Meta unveiled its latest VR headset on Tuesday, but the updated model still leaves customers asking—who is this for?
- Meta Platforms released the Quest Pro headset on Tuesday, featuring a slimmer design and better optics than its predecessor. New sensors give the device the ability to capture facial expressions and combine virtual and real-world objects. The headset costs $1,500.
- Meta’s new release comes amid troubles for the company. CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently confirmed a hiring freeze at the company and told employees that more cost cutting measures would soon follow.
- The social-media giant is also under pressure from the public and government officials to further minimize misinformation and better protect teens who use the platform.
Why it’s news
Meta has been facing difficulties this year as evidenced by office closures, hiring freezes, and other cost cutting measures. Despite current troubles including drops in ad revenue, Zuckerberg is continuing to pour resources into developing the metaverse.
The company’s new VR headset is an improvement from the previous model, but customers are confused about who the device is actually marketed to.
Zuckerberg and other Meta representatives describe the headset as a tool for “getting work done.” The company suggests uses such as working in virtual meeting rooms. Meta has also announced plans to make Office, Teams, and Windows compatible with the Quest Pro.
These announcements suggest that the devices are intended for office use, yet other Meta reps have said that the headset will appeal to gamers and others who want to use the device for entertainment purposes.
“The system is also the best place to play games, as much as we are focusing on this new audience,” Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth said. The device, he added, “is going to take existing experiences that people are having today in VR and make them better.”
Zuckerberg himself admitted that the customer base will likely be mixed.
“Who are the ideal customers for this?” Zuckerberg said. “It’s going to be either people who want the highest-end VR device, so enthusiasts or prosumer-type folks, or people who are trying to get work done.”
Backing up a bit
Meta’s announcement about the closure of a New York office combined with a previously announced hiring freeze could mean Facebook is losing its luster.
Facebook parent company Meta Platforms has been cutting back on its expansion plans in New York, though it is continuing with plans to expand offices near Pennsylvania Station.
The closure of the Manhattan office comes soon after CEO Mark Zuckerberg called for team reorganization and workforce cutbacks.
The company has instituted a hiring freeze during a time of restructuring which includes cutting expenses and refocusing on priorities. This is the first major budget cut since Facebook’s founding.