The Meta Quest 3

Consumer

The Meta Quest 3

While Apple has taken the virtual reality (VR) limelight of late with the Vision Pro, the 10 October launch of Meta’s new Quest 3 headset will give us the clearest indication yet as to whether VR entertainment has the potential to become a new mass-market media format or remain a small niche.

The Quest 2 has been the best-selling VR device by some margin with almost 20 million devices sold in the three years since its launch in October 2020. This iteration is more capable, smaller and is being sold for $500 (£470 in the UK). While more expensive than its predecessor ($299 at launch), this headset is clearly a more accessible mass consumer proposition than the Vision Pro, which costs $3,499. Apple has changed our perception of the possibilities for spatial computing in the long term but the success of the Quest 3 will be more telling for the future of the entertainment industry. 

What we are looking for is evidence of VR moving towards a tipping point, from being an essentially vendorfunded growth initiative to an ecosystem of gamers and developers with enough critical mass to selfsustain and grow. At Meta’s Connect conference last month, it revealed that lifetime sales of Quest Store games and apps reached $2bn, up from $1.5bn last year. While this is not an inconsequential number, $500m for the most popular VR platform indicates that VR currently makes up only a tiny portion of the c $500bn global games market. Market analysts expect VR to be the fastest growing game format with a 30%+ CAGR over the next few years versus 5–10% for the games industry as a whole, but this is from a very low base. 

Meta’s success with the Quest is doubly important because the current fragmentation of the VR headset landscape is holding back the growth of the market development spend, by diluting development spend and making it more difficult for multiplayer games or communities to grow. The emergence of two or three mass-market VR platforms, which both consumers and developers can gravitate towards, is needed for the market to gain critical mass. Meta, with the Quest platform, is in pole position to lead this pack with a clear lead in terms of both device shipments and its developer community.

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