Here’s what you missed at Meta Connect 2022 • TechCrunch
Last year at Meta Connect, the company then known as Facebook dropped a bombshell: it would now be known as Meta and would focus on building the “metaverse.” After investing billions of dollars in the future of virtual reality, the renowned Meta returned this year for his next big announcement: legs. Yes, avatars will have legs: our disembodied torsos will eventually assume their bipedal form.
Okay, well, we all know that the biggest announcement today was the highly anticipated Meta Quest Pro, a high-end VR headset that retails for $1,499.99. But between his new hardware and…legs, Meta revealed a number of updates to his plan to dominate VR.
Here’s what CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other Meta executives revealed at Meta Connect 2022:
- The Quest Pro ships this month. After months of rumors, Meta introduced the next Quest Pro headset. With Meta’s latest headset, the Quest 2, the company’s goal was to produce an affordable product for the consumer. But the Mixed Reality Quest Pro is Meta’s chance to flex the bottom line for all the money he’s put into Reality Labs.
- Microsoft has partnered with Meta to bring workplace tools to virtual reality. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella joined Zuckerberg at Meta Connect to announce that Windows apps, Teams integration, and Xbox Cloud Gaming are coming to Quest. Users will also be able to use Progressive Web App versions of tools like Word, Excel, Power point and Outlook.
- Meta is really doubling down on this whole “working in VR” thing. Who’s the audience for $1,499 headphones? Corporations, maybe. Meta said it has rolled out 60,000 Quest 2 headsets as part of a partnership with Accenture, and is creating a “Meta Quest for Business” subscription product next year. “There is an opportunity for a VR headset designed from the ground up to be great for work as well as gaming and hanging out,” Zuckerberg said. CTO Andrew Bosworth seems to be on the same page, noting that one day, VR headsets could replace our desktops entirely. We’ll believe it when we see it.
- Meta finally revealed some revenue figures. Until now, Meta has been pretty cautious when it comes to disclosing any financial information about its metaverse (unless it’s the SEC asking). Today, the company said its Quest Store has earned more than $1.5 billion in game and app sales. That sounds impressive, but consider that last quarter alone, Meta invested $2.8 billion in VR.
- It’s time to swell. Exercise is an unexpected use case for virtual reality. There’s a lot to be skeptical of when it comes to Zuckerberg’s intense metaverse push, but VR fitness apps like Supernatural are actually a lot of fun. Now, Meta is launching a bundle of products to help him be…less sweaty when he’s boxing in his headphones. For $69.99, you get a wipeable face interface, wrist straps, and adjustable knuckle straps. Is that really worth $69.99? I don’t know, is the Quest Pro really worth $1,499.99? We’ll see.
- Meta lands a partnership with NBCUniversal. As part of a multi-year deal, streaming app Peacock is coming to Quest. Meta also said that he will develop experiences around IPs like The Office, Universal Monsters, DreamWorks, Blumhouse, Halloween Horror Nights.
- Share Horizon Worlds on Reels videos. We’re not sure who wanted this, but sure. Why not. In all seriousness, it could be a good way for Meta to simply raise awareness of what Horizon Worlds is and how (a small number of) people are using it. But Horizon Worlds is a bit boring at best, so we don’t see this catching on.
- But what if legs could change everything? Yeah, Horizon Worlds is a pretty embarrassing attempt to convince people that the metaverse is cool. But what if our disembodied torsos finally had legs ? In the next Meta avatar update, we will finally look like real people. About. “Seriously, legs are hard!” Zuckerberg joked during the presentation.
Well, if you’re itching to edit some spreadsheets, jump into Teams calls in VR, and stretch your new digital legs, the Quest Pro is available for pre-order now and is expected to ship on October 25.