You shouldn’t be worried about that anytime soon, according to the company’s CTO. “The games we announced in the Gaming Showcase are all playable on both Quest 2 and 3, and we expect that to remain the norm for quite a while,” Meta CTO and VR / AR leader Andrew “Boz” Bosworth tells me.
He’s not ruling out the possibility of Quest 3-exclusive or best-on-Quest 3 games, though: “Of course mixed reality and high-power titles may start to target Quest 3 over time,” he adds.
That makes some sense to me: after all, the Quest 2 doesn’t have full-color passthrough cameras to let you properly integrate your real-world surroundings into a game, unlike the Quest Pro and new Quest 3. And I’d hate for a potential killer app to be held back by the Quest 2’s processing power — even though Meta has promised to boost the Quest 2’s performance with a software update.
But what I really wanted to know wasn’t “Will there be Quest 3 exclusives?” but rather “Will Meta promise not to abandon the Quest 2?”
Remember, Meta doesn’t have the best track record there: Population One retroactively dropped support for the original Oculus Quest, and Onward is dropping support as well, after Meta purchased their development studios. Echo VR, one of the flagship games Meta used to sell the original Oculus Quest, was shut down entirely due to its small playerbase. Meta will halt OG Quest updates entirely in 2024.
It’s easier for Meta to justify supporting the Quest 2, though, since it was a more popular product than the original. Meta revealed in a February internal presentation (scooped by my colleague Alex Heath) that Quest had sold nearly 20 million units, and the Quest 2 likely accounted for the vast majority of that, given it did 5x the preorders at launch and was already estimated to have sold 10 million worth of that total as of November 2021.
As another data point, the latest Steam Hardware Survey shows over 45 percent of VR headset users there are connecting a Quest 2 to their gaming PC, compared to just over 2 percent using the original Quest.
Boz hasn’t yet answered my follow-up question about retroactive game shutdowns (see below); I’ll update here if he does.