Will the graphics match the premium price?
Meta has been under scrutiny for a while now. The metaverse offerings by the company have been laughed at and Mark Zuckerberg has continued to promise a higher fidelity offering in the future. With that being said the leader of Meta continued his plans for metaverse domination.
It would seem that the fruits of his labor are now being offered and they come with a hefty price tag. The new VR headset by Meta, the Meta Quest Pro VR is here with a new $1,499 price tag. The price tag does not seem to be aimed at the normal consumer but more so at businesses and schools. The VR headset is available for pre-order at the moment and many are deriding the company for its choice to charge such a high premium for the device without any proof of a better metaverse experience.
Zuckerberg introduced the VR headset during Meta’s annual Connect conference. During this conference, Zuckerberg spent a lot of time speaking on the “social shift” that has been taking place within his version of the metaverse. The top apps on the Quest Store appear to be those with social aspects. The new headset is currently more than 3 times the price of a Meta Quest 2 which is only $399.
The new headset has been touted as a high-end device which Zuckerberg states is “designed for work and people who want the best experience we can build today .“ continuing to state that the headset is the bet device they can make to get things done.
Announcements and partnerships
There were also announcements of strategic partnerships with Microsoft, Accenture, and Zoom. The headset seems to be set for taking remote work to the next level though many companies are now threatening to replace workers if they don’t return to the office. The headset features a “workplace” charging dock, and controllers that users can use for virtual whiteboards. There are more features as well such as facial tracking that enables avatars the ability to portray the emotions of the user more clearly.
The biggest announcement seemed to be the one about the partnership with Microsoft with Zuckerberg stating that he was sure he wanted the device to be perfect for getting work done and how big a part of working with Microsoft was in making that happen. The partnership with Microsoft will give users access to Microsoft Teams and 365 while using the headset, workers will be able to meet with coworkers in a virtual space while working remotely.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spoke about how exciting it was for the team to be able to collaborate with Meta on the project.
“At Microsoft, we’re incredibly excited about the metaverse and how digital and physical worlds are coming together and transforming everything [including] the way we do work,”
Another partnership was touted with the consulting firm Accenture and the partnership will aid in creating large-scale events. The CEO of Accenture Julie Sweet stated that her company has “deployed” 60,000 Meta Quest 2 Headsets.
Headed in the right direction
Meta has seen monumental losses of more than $600 billion since the beginning of the company’s restructuring. Being able to strike up relationships with tech companies, especially big ones would be beneficial to the company as a whole.
As of June the company has sold nearly 15 million Meta Quest 2 VR headsets, which has made the Meta Quest the best-selling VR headset on the market to date. This is good news as the metaverse division of Meta continues to see a loss.
There of course needs to be more done before the platform is fully ready to be implemented for the general public. Vishal Shah, the metaverse executive of MEtA lamented recently that even the employee activity on the Horizon Worlds platform is very low, stating that there is no way they can make a project if even the team does not find it interesting or playable. There are currently complaints from “creators, users, and playtesters” that suggest the platform is “not well put together” and “downright boring.”
With the price of the new headsets, it’s very clear that Meta is going after a different type of market, the question is will this gamble pay off big for the company or cause it to suffer even more loss