What to expect from the big Meta Connect 2022 event

Meta Connect 2022 landing page.

The event has served as a launch pad for many AR/VR products and initiatives in the past.

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We’re just a day away from the annual Metaverse Connect event. In years past, the show was where Meta (formerly Facebook) hardware and software debuted, such as Meta (formerly Oculus) Quest 2 and its social network, Horizon Worlds, and a VR game. This year’s show is once again expected to tilt the Meta VR hardware success with the introduction of the new high-end Quest headset, a possible follow-up to the more affordable Quest 2, and updates to Horizon Worlds graphics.

In order to prepare you for Tomorrow’s live broadcast, which begins at 1 p.m. ET, we’ve rounded up some of the things we can expect to see at the event. Read on to find out if you should proceed, or if you can safely skip Mark Zuckerberg’s speech and just settle in for the full post-event coverage we’ll have here at ZDNET.

also: The best virtual reality headphones

MetaQuest Pro

Side view of the Quest Pro prototype.

Screenshot from the massive leak of the Quest pro a few weeks ago.

Zectariuz Gaming / Facebook

Whether you know him as the Quest Pro or Project Cambria, you’ve likely seen at least one of the many leaks surrounding the anticipated star of Meta Connect 2022. While Mark Zuckerberg was seen in previous articles wearing a confirmed Project Cambria headset, just a few weeks ago, the public got Apparently it has its best look yet on the headset that will already be launched to the public as the Meta Quest Pro.

Screenshot of the Meta Quest Pro prototype packaging.

What appears to be the semi-finished retail packaging of the slim headphone.

Zectariuz Gaming / Facebook

The somewhat unusual leak stemmed from a bag of headphones apparently left in a hotel, and the unknown Facebook account found. Some of the biggest VR and AR hardware news in recent memory. The leaked video included the part seen above, in which we seem to have received confirmation that the new headset will indeed be called the Meta Quest Pro.

Hand holding the Meta Quest Pro's redesigned left console.

Zectariuz Gaming / Facebook

Other than that, the video showed us revamped consoles with much smaller tracking rings and a headset that looks exactly like the Project Cambria unit worn by Zuckerberg himself.

This unit, and previous leaks about it, suggest it will switch from the Fresnel lenses used in the first two Quest headphones to “pancake” optics. This allows for a lighter, all-around design, while also eliminating the “God rays,” or unwanted beams of reflected light that Fresnel lenses are known to add.

Front of the Quest Pro prototype with three front cameras.

It’s very likely that these are the new cameras we see looking at us.

Zectariuz Gaming / Facebook

Other features are expected to include things like full color scrolling with the new front cameras (improved black and white scrolling for Quest 2 across cameras); redesigned halo head strap; And the possibility of new tracking features for embedded controllers, hands, eyes, or even other parts of the body.

Although there aren’t any strong rumors about pricing, the new unit is expected to be more expensive than the Quest 2, which was The price was raised not so long ago to $400 for its basic model. We’ll have to see how much more the new high-end headphone will sell for when Mark Zuckerberg takes the stage.

If you’re already worried that the price of a new VR headset might run out anytime soon, the Meta might have something in store for you, too.

also: 2023 will be a pivotal year for virtual reality: which headset will you buy?

Meta Quest 3

Meta Quest 3 Front and side view graphic

Presumed leaked technical drawing of Quest 3.

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We haven’t seen nearly as many leaks on Quest 2’s supposed live Meta follow-up. In fact, almost everything we know, and all of the supposed leaked images (including the one above) come from one place: SadlyItsBradley’s YouTube Channel.

According to a VR-centric YouTuber, the Quest 3 will skip features like eye tracking, but bring with it a major processing upgrade that should make it capable of handling more graphically intensive games that once required the Quest 2 to be hooked up to a PC. This upgrade will come, according to the YouTuber, via a new chip that Meta is collaborating with Qualcomm on. The supposed “Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2” may also ship with additional RAM and a larger maximum storage layer, according to the leak.

Perhaps most importantly, the Quest 3 is also expected to be priced at or close to the current Quest 2 MSRP. This should ensure that the Meta maintains a consumer-friendly price point, even if the Quest Pro ends up being expensive Too much for most users.

Horizon worlds

3 screenshots from Meta Horizon Worlds and the social experience

Avatars currently in Horizon Worlds have gotten some unpleasant comments.

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The term Metaverse is often called for being mysterious and mysterious. Even Meta, which has rebranded itself to show its dedication to the concept, often seems a little unclear on what exactly the Metaverse will look like. However, the most early monolithic effort at defining this new universe was Horizon Worlds, the kind of hybrid gaming and social experience that nearly every tech blog and its brother (relatively appropriate) have described as “Second Life in VR”.

The app allows users to interact socially, play games together, collaborate, and more. Think of it as the infant variant of what Meta hopes will eventually become the Metaverse.

Avatar for Horizon Worlds by Mark Zuckerberg.

This was the actual screenshot used when Horizon Worlds launched in France and Spain.

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Unfortunately for the company’s ambitions, this Metaverse in the early days became something of a meme, especially its somewhat mediocre looking avatars. Mark Zuckerberg’s avatar, in particular, has garnered more than its fair share of posts about how basic Horizon Worlds should have looked.

Mark Zuckerberg's Instagram post about the future of Horizon Worlds

Zuckerberg’s response came quickly via Instagram after the backlash to the now infamous France-Spain ad.

Mark Zuckerberg / Instagram

When the backlash became apparent, Zuckerberg quickly took to Instagram to post what his company had for Horizon Worlds, promising more information in “Connect.” That means we have to find out more in tomorrow’s event, including whether or not those upgraded avatars will have lower halves on their bodies.

also: Metaverse: Momentum is building but companies remain cautious

everything else

There’s always a chance to get a moment of writing “something else” at high-profile events. While we don’t have any solid leads at this sort of moment yet, we expect there will be a typical third-party debut roster making its way into keyword and programming after that. Expect announcements from some of the biggest partners Meta has collaborated with in the past, including popular game developers and potential third-party hardware makers.

Companies like Logitech have also released products like Logitech Chorus add-on for Quest 2which will likely see a mission follow-up 3. Meanwhile, device makers like Anker have been harassing peripherals like Anker VR P10 Earbuds This promises lag-free wireless audio that will actually work with VR headsets. Some of tomorrow’s most exciting VR announcements may not happen at Meta Connect 2022 at all, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

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