The world of virtual reality is about to take a huge leap forward with the upcoming release of Meta‘s new Quest Pro headset. As the first major upgrade to the popular Quest line, this much-anticipated device promises cutting-edge new features and top-of-the-line performance.
In this in-depth guide, we‘ll explore everything we know so far about the Meta Quest Pro VR headset. You‘ll learn all about the release date, potential pricing, hardware specs, new capabilities like full-color augmented reality, and how it compares to the existing Quest 2.
Overview of the Meta Quest Pro
First code-named "Project Cambria", the Meta Quest Pro represents the company‘s push into high-end, productivity-focused VR. It won‘t replace the more affordable Quest 2, but will exist alongside it as a premium option targeting professionals.
While still great for gaming and media, the Quest Pro is really being marketed as a "laptop for your face" geared towards enterprise usage. Exciting upgrades allow for next-level mixed reality experiences that could change the way people work in fields like design, training, and medical care.
Of course, all this game-changing tech comes at a price – the Quest Pro will likely launch around $1500, more than double the cost of the Quest 2. Let‘s take a closer look at what exactly you get for those extra dollars.
After years of speculation and rumors, an official release date was finally confirmed recently by Mark Zuckerberg himself. During a September 2022 podcast appearance, Zuckerberg stated that the Quest Pro will be launching on October 25, 2022.
This aligns perfectly with leaks from the relatively reliable analyst Brad Lynch, who also claimed an October 25th release date.
Many in the VR world had originally expected to wait until 2023 for the next big Meta headset. But with how much concrete info we‘ve been getting on the Quest Pro in recent months, a late 2022 launch makes perfect sense.
This will be the first major upgrade to the innovative Quest headset line since the Quest 2 replaced the original Quest back in 2020. Needless to say, expectations are sky-high for what Meta has cooking up next.
The Quest Pro won‘t come cheap – Zuckerberg has already indicated that it will cost "significantly more" than $800.
Most industry analysts currently expect the pricing to fall somewhere between $1,500-$2,000. This lines up with Meta‘s desired positioning as a high-end device. For reference, Meta‘s main competitor in the premium VR space – the HTC Vive Pro 2 – currently retails for around $1500.
Exact pricing will depend on the exact specs and capabilities of the final Quest Pro model. But it‘s safe to assume this will be the most expensive consumer VR headset ever released by Meta.
To put things in perspective, you can currently pick up a Meta Quest 2 for just $399. So it‘s reasonable to expect at least double that price tag for the bleeding-edge Quest Pro.
In terms of overall look and feel, leaked images show the Quest Pro diverging significantly from its predecessor‘s fabric and plastic aesthetic.
Instead, the Quest Pro appears to use a dark curved visor that wraps all the way around the eyes, almost resembling futuristic ski goggles. This sleek and minimalist design helps minimize light bleed for improved visuals.
The front of the headset includes four visible exterior-facing cameras that are likely used for tracking and mixed reality functionality.
Most importantly, the Quest Pro‘s visor will purportedly house cutting-edge micro-LED displays instead of the LCD panels used on the Quest 2. This screen tech offers major improvements in resolution, brightness, and contrast – but also costs way more to produce.
All said, the Quest Pro simply looks much more refined and high-tech than the Quest 2. Its unique shape and styling reflects its role as a premium device designed to push the limits of what‘s possible in consumer VR.
Specs and Hardware
While full specs aren‘t confirmed yet, current leaks point to some seriously upgraded internals on the Quest Pro:
|Component||Meta Quest Pro||Meta Quest 2|
|Display Resolution||2160 x 2160 pixels per eye (mini-LED backlit LCD)||1832 x 1920 (LCD)|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 1||Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2|
|Battery||5000 mAh||3664 mAh|
|Cameras||4 external, 1 IR interior, 1 16MP color passthrough||4 external, 1 IR interior|
That‘s a significant across-the-board improvement in nearly every area. The faster XR2+ processor will help the Quest Pro better handle advanced graphics and software. And the 12GB RAM aims to enable complex augmented reality and mixed reality experiences.
The mini-LED rumor is also interesting – this emerging display tech offers better brightness, deeper blacks, and improved contrast compared to traditional LCD panels. It could provide noticeably better visuals, but also costs more to produce.
In terms of battery life, 5000 mAh would be a decent upgrade over the Quest 2‘s 3664 mAh. Of course, the more powerful components could offset those gains. Even so, battery life is rumored to still sit around 2-3 hours, which is standard for modern VR headsets.
While specs certainly aren‘t everything, the Quest Pro needs top-notch hardware like this to support next-gen features and experiences. Early hands-on reviews say these components add up to a truly game-changing performance upgrade over existing devices.
Specs aside, the most exciting part of the Quest Pro is the bleeding-edge features never before seen in a mass-market VR headset.
Full-Color Passthrough AR
One of the Quest Pro‘s most hyped capabilities is full-color augmented reality using the headset‘s outward-facing cameras.
Rather than showing just a black & white approximation of your surroundings like the Quest 2, the Quest Pro cams provide a crisp, high-res, full-color passthrough of your environment.
