This year we’ll be dealing with a slew of new virtual reality headsets that seem set to deliver next-gen experiences thanks to technological upgrades.
PlayStation VR 2 joins Meta Quest Pro, released in 2022, to offer eye-tracking that allows developers to create more immersive and ambitious software experiences. The Oculus Quest 3 is believed to bring a color passthrough to Meta’s budget-friendly lineup for a more realistic mixed reality experience. We may also see the long-rumored Apple VR headset.It’s a spec that reports suggest is “the perfect laptop for your face,” and one we can’t wait to try.
But what about the next generation of VR headsets after all of this has happened? We asked Leland Hedges, EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) General Manager for headset maker Pico, for some possible answers. Saw.
Improvements to current specs
Hedges was the first to suggest the headset upgrades we can expect at launch for the Pico 5, Oculus Quest 3, and Meta Quest Pro 2. With this, we are talking about a device with increased computing power thanks to the latest generation of processors, using a higher resolution display and improving the quality of the existing color passthrough and depth sensor.
We’d also love to see features currently exclusive to premium models, such as face tracking and eye tracking, introduced into the brand’s more budget-friendly lines (if this doesn’t increase costs too much).
Hope to see Quest Pro features in more Meta headsets (Image credit: Future)
But it’s not just a matter of substance, “a more comfortable form factor is very useful for users across the enterprise and consumer space,” Hedges added. If you can’t stand wearing a VR headset for long periods of time, there’s little point in upgrading the battery and equipping it with laptop-like levels of computing power.
Other VR content
As with hardware upgrades, content is also needed, Hedges said. And not just more games.
“Right now, VR headsets are seen as very gaming-centric devices, and I think VR needs to offer more types of experiences for it to become ‘mainstream’.
This is not to suggest that Pico will abandon the game anytime soon. Hedges said he could not elaborate on what IP Pico is developing or partnerships with developers (such as an upcoming limited-time release of Just Dance VR from Ubisoft), but he said: He added that he believes VR content can evolve further.
Mini-golf in space is great, but the benefits of VR don’t stop there. (Image credit: Mighty Coconuts)
VR concerts are becoming more and more popular, and people are watching sporting events in VR. We’re also talking major leagues like the NBA on Meta and the FIFA World Cup on Pico. People are exercising in VR. VR software can also help with mental health. “People are using VR experiences in exposure therapy to get closer to spiders and to be more comfortable at heights,” Hedges said.
We’ll have to wait and see what kind of experiences we have in the pipeline.
But a truly next-generation device isn’t just doing what was before it in a better way. New and exciting features are needed and 5G or 6G connectivity offers a lot of utility for VR headsets.
Hedges said he doesn’t expect to see this in the near future, but in the medium to long term he expects carriers and XR headset makers to work together to create a “really compelling product.” I hope. in the inter-company space.
Ready to turn your iPhone into a VR headset? (Image credit: Apple)
Meta Quest Pro and Pico 4 Enterprise headsets allow collaborators to meet in VR in a more interactive way than regular voice or video calls. So, just as companies want to use their work phone so they can answer business calls from anywhere in the world, employers want their employees to carry around her 5G headset and use it anywhere. You can enable her to answer VR calls. anytime.
And devices like the rumored Apple VR headset are expected to offer laptop-like functionality, featuring high-end specs such as Apple’s M2 chip, which powers many of the best MacBooks and Macs. increase. You can put your VR office almost anywhere you want, but until battery life improves, you’ll need to put it near a wall outlet.
From a more consumer perspective, portable 5G headsets open up the possibility of more interactive multiplayer mixed reality experiences. You and your friend can meet in a virtual park to play a game of paintball, or sit on a virtual bench and play chess to choose from several possible use cases.
Upgrades are great for gadgets, but not so good for your wallet. So one way manufacturers find a balance between offering budget-friendly headsets and options that appeal to prosumers (professionals and high-end users) is to modularize headsets. is to
We are already starting to see this aspect. Hedges was keen to discuss Pico’s upcoming fitness tracker, an additional band currently in beta for his testing. This allows Pico 4 to track more of the wearer’s movements. By wrapping these optional bands around your ankles, the headset can monitor leg movements as well as arm movements. This makes the Pico 4 even better for VR fitness fans (because a workout can affect their legs) and gamers. For a more immersive experience.
HTC’s upcoming Vive XR Elite will also be modular in design. Its battery pack is removable to make it lighter for wired VR, and HTC says it plans to release eye-tracking and face-tracking add-ons for the device in the future. If you just want the core product, it’s available for a seemingly reasonable $1,099 / £1,299 (around AU$2,300), and you’ll only have to pay extra for the upgrades you care about.
Vive XR Elite’s modular design could be a winner (Image credit: Future)
To me, this modular system sounds perfect. I recently wrote about how I like the Meta Quest Pro with its upgraded processing power over my Quest 2, but the expensive eye-tracking just isn’t worth it. If you can get the Quest Pro for less and add eye tracking as an option when it becomes more convenient, that’s great.
Subscriptions and Bundles
Speaking of making headsets more affordable, Hedges’ last suggestion for next-gen upgrades was about affordability. He and his Pico recognize that he is one of the most important factors when it comes to consumer VR. As such, Hedges predicts that subscriptions and bundles will become the norm for XR device makers going forward.
I’ve seen a few VR hardware bundles over the years, and many of them are garbage. Normally, you would just get a headset at full price with add-ons you didn’t need. More recently, Meta and Pico bundle software with hardware and offer decent discounts. Their Black Friday sales not only lowered the cost of their headsets, they also gave users the best VR games for free.
Hedges added that bundling makes the device more affordable as well as more approachable. Users have instant access to the right mix of titles that describe the functionality of their new gadget. When you’re done with them, you’ll get a good feel for what experiences you like and dislike, and you’ll be able to discover new content based on your informed preferences.
Viveport Infinity is one of the best deals in VR. (Image credit: Vive)
Another way the next version of the headset will be more affordable is through a subscription model. It’s similar to a phone deal or Microsoft’s Xbox All-Access deal, which spreads the cost of purchasing a device over months. Buying products in installments rather than in installments carries risks, but spreads the costs and makes expensive technology more accessible.
Similar to Netflix and Xbox Game Pass, HTC’s Viveport Infinity subscription offers unlimited downloads for $13 / £13 / AU$18 per month. You can access a library of content (in this case VR games) that you can play and enjoy. Previously Meta said he thinks the Quest 2’s software should adopt this kind of strategy in his catalog, but future devices will adopt this or the other ideas discussed here You need to check whether