Tech analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is known for making predictions based on Apple supply chain leaks, but this time Kuo alleges Meta is getting ready to release a ‘Pro’ branded follow-up to its most popular VR headset to date, Quest 2. We aren’t able to independently verify these claims, however it sounds a lot like Kuo is describing Meta’s Project Cambria.

In a tweet, Kuo reiterates a few claims made earlier this year, which posited that a Quest 3 was on its way in the second half of 2022.

Now Kuo says the headset will actually be dubbed ‘Quest 2 Pro’, and says it features a “better design and immersive experience” thanks in part to its 2.48-inch mini-LED displays packing in 2,160 × 2,160 resolution per-eye. Mini-LED typically describes an LCD panel backlit by small (not micro) LEDs, which aim to bring such panels closer to OLED levels of performance.

Kuo maintains Quest 2 Pro will include dual-element pancake lenses, which differ from the traditional Fresnel lenses by condensing the length of the optical path and ‘folding’ it back on itself through the use of polarized light and two lens elements. This not only reduces the overall physical profile of the lens, but also allow it to sit much closer to the display itself.

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The analyst, who is known for reporting extensively on Apple’s upcoming AR headset, also suggests the headset will support facial expression recognition, which all sounds very similar to what we’ve heard so far about Project Cambria, which was teased by Meta last year.

Meta said Cambria would include “high-res color mixed reality passthrough,” new optics, eye & face tracking in addition to confirming that the headset would launch sometime in 2022.

Last week YouTuber and analyst Brad Lynch revealed a render of an alleged production model of Project Cambria, which was recreated from memory to anonymize the original source of the leak. Although equally unverifiable, this suggests Meta is getting close to mass manufacture of the device.

Further, Kuo’s claim that Cambria will be dubbed a ‘Pro’ device suggests we’ll see a significant price bump over the original Quest 2, which sells for $300 (128GB) and $400 (256GB).

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It also makes sense from a marketing perspective, since calling it ‘Pro’ allows the company to better differentiate successive headsets in the Quest series along regular pricing tiers: Quest ‘X’ could be the cheaper headset aimed at consumers, while the later Quest ‘X’ Pro is meant to push the boundaries of the platform and tee up more features for the next in series—much like how smartphone makers do now.

It’s not certain when we’ll learn more about Project Cambria. Meta has cancelled its F8 developer conference this year, although XR developer conference Connect is still apparently on for later this year, which typically takes place in the September/October timeframe. The company also has a Gaming Showcase coming up later this month, although that’s likely to focus on games and game updates and not hardware as such.

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  • kontis

    Brad has a new render and claims $800 BOM.
    So my guess is $699 as the most optimistic price if they are still willing to subsidize their hardware.

    • Blaexe

      $599 is also in the realm of possibility imo. That would leave a decent gap between Quest 2 and Cambria.

      If the BOM is truly $800, then that should be the ceiling for retail price. They won’t make it more expensive and absolutely necessary.

      • Bob

        Personally I agree with the OP.

        $699 feels just about ‘right’. It’s almost the sweet spot for such a product.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        I think you should brace yourself, I think you should take at least $899 into account or even $999.

        • Blaexe

          Let’s talk about it after the announcement then.

          • Andrew Jakobs

            whenever that will be..

        • Sven Viking

          If the BOM is really $800 I agree, though it sounds higher than I would have expected.

        • dk

          yep definitely likely

    • dk

      that bom was just the headset right ….I would guess the headset + controllers will be sold for 800

      • Blaexe

        That’s apparently for headset + controllers.

    • mappo

      Bill of Materials is just the cost of the parts that make up the headset. That doesn’t include the cost of assembling those parts into a product, or the cost of the hardware and software R&D to design the product, or of the packaging, shipping, marketing of that product. If the BoM is $800, it would still take a significant subsidy to get to an MSRP of $1000.

      • kontis

        Good point. But gaming consoles were often sold at below BOM or slightly above. There was a rumour that Meta loses $200 on each Quest.

        • Jistuce

          There’s very little documented examples of game consoles being sold below-cost. It is a persistent belief that has little evidence to back it(and seems mostly to be based on a single analyst’s estimate of the PS3’s cost to Sony at launch).

          One or two systems have credible evidence of bleeding red ink early in their lifecycles(the PS3 at launch is highly likely, and the Saturn at the peak of the Sega/Sony price war is documented fact), but “all game consoles are sold below cost” seems to be a dubious claim without a lot more documentation.

          • Blaexe

            There’s very little documented examples of game consoles being sold below-cost.

            Huh? Every single XBox was sold below cost. And that’s very well documented since it came from a lawsuit.

          • Jistuce

            I didn’t say it never happens. I named the two instances I knew of off-hand. I disputed that it is a common practice.

            It doesn’t actually surprise me that the XBox can be added to the short list of known red-ink systems. It was beefy hardware for the time, not really built in a cost-efficient manner, and MS was spending money by the truckload in every direction to make sure their first game console wasn’t a Pippin.
            (I WAS aware of continual disagreements with nVidia over the pricing of the display chip, particularly as the system aged. MS felt it was too expensive and they should be getting reduced pricing as time went on. nVidia basically said “lol no”, because MS had no negotiating leverage unless they discontinued the XBox… which I believe they did on the exact same day the 360 launched.)

