2023 represents a 'pretty big sea change' for VR, says Meta CTO
Meta's CTO Andrew Bosworth talks about the lifespan of Meta Quest 2 and what this year means for the VR platform.
Will 2023 be Meta's biggest year yet in terms of new hardware and software? In his recent Q&A on Instagram, Bosworth had this to say:
"I'm sure there will be bigger years in the future and certainly it's hard to top, you know, Quest 1, Quest 2. But I can say this year represents a pretty big sea change. It's really for the first time since even maybe Rift and all the dev kits that led up to it, that we were introducing like a new layer of the platform. [...] I think having what we call VR 2.0, which includes Meta Reality, which includes hands, which includes eye tracking, face tracking, whenever possible, that feels like a new baseline for these types of devices going forward."
Meta Quest 3 will bring mixed reality to the mainstream
Bosworth seems to refer to Meta Quest Pro, which was released at the end of 2022. Meta Quest 3, due out this year, will use the same mixed reality system (dubbed "Meta Reality" by Meta), as confirmed by Mark Zuckerberg.
No word yet on whether the new VR headset will feature eye and face tracking, but that's probably not the case, as Meta Quest 3 is intended to be accessible for lots of people and additional sensors would certainly add to the manufacturing costs. According to a leaked presentation, the new VR headset will be slightly more expensive than Meta Quest 2 ($400). Meta Quest Pro costs $1,000.
Meta Quest 2 will not be replaced (yet)
As Meta Quest 2 has sold millions of units and is cheaper to manufacture, it may remain on sale after the launch of Meta Quest 3. Bosworth hinted at this in March. During his latest Q&A session, the technical director confirmed that Meta Quest 2 will not be replaced in the near future and will continue to receive software improvements.
"I've said it before, and I'll say it again, the Quest 2 is a great headset, and it's gonna be in the market for a good long time. We really believe in it and obviously want to continue to advance some of the core functionality that is available to developers, to users."
Hinting at Meta Quest 3 and its advanced mixed reality support, Bosworth continues:
"I think it'll make it more accessible to more people, if we have a more natural interface, if you have more access to the world around you. But the base product [Quest 2] is still very, very good. I use my Quest 2 all the time. It's still a great product and one that we hope to continue to have in the market and support for a while longer yet.
For all the rumors and facts about the new VR headset, check out our Meta Quest 3 article.