Did Facebook pull its most loyal VR customers for the Meta Quest Pro?
That’s $1,100 more than the company’s entry-level Quest 2 headset, which itself had a price increase from $300 to $400 earlier this year.
For months, virtual reality (VR) industry watchers have speculated, based on advice and feature leaksMeta’s new device can cost between $800 and $1,500. When the the price has been confirmed in the very high end of this spectrumthe first one even the most dedicated VR users were largely shocked and disappointed.
Meta’s premium and more expensive VR business case is yet to be proven
Although Meta touts the device as a premium solution for pro users, not gamers that helped the Meta Quest store achieve $1.5 billion in revenuethere is no evidence that there is still a mass enterprise customer base for virtual reality.
Part of Meta’s potential selling point for the company in this case seems to be the device’s eye-tracking and transmission capability that allows the wearer to interact with the real world while wearing the headset.
But enterprise customers looking to design products or meet virtually using augmented reality-like interactions already have two advanced options, the Microsoft HoloLens 2 and the magic jump 2. So it was a surprise when Zuckerberg introduced Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to announce a partnership that will allow Quest Pro users to use Microsoft Teams and Office in VR.
However, the pairing is only odd on Meta’s side, as Microsoft has a long history of partnering with outside VR device makers looking to use its software platforms. The twist here is that Zuckerberg is breaking away from his usual siled software strategy to embrace the powers of one of Meta’s biggest rivals.
Meta probably doesn’t have the pricing power of Apple
Part of the distaste for the price of Meta Quest Pro is probably related to the last tumultuous years linked to Meta processing of user data and advertisements, which had a ripple effect on its global VR Mark.
In the meantime, if the rumors surrounding Apple’s immersive device are true, many iPhone fans probably wouldn’t hesitate to pay even more than $1,500 for an Apple VR headset with passthrough capabilities. This device is expected to arrive in 2023.
The case of enterprise virtual reality
Last year, Accenture picked up 60,000 Meta Quest 2 headsets to train employees in VR. Notably, fellow VR headset leader HTC also shifted its strategy a few years ago to focus on providing enterprise customers with immersive training materials. Its autonomous professional VR headset, the Vive Focus 3 (no PC needed), sells for around $1,145.
The case of corporate virtual reality is therefore not zero. But the hope that companies will pay prices close to the HoloLens 2 ($3,500) and Magic Leap 2 ($3,200) just to get a better VR experience, whereas a basic standalone VR headset like the Quest 2 or the Pico 4 is available for just $400, can be optimistic.
But is the Quest Pro really aimed at professional users?
No matter what Meta said during his Connect presentation, for most VR enthusiasts (usually gamers) the Quest Pro looks more like a luxury VR headset than a professional tool not intended for them. . For comparison, the most popular high-end system among VR gamers, the Valve Index, only costs $1,000. And even on its own platform, the device only accounts for 17% of all VR headsets in use.
Meanwhile, on the Meta Quest YouTube channel, demo videos of the new software announced at the event were from Marvel. Iron Man VR, Among us VRand The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners. Those are all VR Games. As of this writing, no apps shown on the channel are related to the company.
Meta knows its VR customer base is into games. But he is trying to create a new business base for himself from scratch, with a high price tag for a few, albeit impressive, new features. By pricing its already-dedicated VR user base on the platform, Meta is testing an approach that could raise new concerns about its overall metaverse strategy.