Early testing shows the AR visuals are extremely convincing – you can view and interact with virtual objects in a way that feels much more natural and seamless than current mixed reality headsets allow.
While limited to indoor use for now, this full-color AR opens up incredible new possibilities for fields like design, training, and workspace collaboration.
According to Meta, it brings us a step closer to realistic blended VR/AR environments. It‘s arguably the single most exciting new feature the Quest Pro offers.
Precision Eye Tracking
The Quest Pro incorporates major upgrades to eye tracking according to Zuckerberg. Along with powering important features like foveated rendering, this enables next-gen social experiences.
Using precision eye tracking, the Quest Pro can replicate subtle motions like blinking and pupil dilation on your digital avatar in real-time. This allows for astoundingly natural face-to-face interactions in VR, enhancing "social presence".
Advanced eye tracking also opens the door for interfaces controlled purely by your eyes instead of hand controllers. This could be faster and more intuitive for applications like scrolling through documents.
Similar to the groundbreaking eye tracking, the Quest Pro leverages multiple exterior cameras plus IR sensors to capture a detailed 3D model of your facial expressions.
This allows the headset to animate your avatar with an incredible level of accuracy, matching everything from blinks to micro-smiles and twitching eyebrows.
Past VR headsets could only replicate broad facial movements – the Quest Pro brings things to the next level by capturing tiny muscle movements most systems would miss.
This makes communication much more natural and immersive. It also enables realistic digital avatars that could represent you seamlessly in VR workrooms or metaverse environments.
Redesigned "Starlet" Controllers
While their appearance isn‘t confirmed, leaked images suggest the Quest Pro will ship with completely revamped controllers. Visually, they resemble thin white sticks with a ring on top.
These controllers use onboard tracking sensors so they don‘t have to rely on the headset‘s cameras. This could improve accuracy and reduce occlusion issues.
Rumors indicate these controllers will match or exceed the input and tracking capabilities of the Quest 2‘s Touch controllers. But their redesigned shape and independent tracking helps better suit professional use cases.
Unlimited Virtual Screens
One of the Quest Pro‘s showcased features enables users to pin multiple virtual monitors or screens in their real-world environment via AR.
Early demos show impressive productivity use cases like spreading out several virtual documents on a physical desk, or pinning reference materials around a room.
The ability to customize your workspace with as many virtual screens as you want unlocks some incredibly futuristic workflow benefits. No other existing headset offers the same flexibility.
A New Focus on Productivity
While still great for gaming and media, it‘s clear the Quest Pro is intended primarily as a productivity device – hence the "Pro" moniker.
The industrial design, premium price, and focus on capabilities like mixed reality point firmly towards professional enterprise usage. This sets it apart from the more mainstream, entertainment-focused Quest 2.
Specific use cases Meta is highlighting include:
- Collaborating with remote team members in virtual workrooms
- Interactive 3D design and visualization
- Training simulations with blended real and virtual environments
- Manipulating complex data and deep workflows in VR
- Augmenting real-world environments with virtual screens and information
Note the focus on solving practical business problems rather than gaming. The Quest Pro isn‘t meant to compete with the Quest 2 – it‘s a new category of headset purpose-built for workplace functionality.
While the Quest 2 will likely remain the better option for most at-home gaming and entertainment, the Quest Pro is poised to push the boundaries of what‘s possible in a virtual office or collaborative workspace.
How it Compares to the Quest 2
The Quest Pro delivers a host of upgrades over Meta‘s previous top-selling headset:
- Price: ~$1500 vs $399
- Release Date: Late 2022 vs 2020
- Display: Mini-LED vs LCD
- Resolution: 2160 x 2160 vs 1832 x 1920
- Chipset: Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 1 vs XR2
- RAM: 12GB vs 6GB
- Cameras: Color passthrough vs black & white passthrough
- Controllers: Redesigned with tracking vs original Touch
- Focus: Business/productivity vs gaming/media
With around double the price and 50% better specs across the board, the Quest Pro clearly represents a serious upgrade over the entry-level Quest 2.
The Quest 2 will continue to be the better mainstream option – especially for gaming. But the Quest Pro offers cutting-edge professional features and performance you simply can‘t get on any other device right now.
If you‘re an enterprise customer who can truly benefit from mixed reality and high-end VR/AR, the Quest Pro looks well worth its premium pricing. Regular consumers will still do fine sticking with the dependable Quest 2.
The Future is Almost Here
After years of steady VR growth, the Meta Quest Pro feels like a tipping point into a new generation of high-end experiences and possibilities.
For professionals and companies able to leverage its boundary-pushing capabilities, this headset could rapidly transform workflows and collaboration in exciting ways.
Beyond the business applications, technologies like full-color passthrough AR bring us another step closer to the elusive dream of seamlessly blended physical and virtual worlds.
While price will keep it from going fully mainstream, the Quest Pro serves as an important technological foundation for the future possibilities of VR/AR. It‘s the kind of forward-thinking innovation that pushes the entire industry forward.
We can‘t wait to get our hands on one when it launches October 25th. One thing is certain – with the Quest Pro, the future of mixed reality looks brighter than ever!