The Quest Pro was the most anticipated VR headset from Meta announced at the recent Connect 2022 event. And the headset was made available for purchase on October 25, 2022. Meta’s YouTube channel showcased the sleek design of the headset with better specifications than the company’s highly praised Quest 2. This also came with a price tag that was around 3.5x higher than the Quest 2, rounding up to $1500. While there are several other gadgets and devices that people can buy in this price range, why should they buy the Quest Pro instead? Or should they even buy it?
The Quest Pro: A Next-Gen Headset
Meta has come into being only last year with the hope of introducing the Metaverse where people can connect through augmented reality and VR devices. The technology will allow users to create a virtual space and explore with friends and families. In theory, the Metaverse seems to be the future of technology, communication, and entertainment. To help people experience the Metaverse more immersively, Meta has launched the Quest Pro headset, which comes with controllers to help users with better movement in Augmented Reality.
The Quest 2 headsets from Meta were launched in 2020. The device dominated the market by obtaining 90% of the market share in the first three months of 2022 when the VR headset market saw a growth of 241.6% in the same period. The price of the Quest 2 headset is around $300 to $400. Moreover, the budget-friendly price tag and its useful features made it popular among gamers.
Meta’s Quest Pro is completely different in terms of software and hardware. The processor of the headset is the XR2-Plus with a memory of 12 GB. And the storage capacity of the headset is 256 GB. The screen has a resolution of 1800×1920 per glass, with a 90Hz refresh rate. However, it does not contain a high-definition screen and it weighs around 722 grams.
The headset also has an inward camera to examine the facial expression of the users which can be reflected in their avatar to make the experience more lifelike. The lenses of the headset contain an optical stack and have several layers of thin pancake lenses. Users will have a view with sharper color and better contrast with the quantum dot technology. The sleek design along with its straps and vision blockers gives proper finishing to its already high-quality hardware combination. As a bonus, the Quest Pro includes a new controller with updated features. The controllers will have sensors that enable position tracking in the virtual space. These have rechargeable batteries and better haptic technology that responds better to the human touch.
So far, the features seem amazing and truly remarkable. But there are two things that can block the urge to purchase this headset without hesitation. They are the battery life and price. The battery life of the Quest Pro is frustrating as it can last only two hours max. To add oil to the fire, the recharging time is around two hours as well, and the battery is not swappable. So, if you are planning to sit for a long AR quarterly meeting with your coworkers, you should rethink your decision of using the Quest Pro. The issue with the battery could be overlooked if not for the added price tag of $1500. Gamers can build a moderately satisfying gaming setup with a good controller, monitor, GPU, console, and others within this budget. Meta is very confident about the use of Quest Pro for better office meetings and prototypes. But are companies willing to spend $1500 per employee to set up a virtual space?
Is The Quest Pro DOA (Dead On Arrival)?
Just after the announcement of the Quest Pro with all its features and price, there was a big debate online about whether purchasing it is going to be a waste of money or not. The price is without any doubt beyond the reach of many no matter how enthusiastic they are about the headset. However, the target of Meta should also be understood at this point. The Quest Pro is not just for gaming, at least for now. The company aims to make the headset commercialized for businesses and enterprises. Meta’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg segmented the target users as “people like architects, engineers, builders, creators, and designers.” Although if we look at tech history, the most accessible devices we use now were developed primarily for professionals and militaries. So, maybe the Quest Pro would be affordable to general users after a few years.
Now, the question arises whether the target customers are going to be interested in the Quest Pro. Well, the offerings of the Quest Pro are impressive, to say the least. Corporate professionals can not only meet in a virtual setup with their avatars but also experience a more elaborate setting where the use of Microsoft tools is enabled. Also, with the option of creating a virtual space as per preference, the Quest Pro allows companies to set better environments for meetings in the Horizon Workroom. Besides this, users can make 3D designs, prototypes, and models with the option to test their usability. Simulation training is also possible with this headset. You can also join your friends and family for a fun hangout or binge-watch videos on YouTube as Meta plans to collaborate with YouTube in the coming days.
The “Metaverse” technology along with VR devices like the Quest Pro is still quite unfamiliar to a vast majority of people. And the demand for Metaverse is not adding up to the costs of developing it. But this can definitely change in the future. People are open to advanced technology as long as it is accessible, affordable, and truly useful for personal interests. The Quest Pro has so many amazing things to offer in that regard. And the success of the Quest 2 also hints that people might still want to buy the Quest Pro if it is a bit more within reach. Professional meetings can be held from anywhere with an expanded workspace, 3D prototypes can be built, and simulation training can be provided. So, purchasing the Quest Pro might not completely go to waste if the users can make the best use of the technology. But with so many cheaper VR headsets with longer battery life like the HTC and Magic Leap, the commercial success of the Quest Pro is quite questionable.
Is The Quest Pro A Waste Of Money?
So, to answer the title question, the Quest Pro will not be a waste if it is used by large companies that are concerned with architecture and design. Companies might not purchase one headset per employee, but they can make better decisions and products with a few headsets at hand to arrange small-scale meetings with a few people. The Quest Pro can also be purchased by highly enthusiastic tech people, who have the money of course. But the economic crisis all over the world with rising inflation and costs coupled with low demand for VR headsets by corporations can lower the sales volume than expected.