Last week, Andrew "Boz" Bosworth hinted that Oculus could be building a higher-end version of the Quest that would come in at a higher price but with better specifications.
Facebook has been a leader in the VR industry ever since it threw down billions of dollars to buy Oculus in 2014. Mark Zuckerberg is famously bullish on VR, indicating on multiple occasions that he believes VR is the next great computing platform. He has also repeatedly stated that he's going after the mass market, which means focusing on lowering the barrier to entry and making VR devices affordable for the masses.
When asked about the possibility of making a Quest Pro that sells at a higher price point, Bosworth said he thought the idea was "interesting" and gave a bit of a smile and a wink. While that is far from a confirmation, the idea that Facebook could be building a higher-end Quest falls in line with Mark Zuckerberg's comments during a recent Facebook earnings call about his company's current work on headset development.
So far, Facebook has steadily improved its product offerings while continually lowering the starting price. The original Rift headset launched for $599 in 2016. It didn't include motion controllers, and it required a heavy-duty gaming computer to operate. These days, you can get into a full 6-DoF VR solution with inside-out tracking and motion controllers for $299-all without requiring a PC to drive it.
Facebook has been driving the entry costs down, which is great for newcomers, but it has not catered to the hardcore VR fan since the original Rift hit the market. Cutting features helps bring the cost down, but it does nothing to satisfy the consumer who wants more. A Quest Pro or Quest Premium would fill that gap and guarantee Facebook a bigger slice of the growing consumer VR market. A premium headset would no doubt be a big hit with the business market as well.
So, what would a premium Quest look like? Well, it would probably include some of the technology that we know Facebook is developing, such as its varifocal lens system. We would also imagine a Quest Pro would go back to the mechanical IPD adjustment allowing for better precision while dialling in your view. A premium headset would also require a better head strap solution than the fabric strap that comes standard on the Quest 2. We'd also love to see eye-tracking cameras to enable dynamic foveated rendering and gaze-based interactions for hands-free operation. High-end speakers like the once found on the Valve Index would also be a welcome addition.
- > NEXT STORY: Epic Games buys another huge indie dev in plan for gaming dominance
- < PREVIOUS STORY: E3 2021 cancelled, will be all-digital, L.A. city officials confirm