A successor to the Oculus Quest 2 seems to have been confirmed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in a January earnings call that put the VR headset front and center.
The Oculus Quest 2 has widely been seen as a success, further penetrating the mainstream consumer market with its controlled pricing – even cheaper than the original Quest, with better performance – and it garnered 4.5 stars in our Quest 2 review.
Speaking to investors, Zuckerberg confirmed that, “We’re continuing to work on new hardware as well. The new hardware will fit the same platform, so the content that works on Quest 2 should be forward-compatible, so that we’re going to build one larger install base around the virtual reality headsets that we have.”
These comments certainly make it sound like an Oculus Quest 3 is in the works, though a vague affirmation to investors doesn't mean a release date is coming anytime soon.
It's worth noting that the Quest 2 was launched in October 2020, only a year and a half after the original model; with that timeline in mind, it's possible we'll see a Quest 3 in early 2022, which isn't very far off.
We expect the Quest 3 would continue to be a standalone VR headset, with an increase in resolution, battery life and processing power, as we saw with the previous iteration (the Quest 2's resolution is 50% sharper than its predecessor). It will almost certainly still require a Facebook account to access the platform, though, so anyone keen to stay out of the Facebook ecosystem will likely want to look elsewhere.
The Quest 2's upped 90Hz refresh rate is very welcome, though we expect we won't see that increase just yet, given it isn't yet widely supported across the majority of Oculus VR games.
No official sales numbers have been confirmed for the Quest 2, but we know it received five times as many preorders than the original model, showing a clear uptick in interest – and a year of lockdowns and indoors entertainment is likely seeing this continue to go up.
Zuckerberg makes it clear that he doesn't consider the Quest 2 to have cracked the mainstream yet – as reported by RoadtoVR, the tech magnate stated at 2018 that 10 million VR users were needed to ensure the Oculus platform was "sustainable and profitable for all kinds of developers. And once we get across this threshold, we think that the content and the ecosystem are just going to explode."
Competition is certainly hovering nearby: the Valve Index is our top pick of the VR headsets we've tested, but transistor shortages have effectively shut down manufacturing for the past year, making it very difficult to get hold of one, and leaving a big gap in the market for Oculus to fill.
Rumors are building around an Apple VR headset, too, which could spell competition – but with Oculus already on the market and amassing millions of users, and little else approaching mainstream pricing, it looks like the war is already being won.