant face mask and controller straps for exercising in the Quest 2 will be available for purchase online starting Tuesday, October 25th. We initially covered the Active Pack exercise-ready accessories kit when it was unveiled during last year’s showcase, and we didn’t expect that it’d come so close to missing its 2022 launch window. Nevertheless, it’s almost ready to ship. The company still hasn’t announced how much it will cost.Read Article >
The Active Pack includes a wipeable facial interface that can likely stand up to sweat better than the plush one that comes installed by default, two wrist straps, and adjustable knuckle straps to “provide the perfect combination of comfort and control,” according to Meta.
Oct 11, 2022
Among Us VR launches November 10th
Shhhh! During Meta Connect we were treated to some new games coming to the Meta Quest 2 VR headset, including the long-awaited VR port of the still ludicrously popular Among Us. Now, that game has a release date: Among Us VR launches on November 10th. Play with up to nine other people as you work to repair your spaceship and avoid an untimely murder at the hands of crewmates (whose VR hands look just as uncanny valley upsetting as those realistic Kirby feet.)Read Article >
Among Us was one of those lightning in a bottle games. Launched in 2018, the pandemic exploded the game’s popularity so much that celebrities and politicians play just as much as your 12-year-old nephew might. Innersloth has been hard at work improving the game, adding cosmetics and a new level in addition to the VR port announced at last year’s Game Awards. Good luck, crewmates.
Oct 11, 2022
Mark Zuckerberg is about to reveal Meta’s next VR headset
He bet his company on building the metaverse a year ago by rebranding Facebook to Meta. Now, it’s time for a progress update.Read Article >
During Meta’s annual Connect conference later today, CEO Mark Zuckerberg will reveal “Project Cambria,” the high-end VR headset he has been teasing in interviews and social media posts all year. The device is expected to focus on more than just VR by adding mixed reality, technology that blends the virtual and physical. Face and eye tracking will also enable more realistic avatars and higher-fidelity graphics. Expect a price point that is significantly higher than the Quest 2’s $399 price tag.
Sep 12, 2022
‘Quest Pro’ video shows Meta’s next VR headset a month before its launch event
Images and, later, a video of a “Meta Quest Pro” virtual reality (VR) headset surfaced online, posted on Facebook by Ramiro Cardenas, who claims the device was left in a hotel room (Thanks, Peter! via Reddit). The device shown resembles the Project Cambria headset Meta has been publicly teasing since late last year and looks like the one spotted in leaked setup videos.Read Article >
The video (embedded above) shows Cardenas removing the device from its packaging, revealing a black headset and controller with what looks like an updated design. While the headset has three cameras on its front, the controllers feature a design that drops the hollowed-out loop design that houses the sensors for something more solid.
Aug 25, 2022
Mark Zuckerberg confirms new Meta VR headset will launch in October
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed that Meta’s next virtual reality headset will arrive in October. Zuckerberg made the comments on Joe Rogan’s podcast, indicating the device — almost certainly the headset codenamed “Project Cambria” — will likely launch around the company’s annual Connect event.Read Article >
“For the next device that’s coming out in October, there’s a few big features,” Zuckerberg said, discussing VR at the beginning of the podcast. He proceeded to describe new social options that would be enabled by eye and facial tracking. “The ability to now have kind of eye contact in virtual reality,” Zuckerberg said as part of the feature list. “Have your face be tracked so that way your avatar — it’s not just this still thing, but if you smile or if you frown or if you pout, or whatever your expression is, have that translate in real time to your avatar.”