Meta Connect 2022 as it happened– Meta Quest Pro, VR games and all the big news
The Meta Quest Pro is here
The Meta Connect 2022 opening keynote is over, but it gave VR fans plenty of things to get excited about.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg not only unveiled the long-awaited Project Cambria headset – now known to be the Meta Quest Pro. It's not a true successor to the Oculus Quest 2 like an Oculus Quest 3 would be, instead, it delivers an impressive mixed-reality experience.
We also got plenty of big VR game announcements, including the arrival of Marvel's Iron Man VR on the Quest Platform and the release date for the chaotically fun Among Us VR (it's coming out on November 10).
Read on to see all the biggest announcements from Meta Connect 2022 as they happened, as well as our predictions for the event from earlier in the day.
Welcome to our Meta Connect 2022 live blog! I'm Hamish and I'll be here all day bringing you all the information you need to know about the event and the announcements Meta might be making.
The one we're most anticipating is Project Cambria, a new VR headset to replace the hugely popular Oculus Quest 2, but we're also expecting to see a few software updates that will show us how the best Oculus Quest 2 games and apps will take advantage of Cambria's new hardware.
A few of our other experts may pop in here throughout the day too, so keep an eye out for their thoughts and analysis before we get into the event. During the keynote itself, we'll be regularly updating this page with all the latest news as Meta announces it.
So you know that the event is meant to start at 10am PT / 1pm ET / 6pm BST (3am AEST on October 12), but how do you watch Meta Connect 2022? We're covering all the biggest announcements from the opening keynote here, but you have two options if you want to tune in and watch it yourself.
Your first is to head to the Reality Labs Facebook Page (opens in new tab) on a web browser and watch the live-stream announcements as they happen there. You can do this from a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Alternatively, if you have an Oculus Quest 2 you can watch the event in the metaverse through Horizon Worlds. To do this you must first head to the Meta Connect 2022 (opens in new tab) website in a browser where you can log in and register. Once you’ve done that you can update and open the Horizon Worlds app on your Quest 2 where you will then find the Meta Connect program in the Events tab of your Horizon menu.
We've mentioned that the big announcement we expect today is the full reveal of Project Cambria – which several rumors and leaks have said is going to be called the Meta Quest Pro (though I hope it isn't as I don't like the name).
When Meta announced Cambria at last year's Connect it told us the headset would be a premium follow-up to the Oculus Quest 2, delivering a much more high-end experience at a higher price.
Based on this we expect Project Cambria will boast some spec upgrades in terms of its RAM, processors, battery life, and storage space compared with the Quest 2. Though we already know that the new headset will come with some unique features that we've not seen from Meta before.
The first is color passthrough. The Quest 2 currently only has black and white passthrough, meaning its external cameras can only show you the real world in grayscale while you're wearing it. Thanks to new cameras Cambria will be able to show you the real world in full color which should help to make any augmented reality or mixed reality experiences feel more real.
The other big improvement is set to be eye and face tracking. This will allow your virtual avatar to be more expressive, and as we saw with the PlayStation VR 2 demo it will allow NPCs to react more realistically to you. We also hope that eye-tracking will allow developers to use foveated rendering to make more graphically impressive games without needing massive improvements to the headset's specs.
I absolutely love my VR headset and use it every week to enjoy a mixture of the best VR games out there. But not everyone is as positive about the current state of the industry; they still want something more than what the Oculus Quest 2 offers.
With Project Cambria expected to raise the bar of what's out there, I asked Matt Hanson, our Managing Editor of Computing and Entertainment, to tell me what he wants to see from the next-gen device.
"I love the idea of virtual reality, but despite a few exceptions, I’ve not felt VR has lived up to its potential yet, so I want Meta to really impress me with any VR headset they show off.
"I want something that’s immersive and gives me incredible VR experiences, while also not being too cumbersome to set up and use. Many of the VR headsets I’ve used have ended up gathering dust because they were such a faff to use - and the VR games weren’t worth the hassle. If Meta is serious about VR when other companies seem to have lost interest, then it needs to be ambitious."
