Why the future of Quest depends on Vision Pro

Apple/Meta

Meta’s Quest 2 is the world’s most popular VR headset, and the new Quest 3 is selling well and will soon reach second place. However, the Vision Pro will arrive in a few days. Even though Apple’s VR headset outperforms Meta’s best in every way, the self-proclaimed “metaverse” company is reportedly optimistic about Apple entering the market.

The timing of the Quest 3’s launch in October 2023 couldn’t be better, riding on the wave of excitement Apple created about mixed reality with the announcement of the Vision Pro four months earlier. Meta caught VR holiday sales before Apple’s headset was available and is now benefiting from increased media coverage and comparisons of the Vision Pro and Quest 3, often focusing on the huge price difference.

According to the latest report from Wall Street Journal, Meta hopes to be Android VR for Apple’s Vision Pro. Meta needs virtual reality to be successful in its long-term plans to build a metaverse. Despite pouring $50 billion into research and development and creating market-leading VR headsets that sell for little to no profit, virtual reality is still struggling.

Apple Vision Pro spatial computing can make working from home easier.
Apple Vision Pro spatial computing can make working from home easier. Apple

So far, VR is seen as an alternative gaming system. Console gamers and PC gamers are already tied to their preferred gaming franchises and platforms, making it difficult to break through gaming. There is growing interest in VR fitness, which plays up exercise and makes working out at home feel like traveling to an exotic location. Meta really wants people to use headsets for work, and while VR is growing — progress is slow.

Apple has the ability to change that. The Vision Pro is a very impressive showcase of technology, but its very premium price makes it out of reach for most consumers. The alternative is obviously the Meta VR headset. The Quest 3 ($500) costs one-seventh and offers many similar features, including multiple browser screens, mixed reality, and the same ability to connect to a Mac.

Meta has been the only major technology leader driving the advancement of virtual reality and mixed reality for years. It makes sense that companies would welcome help in raising awareness. While Apple’s presence is impressive, there’s plenty of room for competition, and the Vision Pro’s price makes it a luxury item that won’t impact Quest 3 sales.

If Apple does launch a lower-cost Vision Pro in 2025, Meta probably won’t be so happy. Neither company will stand still, and even the possibility of competitive pricing will encourage Meta to continue improving its products and adding features to get closer to the new spatial computing standards set by Apple’s Vision Pro.

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