At an online event for developers, Mark Zuckerberg presented a new VR headgear called the Quest Pro.
Quest Pro is roughly four times as expensive as Meta’s current headset, the Quest 2, which starts at $399. It costs $1,499 (£1,499).
It has slimmer lenses, a curved battery that wraps around the head strap at the rear, and self-tracking controllers.
Users of the headgear can also see their actual surroundings outside the screen’s edge.
Quest Pro includes mixed reality capabilities, in contrast to its predecessor, allowing users to view digital information overlaid on the actual environment.
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The CEO of Meta, Mark Zuckerberg, called mixed reality “the next significant step for VR.”
The high launch price, according to Gartner analyst Tuong Nguyen, rendered it more suitable for “high-end, enthusiast, and possibly enterprise users” than mass-market consumers.
The workplace platform Windows 365 will also be accessible on it, according to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, as Meta works to position mixed reality and virtual reality as both a work tool and a form of pleasure.
The company Meta, formerly known as Facebook, is banking on the development of the metaverse, a virtual environment where users may both conduct their daily lives as avatars and explore fantastical virtual worlds.
Although several IT companies are developing their own metaverses, it will probably be years before any are realised.
There have been conflicting reviews of Meta’s current virtual reality environment, Horizons, and there have also been allegations of violence and sexual assault committed by avatars there.
Andrew Bosworth, the chief technology officer, however acknowledged that “it will be a while before there are enough headsets out there.”
It appeared as though the technology was being “speed tracked” into people’s hands, according to Paolo Pescatore of PP Foresight. Why rush when there is no demand? he asked.
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During the event, there was a lot of discussion on virtual reality apps, some of which have proven to be quite profitable for their creators, such as the VR version of the video game Resident Evil 4, which generated $2 million in sales in its first 24 hours.
Iron Man and Among Us were among the new VR video games that were introduced, along with a future collaboration with Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming. However, there was no news regarding the eagerly anticipated VR version of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which some fans had hoped for.
According to Andrew Bosworth, YouTube VR is one of the most downloaded apps from the Quest store.
Vishal Shah, vice president of the metaverse at Meta, stated that the ultimate goal of the metaverse is to feel like any other social encounter, no matter how big or tiny.