Meta’s Cheaper Quest Planned for Next Year Could Ship Without Controllers
The virtual reality (VR) market has been rapidly evolving, with Meta (formerly known as Facebook) at the forefront of innovation. Earlier this year, The Verge got hold of Meta’s internal roadmap, which revealed their plans to release a new VR headset in 2024 at an attractive price point. Now, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, sources within Meta suggest that this upcoming headset, resembling the Quest 3, would support mixed reality and utilize more affordable components.
One intriguing aspect of Meta’s plans for the budget-friendly headset is the possibility of shipping it without controllers. The company has been actively improving its controller-free hand tracking technology, allowing users to interact with VR experiences solely using their hands. By offering a controller-free option, Meta aims to make the VR experience more accessible and affordable for consumers.
Mark Rabkin, Meta’s VP of VR, has expressed his vision of making controllers optional for as many experiences as possible while making them entirely optional at the system level. Rabkin wants customers to feel that they are getting a complete and valuable VR system, without the need to purchase additional accessories.
Pricing Strategy and Product Lineup
The Quest 3, set to launch soon, comes with a starting price of $500, considerably higher than its predecessor, the Quest 2. Meta plans to continue selling the Quest 2 as a more budget-friendly option while positioning the Quest 3 as a higher-end choice. This new cheaper headset, which remains unnamed, is expected to bridge the gap between the Quest 2 and Quest 3 in terms of both features and price.
Possible Cost-Cutting Measures
To achieve the desired price point of around $300, Meta will likely employ various cost-saving techniques. The budget headset could share a similar sensor suite and pancake lenses with the Quest 3. Pancake lenses offer more forgiving misalignment to the user’s eyes. Additionally, Meta could use a single LCD panel, similar to the Quest 2, instead of dual panels like the Quest 3. The lens separation adjustment design of the Quest 2, where users manually move the lenses, might also be present in the new headset. Another possibility is fixed lenses, similar to those used in the Oculus Go.
Meta’s Dynamic Product Development
It is important to note that Meta frequently alters its product plans, sometimes even dropping features shortly before release. For example, the depth sensor in the upcoming Quest Pro was removed from the development roadmap. This highlights the ever-evolving nature of Virtual Reality and Meta’s commitment to delivering the best possible user experience.
In conclusion, Meta’s plans for a cheaper VR headset without controllers indicate the company’s dedication to making VR more accessible and affordable. While the Quest 3 caters to the high-end market, the budget-friendly option will provide consumers with an opportunity to experience VR at a more affordable price point. Meta’s innovative hand tracking technology and potential cost-saving measures make this upcoming headset an exciting prospect for VR enthusiasts.
Note: The facts presented in this article are based on leaked information and insider sources, and hence, Meta’s final plans may be subject to change.