Quest 3 will be significantly cheaper than Quest Pro
Meta Quest 3 will be much cheaper than Meta Quest Pro. Mark Zuckerberg confirmed this in an interview.
On Tuesday, Meta unveiled the high-end Meta Quest Pro headset, which will launch later this month and cost $1,500. That's nearly four times as much as the Meta Quest 2, which is available in the U.S. starting at $399.
The big price difference is due to the technology and the target audience: Meta Quest Pro features the latest technologies from Meta's research labs and is aimed at prosumers and business users, while Meta Quest 2 is optimized for cost and marketed to the masses, with the goal of penetrating the market as quickly and thoroughly as possible.
Meta Quest 3 coming in 2023 at the earliest
In an interview with Stratechery, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg reiterated that he sees two major price points for hardware: one for low-cost, consumer-oriented devices, one for professional work devices that cost significantly more.
Zuckerberg counts Meta Quest Pro as the latter genre, and Quest 2 and Quest 3, "the next generation" that Meta is working on, as the former.
"It’s not this year, but there will be a Quest 3 and that’s in the price range of $300, $400, or $500, that zone," Zuckerberg says.
Meta raised the price of the Meta Quest 2 by $100 in August, citing rising manufacturing costs as the reason.
The more expensive Pro range allows Meta to build in a lot of technology, improve that technology and develop the software ecosystem before "before we can get that down to the price point that’ll fit with consumers," Zuckerberg says.
Leak hints at mixed reality focus
Zuckerberg confirmed that Meta is working on Meta Quest 3 (leaks so far) and 4 in early 2021, when Meta's CEO said he was looking forward to headsets with eye and face tracking. He said that it was necessary to ensure that corresponding devices contain all the sensors needed for realistic avatars and good communication in VR.
A year later, he followed up by saying in an interview with Lex Fridman that eye and face tracking would be a top priority for future headsets, even if it came at the expense of form factor or weight.
Leaked blueprints of a presumed Meta Quest 3 contradict that: They show a device that relies on pancake lenses and mixed reality instead of eye and face tracking. However, it could be one of several prototypes of the Quest 2 successor.
According to a product roadmap leaked in May, Meta is planning for 2023 and 2024 with not one but two new consumer devices in development under the codenames Stinson and Cardiff. Accordingly, Meta Quest 3 could be released as early as next year, and thanks to a new SoC generation, it could achieve a similar performance leap as Meta Quest 2 in 2020.