I certainly wouldn't argue with Matt here, a comfortable, convenient, and powerful headset is exactly the sort of device Meta should unveil based on what it has been teasing. And with those kinds of improvements it should be able to facilitate better and more immersive VR games than we've seen before – even titles better than the already excellent Resident Evil 4 VR.
We'll just have to wait and see what Meta unveils in roughly five hours' time.
Speaking of games, we expect today's Meta Connect keynote will include some VR software announcements. We don't anticipate anything too major because this isn't one of its Quest Gaming Showcases, though we'll happily be proven wrong.
Most likely we'll see Meta announce Project Cambria-related updates for many of the Oculus Quest 2 games we already know and love. That means mixed reality and face-tracking support for games like Horizon Worlds, Beat Saber, and others.
It may also provide us with updates on games that are headed to its platform over the next few months – titles like the hotly anticipated Among Us VR. In particular, we want to hear more about the elusive GTA San Andreas VR, which was announced a year ago but has been radio silent ever since. Hopefully, this will be the day we finally hear more about it.
We've talked about Project Cambria, and we've talked about the VR games we might see, but one important piece of hardware we haven't discussed yet is the new controllers we expect to see get announced in just under three hours.
If you look at the official silhouette of Project Cambria above you'll see that the controllers on either side of it lack any kind of tracking ring. This ring is present on the Oculus Quest 2's handsets and is what the headset uses to follow the controllers as they move.
Instead it's believed that Project Cambria's new controllers will use in-built cameras to know where they are, using the cameras just like the headset uses its snappers to know where it is in your play space.
The main benefits of this new design would be that the controllers can get closer together without parts clashing into each other, and you'll be able to move the controller out of sight of the headset without tracking being lost. Upgraded handsets may also be able to perform more precise movements than what's possible with more traditional options.
With the event drawing nearer we don't have much longer to wait before we find out what Meta's new hardware is capable of.
With all this talk about the Meta Quest Pro and Project Cambria going around you're probably wondering where the Oculus Quest 3 fits into all this. Well unfortunately we don't think that VR headset will get its time in the spotlight today.
Since its announcement, Meta has been keen to clarify that Project Cambria is a premium upgrade to the Quest 2 and not a true (budget-friendly) successor. To us, this has implied that it's most likely going to be the first in an all-new 'Pro' line of devices that will sit alongside the numbered Quest line (the Quest 2, Quest 3, etc).
Then because Cambria is really the only headset Meta has been talking about this year (except for its not-for-release prototypes like Starburst which I got to try out) we don't expect Meta will launch a second consumer-ready VR headset at Connect 2022.
That said, with leaks for the Oculus Quest 3 starting to appear we might get a brief teaser for the headset at the end of the presentation. If this is the case we don't imagine it'll be much more than a silhouette and a codename (which rumors indicate might be Project Stinson) which is exactly what we got at Connect 2021 for Project Cambria.
We're just one hour away from the opening keynote at Meta Connect.
Here's one more reminder on how to watch it if you missed it earlier. Option A is to head to the Reality Labs Facebook Page (opens in new tab) on a web browser (using your phone, tablet, or computer) to watch the stream there.
Alternatively, you can watch Meta Connect in the Metaverse through the Horizon Worlds social platform. Before you can do this though you'll need to register on the Meta Connect 2022 (opens in new tab) website in a browser. Once that's done you can download or update Horizon Worlds to your Quest 2 and then head to the Events tab of your Horizon menu to find the full Meta Connect program.
The live stream is live (opens in new tab)!
At the moment it's just a load of swirly colors but you can head to the stream now so that you're ready for when Mark Zuckerberg's keynote properly begins.
An ominous countdown has begun, you have less than 10 minutes before the keynote begins...
I saw the Meta logo flash onscreen just now and got very excited, turns out we still have a few more minutes to go before the announcements start.
Things are definitely looking different onscreen now folks, I think Meta Connect 2022 is about to kick off.
We're currently seeing a flashback of everything over the past year. This includes a look at Meta's prototype VR headsets and the Nope experience in Horizon Worlds.
