OPINION: Qualcomm’s IFA keynote featured a surprise (virtual) appearance from Mark Zuckerberg. The Meta founder and CEO revealed that the two companies have struck a multi-year deal which will involve collaborating on custom VR chipsets and premium experiences for the Meta Quest.
This announcement comes just a month after Meta broke the news that the Meta Quest 2 would be seeing a steep price hike, taking the 128GB model from $299/£299 to $399/£399 and the 256GB Quest from $399/£399 up to $499/£499.
“We’re making a change that will help us continue to invest for the long term and keep driving the VR industry forward with best-in-class hardware, action-packed games, and cutting-edge research on the path to truly next-gen devices”, explained Meta at the time in defense of the price increase to its two-year-old console.
In that week’s edition of Ctrl+Alt+Delete, Trusted Reviews computing and gaming editor Ryan Jones argued that Meta had lost sight of the Quest’s main appeal – its fantastic value.
The low price is something that made the Meta Quest 2 an accessible option for those looking to dip their toes into VR and the metaverse without throwing large amounts of money at a product they might not find they enjoy or use as much as a traditional games console.
It’s safe to say that if Meta loses that value factor, it’ll need to bring something new to the table to continue to tempt consumers into taking the plunge into the world of VR.
This could ultimately be where the deal with Qualcomm comes in.
Collaborating with Qualcomm is nothing new for Meta. Snapdragon chipsets have powered plenty of the company’s headsets from the Oculus Go to the Meta Quest 2. However, Meta says this new partnership will involve the two companies building specialised technologies to power Quest headsets and other devices.
“Together, Meta and Qualcomm will collaborate on customised VR chipsets powered by Snapdragon XR platforms and technology for our future roadmap of Quest products”, explained Zuckerberg during the keynotes.
“With powerful chipsets optimised specifically for Meta VR devices, we can continue pushing VR hardware to its limits to deliver the best possible experiences”.
The details are still pretty cloudy and Meta hasn’t revealed much about what’s to come for the Quest beyond Qualcomm’s closer involvement. It also isn’t clear how this will connect to the high-end Project Cambria expected to launch this year.
However, it does seem the company plans to leverage this partnership to bring new and upgraded experiences to the Quest line. Hopefully, it’s enough to make the Meta Quest 3 worth the higher price.