Meta’s XR Expansion and Quest Pro MR Headsets: What You Need to Know
Meta, the tech giant formerly known as Facebook, is making waves in the extended reality (XR) world ahead of its annual Connect event. Recently, Meta made headlines by distributing free Quest Pro MR headsets at the Roblox Developer Conference (RDC) 2023. This XR showcase event provided insight into how the child-focused gaming platform, Roblox, is embracing full immersion and expanding its offerings to cater to new use cases.
A Second Chance for Quest Pro MR Headsets
Last year, the Quest Pro MR headset failed to capture a significant audience, with lackluster sales and a price drop that brought the device down to £1000. Nevertheless, Meta remains committed to the Pro device and its other XR products, evident in its recent effort to introduce the device to a broader user base.
At RDC 2023, Meta distributed a substantial number of Pro headsets, seemingly aimed at encouraging the Roblox developer community to craft new MR experiences. The intriguing aspect here is that while the event appears to encourage developers to create consumer-facing applications, the Pro device is primarily designed for enterprise use. This suggests that the giveaway’s purpose may be to familiarize audiences with MR hardware and Meta’s Presence Platform, rather than solely promoting development for the Pro device.
Meta’s Strategic Move: Quest 3 and the Consumer Market
Meta’s strategic moves are becoming clearer as it prepares to launch the Meta Quest 3 in the consumer market. This upcoming marketplace debut indicates that Meta is taking steps to facilitate the creation of system-selling applications as the device enters distribution stages.
Roblox on Quest 2: A Resounding Success
Roblox’s arrival on the Quest 2 has been met with immense success, leading to a surge in downloads. Manuel Bronstein, Chief Product Officer, and Dan Sturman, Chief Technology Officer at Roblox, shared their excitement in a blog post:
“We’ve opened up access for developers to start creating experiences for Roblox on Meta Quest and have seen a tremendous response. In the first five days, we saw more than 1 million downloads of the open beta. At RDC, we shared that Roblox will be widely available to people on Meta Quest later this month.”
Meta’s Ongoing Headlines
Meta continues to dominate XR headlines in the lead-up to Connect 2023. Just last week, the company faced another round of leaks when an online store listing revealed core details about the Meta Quest 3.
It’s important to note that these specifications are not officially confirmed and may change when Meta unveils the device at Connect 2023. The leaked information includes:
Resolution: 2064 x 2208 pixels per eye
Display: LCD display
Refresh Rate: 129Hz
Lenses: Pancake lens
Chipset: Snapdragon XR2 Gen2
Battery Life: 2-3 hours
Field of View: 97 horizontal/93 vertical
IPD Adjustment: Yes
Storage Options: 128GB or 512GB
Tracking: Inside-out tracking, depth sensors
Cameras: Full RGB outward-facing cameras for MR color passthrough
In addition to the Quest 3, Meta has been busy enhancing its Horizon Worlds Metaverse service in preparation for Connect 2023. The company also recently introduced a mobile version of the Horizon Worlds service, which is approaching the beta testing phase.
Get Ready for Connect 2023!
Meta’s highly anticipated Connect showcase is just around the corner, scheduled for September 27–28, 2023. XR enthusiasts can catch the event on Facebook and Horizon Worlds. Meta will also host part of the event in person at its headquarters, offering attendees a hands-on experience with their immersive portfolio, including the Quest series, Ray-Ban Stories, Avatars, and Horizon Worlds.
The event promises to provide an in-depth look at Meta’s upcoming XR products, the latest developments in Horizon Worlds’ metaverse, emerging AI innovations, and hands-on opportunities to explore the company’s forthcoming immersive product lineup. Attendees can also participate in sessions where they can learn from Meta’s community of developers, builders, and creators.
Day one of Meta Connect will kick off with a keynote address by Mark Zuckerberg, followed by a “Developer State of the Union.” Historically, these sessions have unveiled groundbreaking news, such as the company’s rebranding.
Day two will feature developer sessions and product sneak peeks, likely showcasing the highly anticipated Meta Quest 3 MR device.
Stay tuned to XR Today for the latest updates on Meta Connect 2023.