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Oculus Quest Pro vs Meta Quest Pro: What‘s the Difference?

Are you confused about the difference between the Oculus Quest Pro and Meta Quest Pro? You‘re not alone. The truth is, they are one and the same – the "Oculus Quest Pro" and "Meta Quest Pro" are simply two different names for Meta‘s latest and most advanced virtual reality headset to date.

To understand how this came to be, we need to take a step back and examine the history of Oculus and its relationship with Facebook, now known as Meta. The Oculus brand first made a splash with its successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2012, which led to the release of the pioneering Oculus Rift headset in 2016. At the time, Oculus was its own independent company.

However, Facebook saw the potential in Oculus and its VR technology early on. In 2014, Facebook acquired Oculus for a massive $2 billion. This gave Facebook a major stake in the still fledgling consumer VR market. Over the next several years, Oculus continued releasing popular headsets under Facebook‘s ownership, including the original Oculus Quest in 2019 and the Quest 2 in 2020.

The Quest 2 in particular has been a huge success for Meta. In its Q1 2022 earnings report, the company revealed that the Quest 2 has sold nearly 15 million units since its launch in October 2020. That makes it by far the most popular VR headset on the market. For comparison, estimates put sales of the PlayStation VR around 5 million units and sales of the Valve Index around 400,000 units as of 2021 (Source).

Everything changed in late 2021 when Facebook announced it was rebranding the company to "Meta." More than just a simple name change, this marked a fundamental shift in the company‘s focus and ambitions. Facebook, a social media company, wanted to transition to becoming a "metaverse" company. CEO Mark Zuckerberg described the metaverse as "an embodied internet where you‘re in the experience, not just looking at it."

As part of this metaverse push, Meta began phasing out the Oculus brand name in early 2022. The "Oculus" moniker, once synonymous with VR, was replaced with "Meta" across product lines and services. Andrew Bosworth, CTO at Meta, explained the change: "VR will be the most immersive way for people to access the metaverse and as we look toward our goal of bringing 1B people into VR, we want to make it clear that Quest is a Meta product" (Source).

That means the rumored next-gen "Oculus Quest Pro" instead launched as the "Meta Quest Pro" in October 2022. But more than just a rebranding, the Quest Pro also represents a new product strategy for Meta‘s VR efforts.

Meta Quest Pro: A VR Headset for Professionals

Unlike Meta‘s previous headsets aimed primarily at gaming, the Quest Pro is positioned as a productivity and creativity device for professionals. Meta is pitching it as a "laptop for the face" with its powerful specs:

Specification Meta Quest Pro
Display Dual 1800 x 1920 mini-LED LCD panels
Refresh Rate 90 Hz
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2+
Storage 256 GB
Tracking Cameras 10 (5 internal, 5 external)
Battery Life 1-2 hours
Weight 722 grams
Price $1,500

These specs put the Quest Pro on par with many high-end laptops and signal that this is a VR headset meant for serious work, not just play. It has the horsepower to run professional applications for 3D modeling, CAD design, data visualization, training simulations, virtual meetings, and other use cases.

The inclusion of eye and face tracking is a notable addition that enhances social presence. It allows your virtual avatar to mimic your real-world facial expressions and eye movements, making interactions feel more natural and lifelike. Marcio Souza, VP of Product Management at Meta, said "The high-res sensors in Quest Pro enable a new class of experiences that aren‘t possible with other VR headsets" (Source).

The "Pro" in the name also comes with some nice creature comforts not found on Meta‘s more budget-oriented headsets like the Quest 2. Upgraded pancake lenses provide 37% more pixels per inch and a slimmer profile compared to the fresnel lenses in the Quest 2. Mini-LED backlighting delivers 75% more contrast, and the new optical stack provides 1.3X larger color gamut for richer, more vibrant visuals. And the balanced, ergonomic design with a rear-mounted battery distributes weight for longer and more comfortable sessions.

But how does the Quest Pro stack up against the competition? Here‘s a quick comparison chart of some leading VR headsets:

Headset Type Display Resolution (per eye) Refresh Rate FOV Price
Meta Quest Pro Standalone 1800×1920 90Hz 106° $1,500
Meta Quest 2 Standalone 1832×1920 120Hz 89° $400
Valve Index Tethered 1440×1600 120Hz 130° $1,000
Vive Pro 2 Tethered 2448×2448 120Hz 120° $1,400
Varjo Aero Tethered 2880×2720 90Hz 115° $1,990

As you can see, the Quest Pro‘s specs are competitive with other high-end headsets, especially considering it is standalone and doesn‘t require a PC to operate. The Valve Index still has a wider FOV, and the Vive Pro 2 and Varjo Aero beat it on raw resolution, but they all come with the tradeoff of being tethered.