What's your favorite VR game or app that launched this year?
Mark Zuckerberg is talking and promising that Meta is taking a big step forward with its new headset, something that he promises will be as impressive as the original Oculus Rift and the first Oculus Quest. Let's hope that Project Cambria lives up to that.
Meta just mentioned App Lab, a work-in-progress game platform that is something to check out if you have a Quest 2 and haven't already. It lets you play games while they're being worked on so you can help developers sculpt new immersive experiences for other players
I absolutely loved playing Ancient Dungeon which started its life on App Lab, and I'm sure you'll enjoy it too if you like to play action-packed rogue-lite games.
I've not been a huge fan of Horizon Worlds but these announcements sound like a great way to improve the platform.
Getting professional partners to create worlds inspired by beloved properties like The Office and films from Dreamworks should help improve the quality of the virtual spaces.
And adding players and creators from outside of VR is a good idea too. There just aren't enough VR users to keep Horizon Worlds exclusive to VR-only platforms while also trying to make it popular.
Crayta! That one-time Google Stadia game is a really fun tool to make, share and play games with friends and people from all over the world.
I was really hoping Unit 2's expertise would inspire Meta to improve Horizon Worlds, and it sounds like it has been taking note.
Marvel's Iron Man VR is coming to the Quest 2 on November 2. This previously PS4- and PSVR-exclusive game is an absolute blast for MCU fans.
Among Us VR has a release date too: November 10. If you preorder it you'll get a mini crewmate bonus reward for free.
Now for something more terrifying: The Walking Dead Saints and Sinners Chapter 2 Retribution. Players will be able to return to the walker infested streets of New Orleans on December 1.
We also got a sneak peek at something new from developer Skydance Interactive. Set in grim-looking snowy landscape, Behemoth will be launching in 2023. We can't wait to find out more about it.
I actually love using my Quest 2 to get active while also having fun.
Pistol Whip, Beat Saber, and the best Oculus Quest 2 fitness games are much more fun than hitting the gym or going out for a jog, especially as we head into winter here in the UK.
If you're looking to try a VR workout then you might want to pick up the new Active Pack on October 25.
It comes with a wipeable face cover and improved wrist straps for your Oculus Quest 2's controllers which should help you get more active in VR without damaging your Oculus Quest 2.
I definitely don't want to spend a whole working day in VR if I have to wear my Oculus Quest 2. It's fine for short bursts, but it can feel quite heavy if you have to wear it for longer than a few hours.
Meta's new Workrooms improvements to meetings and your virtual office space sound fine, but if Meta wants me to use Workrooms then Project Cambria will need to be a lighter and more comfortable VR headset than what we have right now.
They just said "It's time". Is the Project Cambria announcement finally here?
Meta has finally unveiled Project Cambria, now officially known as the Meta Quest Pro.
We've had a chance to use the Meta Quest Pro already, and it's an impressive headset, to say the least.
It comes with a new Snapdragon XR2+ chip and 12GB of RAM to provide much better performance than the Quest 2. It also comes with 256GB of storage so you can download as many apps and games as you might need.
Though, as Meta just mentioned in the keynote, the Meta Quest Pro is a mixed reality focused headset. Thanks to its design and new color passthrough feature its experiences create an excellent blend of virtual and real-world aspects into one coherent activity.
Unfortunately, that means in our experience it doesn't seem as immersive as the Oculus Quest 2 for purely VR experiences. Case in point it doesn't completely block out the real world around you, the headset actually sits a fair distance away from your face.
You heard that right, the Meta Quest Pro will set you back $1,499 / £1,499 (around AU$2,400) – that's roughly four times more expensive than the Oculus Quest 2.
Microsoft is bringing Teams to the metaverse, yay...
Microsoft 365 is also coming to the Quest, that means you'll be able to use Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Word in VR.
If you're keen to work in VR with your own immersive office where you can collaborate with your colleagues no matter where they are in the world then this could actually be pretty neat.
Big news for you gaming fans: Xbox's cloud gaming platform is coming to Quest headsets.
