In a fiercely contested move, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta Platforms Inc. META, has unveiled the latest virtual headset, Quest 3, setting the stage for an intense rivalry with Apple Inc. AAPL ahead of its WWDC 2023 event at which the tech giant is expected to launch its first AR/VR headset.
What Happened: Zuckerberg’s Meta has unveiled the next-generation headset, Quest 3, just days ahead of Apple’s much-anticipated entry into the market, as the two giants vie for dominance in the evolving realm of augmented and virtual reality experiences.
How Quest 3 Is Different From Quest 2: The Quest 3 boasts a 40% slimmer design compared to its predecessor, along with high-resolution color mixed reality combining AR/VR elements. The headset is equipped with a new Qualcomm chipset delivering twice the graphics performance of the Quest 2.
According to Zuckerberg, Quest 3 will be the “best way to experience mixed and virtual reality in a standalone device” that offers immersive experiences, seamlessly integrating with the entire library of Quest 2 titles while expanding its game catalog with new titles.
When Will It Launch: The Quest 3 is scheduled for an autumn release, with further details to be unveiled at Meta’s annual AR/VR conference on Sept. 27.
Why It’s Important: Previously, it was reported that Reality Labs, Meta’s business and research unit that produces AR/VR hardware and software, lost more than $13.7 billion last year — up from the $10.2 billion it lost in 2021 and the $6.6 billion in 2020.
According to market research reports, Meta’s Quest 2 and Quest Pro devices commanded a staggering 80% share of the 8.8 million VR headsets sold in 2022, leaving competitors far behind, with ByteDance-owned Pico securing a distant second place at a mere 10% of market share, reported Reuters.
However, despite Meta’s significant market dominance, the company has encountered challenges in popularizing its ambitious vision of a connected virtual realm, commonly referred to as the “metaverse,” and expanding its devices’ appeal beyond the gaming community, which has remained its primary consumer base.
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