Mission 3? Quest 2 Pro? Cambria Project? Whatever its name, Meta’s (ex-Facebook/Oculus) next VR headset would be pretty close. Essential analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects a release in the second half of 2022.
Meta makes no secret of the fact that it has been hard at work on its next virtual/mixed reality headset for a long time, be it a successor to the wildly popular Quest 2 or a companion product meant to co-exist with the latter on screens. These discussions culminated in October 2021 during the Facebook Connect conference, with the evocation of a very mysterious next-generation headset codenamed cambria project.
Is it the culmination of this project that we can find in stores from the second half of 2022? This is what seems most likely in view of the latest predictions of the famous analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who says he is sure, based on information obtained from his sources close to the supply chains, that Meta is working for the launch of a new stand-alone headset later this year.
As for specs, Kuo says the headset will feature two 2.48-inch displays at 2160 x 2160 pixels per eye (much more than the Quest 2’s 1832 x 1920 pixels) with mini-LED backlighting. The rest of the characteristics reported by the analyst do nothing more than confirm what Meta had already mentioned in its notes on Cambria. Therefore, screens will be associated with optics pancake two elements, rather than the traditional Fresnel lenses used by VR headsets of all kinds. This would significantly reduce the weight and thickness of the optics, without compromising the width of the field of view. Finally, the helmet will be equipped with a facial expression sensor, which would certainly be beneficial in the context of the social uses of virtual reality; Obviously, we were not going to get to the end of an article of this type without writing the term at least once. “metavers”, of which Meta wants to be the great champion.
Quest or no Quest, that is the question
Last thorny issue: the name and positioning of the helmet. Kuo ventures to assume that the final product could adopt the Quest 2 Pro moniker. But this would be a strategic shift on the part of Meta, which initially claimed that the Cambria project would mark the advent of an entirely new product line, entirely separate from the Quest range.
Perhaps the original intention was to prepare the public for a significantly higher selling price than the Quest 2. The fact is, however, that the need to bring the Quest range to a new generation of technology, while keeping it at prices that are not too elitist, it is likely to become compelling in the coming months. In fact, the Quest 2 could suffer the full force of the competition from the PlayStation VR2, whose materialization is getting closer —and that will undoubtedly attract a large audience for whom, regardless of what the self-proclaimed apostles of the metaverse think, virtual reality remains inseparable from video games today.