If you have an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription you can stream games over the internet so you can play them from your Xbox One, Xbox Series X, smartphone, PC, and now Quest 2 and Quest Pro VR headsets.
More working in VR discussions have been happening. Meta really wants people to take their job into the metaverse doesn't it?
I'd be super excited to turn wherever I am into a Beat Saber stage!
Also isn't that the Arcane theme? It's currently not in the game so are new Imagine Dragons songs coming to Beat Saber? I hope they are.
Meta is showing off its new avatars and how they'll appear in non-VR places including Reels, Messenger, and Facebook. You can use your avatar in new emojis and you'll even be able to use them in video chat so you can feel like a Vtuber.
Meta's avatars are coming to Zoom too, so you can use your avatar if you haven't finished getting yourself ready for the call instead of switching your camera off completely.
If you want a full-body avatar like Mark Zuckerberg is using right now you'll need to check out the Horizon Worlds social platform, as that's where they'll appear first.
Though they won't be coming until next year, so you'll have to float around as a legless torso for a little while longer.
Meta is now talking about its AR ambitions and its AR glasses like the Ray-Ban Stories.
These sleek, smart glasses are pretty impressive with discreet gadgetry and impressive open-air speakers are surprisingly good, but they feel a little basic right now.
That could be changing though as new features are coming including support for Spotify.
Meta announced that it's working on all-new AR glasses with Ray-Ban, though that's all it had to say. Hopefully we'll hear more about them at Meta Connect 2023.
Meta is now discussing personalized AI delivered through AR glasses and VR headsets. This is starting to sound a lot like a Tony Stark gadget, perhaps Marvel's Iron Man VR coming to the Quest 2 was just the start of Meta's plan to turn us into the genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist.
Meta has also just shown off its prototype accessibility features.
There are wrist-based controllers that let users control digital experiences by twitching their muscles. And it's also shown us how AR glasses could be used to help visually- and hearing-impaired people navigate the world around them.
The technology looks like it's still in early-ish stages of development, but these tools look like they could one day be invaluable to people with disabilities.
Meta is once again showing off its lifelike avatars. They start to fall into the uncanny valley somewhat (the facial expressions aren't quite right yet) but if you miss the explanation that these are virtual (like I did last year) you can be tricked into thinking they're real people for a few moments.
The Meta Quest Pro does feel like a device that Meta wants to be a laptop for your face.
I'll need to use it more to decide if I think that's really a good idea, but it was certainly comfy and its performance is at least as good as the laptop I use every day for work.
Meta believes that an open metaverse is the best way forward, highlighting that the ecosystem will only succeed because it's partnering with numerous other companies like Microsoft and Ray-Ban to deliver this interconnected digital space.
Though how open does it want the metaverse to be? Will it be partnering with ByteDance and Valve to bring Horizon Worlds to the new Pico 4 and Valve Index? We'll have to see it to believe it.
That's it for the Meta Connect keynote, so expect that to be it in terms of the major announcements for this year's event.
To remind you what they were, Meta finally unveiled the Meta Quest Pro (formerly Project Cambria), a mixed-reality focused device that will deliver a next-gen experience at a price of $1,499 / £1,499 (around AU$2,400).
It also unveiled several new Oculus Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro games, including Marvel's Iron Man 2, Behemoth, and POPULATION: ONE Sandbox. We also got release dates for Among Us VR (November 10) and The Walking Dead Saints & Sinners Chapter 2 Retribution (December 1).
We also found that Xbox games will be coming to the Quest platform via streaming for people with an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription.
Last but not least, we got a look at the future of Meta's digital avatars. In the near future, Horizon Worlds users will finally get to use models with legs and further down the line our avatars might look just like real people.
We didn't hear anything more about a possible Oculus Quest 3, but hopefully, we won't have to wait until Meta Connect 2023 to find out about the next VR project that Meta is working on.
That's it for our live blog coverage tonight, but expect to see reactions from other members of the TechRadar team when they come back online tomorrow (October 12) at 9am BST / 1am PT / 4am ET / 6pm AEST.
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