Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the company’s next mixed-reality headset, the Quest 3, in a Thursday morning Instagram post – setting up a looming clash with Apple as it prepares to release its own pricier version.
Zuckerberg said the Quest 3 will be priced starting at $499 for the 128GB model and be “the first mainstream headset with high-res color mixed reality.”
The long-awaited headset will be 40% thinner than the previous Quest 2 model and feature a “next gen Qualcomm chipset,” among other upgraded features.
“Quest 3 will be the best way to experience mixed and virtual reality in a standalone device,” Zuckerberg said in the post. “It’ll be compatible with Quest 2’s entire library with more titles coming.”
Zuckerberg’s surprise reveal came just days before Meta rival Apple is widely expected to reveal its first-ever mixed-reality headset at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday.
Apple’s device, reportedly dubbed the Reality Pro, is slated to be far more expensive than Meta’s Quest 3, with a price point of roughly $3,000, according to Bloomberg. A January report said Apple’s secretive device will be capable of virtual video conferencing and “replicate many functions of iPhones and iPads.”
Zuckerberg’s reveal came hours before Meta’s “Quest Gaming Showcase,” a display of the platform’s latest gaming products. The tech mogul said Meta would share more details about the Quest 3 headset during the company’s Connect conference on Sept. 27.
Meta touted the Quest 3’s features in a separate blog post.
“High-fidelity color Passthrough, innovative machine learning, and spatial understanding let you interact with virtual content and the physical world simultaneously, creating limitless possibilities to explore,” the company said.
Under Zuckerberg’s leadership, Meta has poured billions of dollars into metaverse technology over the last year despite a lukewarm public response to the effort. In April, the company’s latest earnings report revealed a loss of nearly $4 billion in the metaverse-focused Reality Labs division.
Spending on the metaverse has continued even as Zuckerberg pushes a “year of efficiency” at Meta that has included approximately 21,000 layoffs since last fall. At the same time, Meta has doubled down on investments in artificial intelligence following the runaway success of Microsoft-backed OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
During the company’s last earnings call, Zuckerberg rejected the notion that Meta was dialing back on its metaverse ambitions.
“A narrative has developed that we’re somehow moving away from focusing on the metaverse vision, so I just want to say up front that that’s not accurate. We’ve been focusing on both AI and the metaverse for years now, and we will continue to focus on both,” Zuckerberg said at the time.
Source by [New York Post]