Meta’s Quest 3 headset, which the company has confirmed will land this year, is said to be positioned as a slightly pricier headset with features designed to appeal to VR enthusiasts.
For Quest 3, due out sometime later this year, Meta may be focusing more on its existing VR customers rather than trying to reel in brand new users.
According to a report by The Verge, Meta’s VP of VR, Mark Rabki, told thousands of employees that for the company’s next consumer headset, Quest 3, “we have to get enthusiasts fired up about it […] we have to prove to people that all this power, all these new features are worth it.” The Verge cites an internal Meta presentation held today as the source of this information.
Those features, which are largely expected to be a subset of what’s on Quest Pro, would make the headset cost “a bit more,” Rabkin said, than Quest 2 which currently sells for $400.
Leaks have consistently pointed to Quest 3 having pancake lenses, a more compact form-factor, and better augmented reality capabilities. The device is reportedly codenamed ‘Stinson’.
The improved AR capabilities, Rabkin hopes, will make Quest 3 feel easier to use.
“The main north star for the team was from the moment you put on this headset, the mixed reality has to make it feel better, easier, more natural,” he told employees, according to The Verge. “You can walk effortlessly through your house knowing you can see perfectly well. You can put anchors and things on your desktop. You can take your coffee. You can stay in there much longer.”
That would be swell, but Meta hasn’t exactly demonstrated that natural feeling with Quest Pro yet, meaning there is still significant work to do on the user-experience side if Quest 3 will meet those goals.
Something else that would surely ‘fire up enthusiasts’ for Quest 3 would be a dedicated video pipeline for PC VR tethering, rather than using the compressed Oculus Link or Air Link method that’s currently available on Quest 2. However, the company has shown little appetite for appealing to PC VR users as of late.
As for leaning into existing VR customers rather than pulling in new ones, this may be an effort to address Quest’s retention issues; while the headset has certainly sold well, Meta has been disappointed with the rate at which customers continue to use their headset after buying.
With regards to Quest 3 being more expensive than Quest 2, it seems that Meta has learned its lesson; having not established a substantial ads business in VR, heavily subsidizing headsets to get them out the door probably isn’t a good idea. Meta had to very publicly reverse that strategy when it raised the price of Quest 2 last year, by as much as 33% (though this was also related to inflation and broader economic turbulence).
The report from The Verge includes more info about the company’s XR roadmap, which you can read in full here.