Where the Quest Pro really shines is its focus on mixed reality (MR). High-resolution outward-facing color cameras provide a real-time passthrough view, allowing you to interact with the real world without taking off the headset. This enables new types of applications that blend the real and virtual, such as architects previewing 3D models in a real space or surgeons training on virtual patients.

Consulting firm Deloitte predicts that enterprise VR applications like this will drive much of the industry‘s growth in the coming years, with the market expected to reach $7.2 billion by 2024 (Source). And the Quest Pro is well-positioned to capture a large portion of that market.

The Metaverse: Meta‘s $10 Billion Bet

In many ways, the Quest Pro feels like the first headset truly built for Meta‘s vision of the metaverse. By focusing on professional applications and lifelike social interactions, it lays the groundwork for Meta‘s ultimate ambition – to get a billion people using VR and the metaverse every day, whether for work, play, or something in between.

Meta has gone all-in on this vision, investing over $10 billion in metaverse technology in 2021 alone (Source). This investment spans VR/AR hardware development, software and content creation, and research into adjacent technologies like haptics, computer vision, and artificial intelligence.

While gaming will likely remain a primary driver of VR adoption in the near term, Meta sees the metaverse as a much larger opportunity that spans all aspects of how we live, work, and socialize. As Mark Rabkin, VP of VR at Meta, put it: "We‘re building technology that allows you to feel like you‘re right there with another person. It‘s going to enable all sorts of new experiences, from gaming and entertainment to work and education and beyond" (Source).

The Quest Pro is a key part of that strategy. It represents Meta‘s bid to build the metaverse one headset at a time, starting with professionals and early adopters. While the $1,500 price tag will likely limit its appeal among mainstream consumers, it could very well become the go-to device for enterprise VR.

As the technology continues to advance and prices come down over time, Meta is betting that VR will become as ubiquitous as smartphones are today. And with its combination of immersion, presence, and interaction, VR may very well be the computing platform of the future. As Chris Cox, Chief Product Officer at Meta, said: "We‘re at the beginning of the next chapter for VR and the next chapter for Meta" (Source).

Of course, there are still significant challenges to overcome, from technological hurdles to questions around privacy, security, and digital identity. But with the Quest Pro, Meta has taken an important step forward in realizing the promise of VR and the metaverse. Only time will tell if its $10 billion bet pays off.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can the Quest Pro still play games like the Quest 2?

A: Yes, the Quest Pro can do everything the Quest 2 can in terms of gaming, and then some. It will have access to the same Meta Quest store and run all the same games and apps. The Pro just provides a better visual experience and more power under the hood.

Q: Is the Quest Pro worth the high price tag?

A: At $1500, the Quest Pro is squarely aimed at prosumers and enterprise customers rather than the average consumer. It packs a lot of cutting-edge tech which makes it expensive to produce. For professionals who will use it every day for work, the cost may be justifiable. But pure gamers are likely better off sticking with the Quest 2.

Q: Does the Quest Pro replace the Quest 2?

A: No, the Quest Pro is a separate product line targeting a different market than the Quest 2. The Quest 2 will continue to be sold as Meta‘s mainstream, low-cost gateway to VR gaming and experiences. Meta has even stated a Quest 3 is already in the works as a successor to the Quest 2 for release in 2023.

Q: Do you need a Facebook account to use the Quest Pro?

A: As of August 2022, Meta no longer requires a Facebook account to use its VR devices. You can create a separate Meta account instead. However, a Facebook account will still work and provide additional social features.

To sum up, the Oculus Quest Pro and Meta Quest Pro are simply two names for the same groundbreaking VR headset. The "Oculus" brand is no more, with Meta pushing forward with its own identity as it goes all-in on the metaverse. But the Quest Pro still builds on the strong foundation Oculus established early on. By focusing on productivity, mixed reality, and social presence, the Quest Pro gives us a glimpse of where Meta is steering VR technology in the future. Oculus may be gone, but its spirit lives on through the Meta Quest line.

As a digital technology expert, I believe the Quest Pro represents a major milestone for both Meta and the VR industry as a whole. It‘s the first headset purpose-built for professional applications and the demands of the metaverse. While it may not be for everyone due to its high price, it showcases what‘s possible when cutting-edge VR technology is combined with a forward-looking vision for the future of computing.

If Meta can continue to iterate and improve upon the Quest Pro‘s capabilities while bringing costs down over time, it has a real shot at making VR the next ubiquitous computing platform. The pieces are starting to fall into place for a VR-powered metaverse, and the Quest Pro may one day be remembered as the headset that started it all. Of course, only time will tell if Meta‘s multi-billion dollar bet pays off. But one thing is certain: the future of VR has never looked brighter.