Another set of leaks for the Meta Quest Pro hit over the weekend, showing off a wildly redesigned headset. Even leaked videos can’t get me too excited about “the metaverse,” but what’s with all these tech companies leaving prototypes around where others can find them?
The gaming streamer Ramiro Cardenas, who goes by Zectriuz Gaming, shared a video to Facebook over the weekend of what is supposedly a Meta Quest Pro he later commented was found in one of the hotel rooms where he works. The streamer claimed he found multiple such devices left in boxes, and in the video takes the time to “ooh” and ogle at the supposed next gen VR headset while offering very little that viewers can actually identify.
The device shown in the video has a sleek, charcoal black design, which is a far cry from the Meta Quest 2 and its glossy white plastic finish. It’s labeled both as the Meta Quest Pro and as an “engineering sample” not meant for sale. There seems to be some removable light blockers on the top and bottom of the headset and a dial that could be used to adjust the distance between the lenses and the users’ eyes. The head straps also seem much more rigid than those on the current Meta Quest 2. The leaked devices also apparently lack a top strap, so the headset would likely need to be pretty light or tight on the face to keep it from slipping.
The controllers themselves are a bit smaller than in past iterations—even toy-like in appearance—and seem to have nixed the large loops that go around users’ hands. An earlier leak from Sunday, also found on Facebook, shows off the Quest Pro box and gives a better hint of the headset and controllers’ overall slimmed-down design. It also appears to look very much like what Meta’s previously hinted at with its Project Cambria headset marketing.
Gizmodo reached out to Meta for comment and to possibly verify the authenticity of the leaks, but we did not immediately hear back. The device in the video and the leaked box photo do appear to be similar, but if this leak is real (and we have our doubts), then the box does come with a few extra light blockers from the get-go, as long as the engineering sample maintains the same packaging as the retail version.
Of course, this kind of leak has “grain of salt” written all over it. The video, like many “accidentally left in a room” stories, has the same vibes as “my uncle works for Nintendo.” Cardenas has also since claimed that the device was returned to its original owner, meaning we never actually got to see him take the device for a spin or even turn the thing on. More crucially, he can’t answer questions about it. The box also looks identical to the original Quest packaging, which adds a bit to the unbelievability of the whole situation.
There are a whole host of important things to learn about the new Quest other than how the device looks. We still don’t know how weighty it is, what kind of specs we’re looking at, and—probably most important for the fledgling VR market—how much it will cost. Meta recently boosted the price of both the 128GB and 256GB Quest 2 models by $100.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently said the company would be showing off its new headset at its Connect conference happening on Oct. 11. Still, there are further rumors we could be getting multiple headset models over the next few years, some far more expensive than others. Meta recently struck a deal with Qualcomm to have its upcoming headsets powered by Snapdragon chipsets.
The difficulty Meta’s reached in trying to corner the VR market is that it’s been getting as many rather extravagant devices into as many users’ hands as possible, all before creating a legitimate use-case for Zuckerberg’s concept of the Metaverse. Even if the technology can get cheap and sophisticated enough to actually power the company’s nebulous concepts of a shared virtual space like Meta’s Horizon Worlds, it also has to shake increasingly negative perceptions of just how bad the whole thing looks and how awful the people inhabiting digital spaces can be.