Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has officially unveiled a new premium VR headset, the Quest Pro. It is designed for both business and casual users, and will be sold for $1,499.
The Quest Pro comes with 10 sensors (internal and external), new lenses and optics technology that reduced the thickness of the headset by 40% according to Meta, a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Plus chip, 12 GB of RAM, 256 GB of storage and a refresh rate of 90 Hz.
Quest Pro is actually a heavily redesigned Quest 2 with added features. The headset mounts to the head with a soft plastic ring (similar to the optional Elite Strap for the Quest 2) instead of fabric straps, and its battery has been moved to the back of the case to help balance the weight. This helps offset the 722g weight, which is noticeably heavier than the Quest 2’s 503g, although the difference is less dramatic with the separate 173g Elite Strap.
The Meta is advertising two major new features not found in previous headsets. The first is a set of inward-facing cameras that track the user’s eyes and face. They have several uses, in addition to everything that external developers can do with them. The cameras should allow the Quest Pro to determine if it is positioned correctly and enable rendering that reduces processing requirements by rendering fine details only where the user’s eyes are pointing. The cameras also boost facial expressions on Meta avatars, which will be able to smile, wink and raise their eyebrows.
The second feature is full-color end-to-end video, a cross between VR and holographic augmented reality. Quest Pro uses high-resolution external cameras to capture images of the world and reproduce them inside the headset, which can then place virtual objects in the room with the user.
Quest Pro will also get new controllers called Meta Quest Touch Pro. They will be equipped with three cameras and a Snapdragon 662 mobile processor for each controller. According to Meta, these new additions allow controllers to track their location without relying on cameras built into the headset.
The Quest Pro is set to go on sale later this month on October 25th, and customers can start pre-ordering the device today. However, the cost of the headset is $1,499, which is quite a high price, even considering that the price of the Quest 2 was increased by $100 in August. Apparently, Meta is counting on corporate sales as well as enthusiasts.