As the firm braced for Apple’s ability to transform a nascent market that Meta has controlled thus far, Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the company’s next-generation mixed reality headset, the Quest 3. Zuckerberg announced the device in an Instagram post ahead of Meta’s annual gaming conference. It will be 40% slimmer than the company’s previous headset and start at $499. It will also offer color mixed reality, which blends augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) features. Meta also announced that it would reduce the cost of its current Quest 2 headsets while enhancing its functionality to improve user experience. According to Zuckerberg, the Quest 3 will include a new Qualcomm chipset with double the graphics capability of the Quest 2. At the company’s annual AR/VR conference on September 27, he vowed to provide additional information about the device and indicated it would go on sale in the fall
Less than a week before industry rival Apple (AAPL.O) anticipated introducing its first mixed reality product, a high-end item with a price point of $3,000, according to a Bloomberg article, Zuckerberg made his revelation. According to a market research company IDC projection, Meta’s Quest 2 and Quest Pro headsets accounted for nearly 80% of the 8.8 million virtual reality headsets purchased in 2022. The Pico device, manufactured by Chinese-owned ByteDance, which also controls TikTok, a social media rival, came in second with 10% of the market. Despite its market domination, Meta has had trouble convincing people to buy into its vision of a fully immersive “metaverse” of interconnected virtual worlds and a growing market for its products outside the gaming industry.
The market of Meta Apps
According to a tally by Reuters, the business put eight of the top ten most downloaded apps on its Quest store under the gaming category. Following a spike in demand during the pandemic, headset sales plummeted in the first quarter of this year, with the market for AR/VR headsets as a whole plummeting 54.4% year over year. The most recent quarter saw a 50% decrease in Reality Lab’s revenue from last year, including headset sales. That puts Meta far behind the course once planned for the unit. In 2018, a Meta executive claimed that by ten years, the company’s metaverse would have 100 million hardware units, half of which were Meta devices.
After increasing the cost of its entry-level Quest 2 128 GB version in July 2022, Meta reduced the costs of most of its current Quest headsets in March to boost demand. The high-end Meta Quest Pro is being sold for around $1,000, down from a launch price of $1,500, and the Quest 2’s 256 GB model is now available for around $430, down from $500. The business announced on Thursday that starting on June 4, it would reduce the Quest 2 costs once more, with the base model returning to its original price of $300 and the 256 GB model lowering to $350.
Mark Zuckerberg in a legal battle
Zuckerberg has recently reached out to the fitness community to appeal to a larger audience. He has posted videos of himself wearing Meta devices while fencing with Olympic medalists and sparring blows with fighters in mixed martial arts. He prevailed in a legal battle against American antitrust authorities to buy the creator of the VR fitness app Supernatural.
Government attorneys presented evidence during the trial that Meta executives had recognized fitness as a strategy to broaden VR use beyond its current fan base of predominantly young male gamers. In order to promote the Quest headsets as virtual offices, Zuckerberg also developed productivity features. This included collaborating with Microsoft to make Microsoft Teams and Outlook available on the devices.
Apple Vision Pro is $3,499 in US dollars. The U.S. only began in early 2024, with international availability to follow. Incredible HDR picture quality is provided by twin 4K displays inside the headset, but you’ll need to acquire ZEISS inserts if you use glasses. To show others that you are conversing with them or that you are fully engrossed in the headset, EyeSight uses a front display. The native 3D experiences on the Vision Pro are made possible by visionOS. Along with visionOS software, a Vision Pro App Store will offer iOS and iPadOS apps. You can adjust your level of immersion in the headgear, ranging from augmented to virtual reality, using the crown on top of the device. No controllers are required because the headset uses voice instructions and eye and hand tracking. Easily capture spatial images and videos with a single button press. EyeSight will alert those nearby that you are shooting a picture or a video. As a recognized partner of Vision Pro, Disney produces unique headset experiences, such as Disney World, Marvel video games, and more.