Meta's rumored "Cardiff" headset reportedly cancelled
According to a previous report, Meta Quest 3 was to be followed by a similarly priced headset codenamed Cardiff. The project is now said to have fallen victim to cost-cutting measures.
In the latest issue of his Command Line newsletter, tech journalist Alex Heath reports on a new wave of looming Meta layoffs in March and other cost-cutting measures, that will also affect Meta's Reality Labs division.
"I’ve heard of at least two early-stage hardware prototypes, one codenamed Cardiff and the other Hermosa, that have been canned recently", Heath writes.
Heath also mentions that a multi-day summit of Reality Labs executives will take place next week, where roadmaps and visions for the future will be presented. Among them is a meeting that is titled is "Must Go Faster".
Meta’s hardware roadmap is changing
The Cardiff prototype was first heard of in May 2022, when The Information claimed to have seen a roadmap and reported that Meta planned to launch four new headsets between 2022 and 2024:
- 2022: "Cambria" aka Meta Quest Pro
- 2023: "Stinson" aka Meta Quest 3
- 2024: "Cardiff"
- 2024: "Funston"
The Information wrote that Funston is "a second version of Cambria" (so presumably Meta Quest Pro 2), while Cardiff is one of two versions of the less expensive Quest headset.
Meta Quest 3 is officially confirmed by Meta to launch in 2023. So, according to The Information, another VR headset in this price range was planned for the following year. A project that, according to Heath's sources, has now been cancelled.
Cardiff cancelled – not a deal-breaker?
Nothing more is known about Cardiff. Some industry analysts have speculated that Cardiff could be a "Meta Quest Lite" or "Meta Quest Plus", with slightly worse or better specifications than Meta Quest 3.
Although we don't know anything more specific about the Cardiff prototype: One could argue that another version of the Meta Quest 3 would have diluted rather than defined Meta's VR product portfolio.
It is also questionable whether there is enough demand for another class of device that is not significantly different from Meta Quest 3, so the loss of Cardiff may not be a deal-breaker for Meta or the VR industry.
We can only speculate whether the same is true for Project Hermosa. As far as I know, the codename first appeared in Heath's report.
You can read all about the Meta Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro in the linked reviews.
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