How the New Meta Quest Pro VR Headset Shows the Future of the Metaverse

Faster, sharper, more expressive

  • Meta has unveiled its new $1,500 virtual reality headset, the Quest Pro. 
  • Experts say the Pro shows off the potential of virtual reality to become a mainstream way of accessing the metaverse. 
  • Until the price drops, business users may be the best customers for the Quest Pro to do things like training and handling robots.
Meta Quest Pro VR/MR headset


Meta's new Quest Pro VR headset may be expensive, but its upgraded specs allow it to show off the potential of the metaverse, experts say. 

Meta unveiled the $1,500 headset at its Meta Connect virtual event, boasting major improvements. It's got upgraded visuals, a faster processor, and technology for tracking your facial expressions. The headset also allows you to see your surroundings better while using it. 

"Experiencing mixed reality through colored pass-through cameras is an entirely new feature set and category. Previous devices offered a low resolution and black and white pass-through camera lenses to help users simply set guides in your room," Jason Yim, CEO of virtual reality and mixed reality company Trigger XR, told Lifewire in an email interview. "The Meta Quest Pro will definitely gain more traction with its true mixed reality intentions and result in significantly better performance."

Mixed Reality May Justify the Price

Meta claims the new headset is worth the cost due to its high-tech upgrades. The Quest Pro comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR chipset that supposedly delivers more than twice the power of the Quest 2. There’s also a new lens design to allow for sharper visuals than the Quest 2, with 37 percent more pixels per inch (PPI) and a contrast improved by 75 percent. Even so, the lenses are 40 percent thinner than those accompanying the Quest 2. 

The Pro also has a sleeker design, which some early reviewers say is more comfortable than the older models. The new form factor puts the battery pack in the back to distribute weight more evenly.

Yim pointed to the advanced VR/MR sensors, spatial audio, pancake lenses, deep storage, and higher-performing RAM that boost both the price and the technology of the Quest Pro. He said the Meta Quest Pro would bring only incremental improvements for VR. 

"However, we are most excited about the device unlocking true mixed reality experiences because of its pass-through color cameras," Yim said. "Instead of being immersed in the virtual world, users will be able to see and play with digital content in their environment. This capability will usher in a whole new category of tools and games for consumer HMD devices at home."


The high cost of the Quest Pro may put off some users, though. After all, the Pro is more than three times the price of the Meta Quest 2. 

"From a practical perspective, Meta Quest Pro is priced too high for the consumer market and lacks the ease of use and comfort necessary to gain significant market share," Hyoun Park, CEO of consulting firm Amalgam Insights, told Lifewire in an email. "It does less than a mobile phone while being priced 50 percent higher than the most expensive phone models. 

"At roughly 3 percent of the average American's yearly salary, Meta Quest Pro either has to anchor a significant consumer ecosystem or be seen as a respected luxury signifier to justify this price. In reality, Meta Quest is currently neither."

front view of the Meta Quest Pro headset


Park said the new pass-through abilities of the Pro would appeal most to business users. He pointed out that the headset could be useful for both human and robotic use in supporting action in open spaces, such as any task requiring three-dimensional positioning dependent on maintaining specific angles.

The focus on mixed reality "speaks to Meta's realization that Hololens' focus on industrial, training, and work use cases have been relatively successful in unlocking the value provided by supporting high-definition graphics that are rendered relatively close to the human eye and capable of providing both an overlay and a virtual replacement of the physical world," he added. 

In the end, the Quest Pro is an incremental step forward in making extended reality achieve the level of intuitive usability that led to the commercial adoption of the smartphone, Park said. 

"At this point, Meta Quest Pro is more like a high-end Blackberry," he added, "the best of its breed at the moment, but in a form factor that will ultimately have to become even easier to use to shift from corporate specialist tool to general commercial use."

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