Facebook have said that they won’t be releasing an Oculus Quest Pro in 2021 and reiterated previous comments that the Quest 2 is expected to be in market as its flagship model “for a long while” – according to the company’s heads of virtual reality.
Vice President Andrew Bosworth and Consulting Technical Officer John Carmack, took part in a question and answer session on Twitter, after the former asked for users to send in questions via the platform. They did cover a number of topics, but were quick to dismiss rumours that the company plans to release a “Pro” model anytime soon. VR fans had been speculating virtually since the Quest 2 was even announced.
With is being released at a cheaper price point than had been expected – and missing some ‘premium’ features such as a better head strap – fans were sure Facebook would soon release a superior one.
Quest 2 in market “for a long while”
Oculus’ original standalone Quest, released in 2019, had sales of 1 million-plus devices. Sales that pale in comparison to consumers uptake of its successor – the Quest 2 – with estimated sales at least double that in the 6 months since release. Not surprising seeing as the Quest 2 is lighter, more powerful and less expensive than its predecessor.
“…People are also asking about the Quest 3, which doesn’t exist yet, and everyone who is listening to us who is a reporter there isn’t a Quest 3, there’s only a Quest 2. But I did hint at an AMA earlier this year about Quest Pro because we do have a lot of things in development where we want to introduce new functionality to the headset along the kinds that people theorize that we would want to introduce, and that’s a little ways off still. It’s still not gonna happen this year. For those who are curious, Quest 2 is going to be in the market for a while – for a long while…”
Is it true?
Dubious fans aren’t 100% convinced, citing examples of other companies such as Nintendo who have previously promised that their current consoles are going nowhere – only to release a new model soon after. Some believe in denying a Pro model, Facebook are simply protecting sales on the Quest 2s already manufactured so people continue to buy. We don’t think so.
Even with the Pico Neo 3, DecaGear VR, and a soon to be announced stand alone Vive coming soon, they believe Facebook will have to respond with upgraded hardware. However none of these will stand up strong against Oculus. Decagear will require a PC and some suggest it could even end up being vaporware or simply not live up to the hype. Pico also remain focused on serving enterprise clients and B2B with its Neo 3. There’s still no competition to the Quest 2 in sight. That’s the hard truth.
The Decagear, Pico Neo 3, Vive or even HTC’s planned successor are unlikely to have any impact on consumer standalone VR whatsoever. Facebook will face no competition within the mobile VR market, or even the PCVR until a major rival such as Apple enters the fray. Even then Apple’s market would be significantly different from Facebook’s, who would likely offer a substantially more expensive model.
The Pico Neo 3, like the Vive, will be pitched at enterprise level, so at least in the western world, there is little possibility that any of them will truly be able to come to market with a rival consumer product.
This takes the pressure off Facebook to develop a ‘Pro’ model or even a Quest 3 anytime soon. This isn’t necessarily bad news for fans of VR though.