            It wouldn’t actually surprise me to learn that the Quest was being sold below-cost, but I won’t take it for granted that it is. Though if I were Metabook, I’d be very careful about how deep the cuts were and how well accounting could obscure them. They have a knack for attracting regulatory interest and that could EASILY be interpreted as anti-competitive practice.

          • Blaexe

            “Short list”? We’re talking every single XBox since the OG. PS3 was subsidized a lot. PS4 sold around cost. PS5 was subsidized at launch.

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            Cost of original Xbox launch a cool $1 billion dollars…

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  • xyzs

    Is Bradley’s right, it doesn’t come before next September.
    We will all be dead of old age by the time we can have a gen2 VR headset from Meta.

    • kontis

      Meanwhile Sony is preparing PSVR 2 which is gen 1 design (bulky form factor with Fresnel lenses just like 7 year ago), but with nicely bumped specs.
      And it will be a standard for 6+ years for PlayStation.

      No one anticipated the tech progress in VR to be this slow.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        Except rumor has it, that one slipped also to 2023.

        • Bob

          Not concrete. Dev kits have apparently shipped out a month ago so there remains a possibility that Sony will meet their planned holiday launch date.

      • xyzs

        Console market is known for using dated/cheap hardware the best way possible…

    • Sven Viking

      By “next September” do you mean September 2023 or this coming September? 2023 wouldn’t seem to fit with his “Cambria is ready for mass production” statement.

      • xyzs

        Bradley said
        Quest 2 pro: sep 2022
        Quest 3 /3 pro: sep 2023

        If he’s right, all of this is not for tomorrow.

        Meta could also release Q2Pro earlier to have it more in the middle of Quest2 cycle and further from the Q3 release…?

        • Sven Viking

          September 2022 would fit with this article’s “2H22” prediction. Makes sense that Kuo could have previously mistaken it as a numbered Quest successor if he doesn’t know much about VR.

  • sfmike

    We need something new fast as VR world has become stale and is not creating any buzz among the public or fans.

    • kontis

      Some say that current hardware is not good enough for many people even at price of 0 USD.

      There are some thresholds that have to be met to jump in market penetration.
      For cellphones capacitive touchscreen+camera+proper internet was that edge.

      VR became useful for geeks when it hit 80 deg FOV with 6DOF tracking at decent price. And it took HMD industry 20 years to get there. Before that everything was below 45 deg FOV and even most geeks thought these devices were useless, so not much was happening in the industry.

      So any activity doesn’t necessarily change the industry that much. It’s those important set of features that change paradigms, but no one can reliably predict it.

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      • Some say that current hardware is not good enough for many people even at price of 0 USD.

        I agree with that statement.
        In fact, you probably couldn’t pay me to use it for long periods of times, if it meant replacing my monitor for most of what I use my computer for.

        VR is cool, but a lot of “power users” probably won’t consider getting one until it is comparable, or just downright superior to using a monitor for most of the things they do.

        I don’t think they can achieve that with the next-gen headsets. But I’m guessing that by 2025, they might just convince some power users to switch at least some of the stuff they do over to VR, if they don’t have to make too many tradeoffs.

        And by 2030, I fully expect VR will be good enough to sell itself to the masses.
        By then, it should be superior to any flat display, and hopefully even though you’ll still have to wear glasses, they’ll be light enough that people will be willing to wear them because the benefits will be substantial over any existing platform.

  • Orator

    Sounds like an awesome device… but to play what? I hope there will be some new AAA game releases so we can actually utilize this new device.

    • kontis

      Not sure if this will be Cambria, that Zuckerberg wanted to call something else than “Quest”, but if that’s the case, then they won’t even target it as a gaming device, which means…. games, what games? This is a serious device for real vritual life! You have the META-verse to use, no need for games! /s

      • Orator

        That’s a really good point actually. And it makes me sad :( lol.

      • erasmushurt

        I think the AR features would be geared for outside of gaming stuff primarily. However it would still likely also be an upgrade for gaming. Even for example if you had the exact same processing power, eye tracking would allow you to target foveated rendering to where your eyes were looking. You wouldn’t be able to tell the difference but this could speed up graphical performance by 200% or more, which would allow developers to increase graphical detail.

        I think Zuckerberg is trying (and has for a while now) to push VR into non-gaming realms. But at the end of the day, especailly if they are selling below cost, you need the games as game sales is where they make their money.

      • Sven Viking

        Boz and Zuckerberg both referred to it as Quest Pro in the past, though, as did the Oculus firmware. As a Quest-compatible headset with extra pro-focused features it’s a name that makes a lot of sense. [Version of comment with sources held up in moderation queue due to external links.]

  • Symbio

    No matter what the price is, no matter when it’s released, no matter how innovative this version will be, as long as a Facebook account is required to use this tech it’s a no go.

    • BananaBreadBoy

      For you maybe. For the vast majority of the market, they really couldn’t care less. Otherwise, the Quest wouldn’t be such an overwhelming success.

  • Daniel Gallo

    fov?