The professional VR/AR headset Quest Pro will not be continued. Meta wants to focus on the more affordable Quest platform headsets.
Meta launched the Quest Pro last year as a professional XR headset. And it did have some merits. These included a semi-open design for mixed reality applications, great Touch Pro controllers, and most importantly, the best lenses in a standalone VR/AR headset to date.
However, compromised in other areas meant that the headset was more of a “mixed bag” than a top-of-the-line headset. For example, the colored but low-quality pass-through and the heavy XR headset’s rather uncomfortable head mount were problematic. Moreover, the starting price was around $1,500.
A few months later, Meta lowered the price by $500 to $1,000. Shortly thereafter, the Quest 3 was announced, promising significant improvements. It was foreseeable that the Quest Pro would not have a long life.
Quest Pro will probably not get a successor
According to The Information, Meta told its suppliers earlier this year that it would not be ordering any new components for the Quest Pro. Accordingly, manufacturer Goertek will only build Quest Pro headsets as long as the current material supply allows.
This means that the Quest Pro will be discontinued.
The report also indicates that Meta probably shut down the entire Pro line. “Meta has also suspended development of a second-generation Quest Pro”, The Information reads. Apparently, Meta wants to concentrate on the less expensive headsets of the Quest series, which will get its next version with the Quest 3 in October. In March, a roadmap leak suggested that a successor to Quest Pro might support realistic codec avatars in the distant future.
The discontinuation of the Quest Pro is reasonable regarding the Quest 3 and therefore a logical decision. The Quest 3 will have a higher resolution of 2,064 x 2,208 pixels per eye than the Quest Pro (1,800 x 1,920), two 4-megapixel RGB cameras compared to one on the Pro, and a depth sensor that was cut from the Pro.
Reportedly, the Quest 3 will also have the super lenses of the Quest Pro. All of this makes the Quest 3 a much better XR headset, assuming Meta doesn’t skimp on components and use inferior pancake lenses instead.
Is Meta abandoning high-end VR?
However, the fact that Meta could be completely out of the high-end business is a matter of some concern. Meta’s focused but expensive research on new VR/AR headsets was and is a ray of hope in the tech world for virtual reality enthusiasts. Other manufacturers continue to retreat or fail to match the quality of Meta’s VR headsets.
However, it is questionable whether a high-end series would make sense at all. The Quest Pro, as a prototype of such a series, has already shown that what is delivered is not enough to justify high prices. Apple, for example, is trying to enter the high-end market directly with the Vision Pro. First reports indicate that many known problems have not been solved despite the expensive product – for example, the wearing comfort or the external power source.
Perhaps Meta simply does not want to compete with Apple at a high price. The strength of the Quest platform so far has been the development of a well-balanced and comparatively powerful VR headset at an affordable price. The Quest 3 will bring significant improvements – at least if we go by the numbers on paper. A Quest Pro is simply no longer needed.
It remains to be seen what impact this will have on Meta’s research into better VR/AR headsets, such as a headset with a varifocal display and retinal resolution.
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