Meta Quest 2: Why Meta’s VR chief is unimpressed by its success
Andrew Bosworth heads up Meta’s VR division. The success of Quest 2 has exceeded his team’s expectations, but not his own.
Meta Quest 2 had a successful holiday season for the second year in a row. That’s according to estimates, reports from VR studios, and Meta’s own statistics. More than a third of all Quest apps made at least one million US dollars in sales. This is evidence of a healthy ecosystem.
“The consumer response for Quest 2 has been outstanding,” says Andrew Bosworth in his recent Q&A on Instagram. “I think it has surpassed the expectations of many, many people including the team that worked on it.”
Breakthrough still to come
Bosworth himself, who will soon be promoted to Meta’s chief technology officer, however, was not surprised by this success. “I always believed in Quest 2, I always knew it would be this good, I always believed it. […] I’m telling you it has surpassed probably almost all expectations anyone had for it, but I will say it has not surpassed mine, but only because I expected exactly this,” Bosworth says.
Meta has not yet given concrete sales figures or usage data. This suggests that there is still a lot of room for improvement and that the decisive breakthrough, at least in gaming, has not yet been achieved.
Even if current supply bottlenecks for Xbox and PS5 suggest otherwise: Meta Quest 2 does not generate demand on the level of game consoles, even though it offers real game innovations at a comparatively low price.
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How Quest will evolve
The next significant push is likely to come from a combination of a slimmer form factor, big VR games, and new use cases like fitness and work that take the device beyond mere entertainment.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg believes that more believable social interaction will be critical to VR success, which is why the next Meta Quest will almost certainly feature eye and face tracking.
Another path with untapped potential is mixed reality. Quest 2 captures the environment with black-and-white cameras and streams a video to the headset displays, where it can be enhanced with digital elements. This display mode will be significantly improved with Meta’s next VR headset Cambria and should become a standard feature with Quest 3.
“Mixed reality is one the areas that we are really investing in to continue to advance the state of the art,” Bosworth says.