Meta to Launch New VR Headset in October, Zuckerberg Tells Joe Rogan

·4-min read

Meta chief Mark Zuckerberg sat down for chat with popular podcaster Joe Rogan, revealing in the interview that the social giant’s next major VR headset — said to be priced at more than $1,000 — will launch in October.

Zuckerberg appeared to be referring to the company’s Project Cambria, a higher-end VR and mixed-reality headset than the current Quest 2 that is supposed to more naturally represent the wearer’s expressions and body language with advanced eye- and facial-tracking features.

More from Variety

“There’s more nonverbal communication when people are with each other than verbal communication,” Zuckerberg said on Thursday’s episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience.” (Listen at this link.) The new VR headset will provide the ability to “have kind of eye contact in virtual reality,” the CEO said, and “if you smile or if you frown or if you pout, or whatever your expression is, have that translate in real time to your avatar.” Zuckerberg said the company will talk about the new VR headset at its upcoming Connect developers conference.

Rogan, who indicated he demo’d the new Oculus headset, said the device “is awesome, it’s very impressive. It’s very cool.” He commented, “It’s getting to the point where it’s mimicking human patterns in kind of a creepy way.” Zuckerberg chuckled awkwardly, then said, “For me, this stuff is all about, like, helping people connect… I just started thinking about… what would be the ultimate expression of, basically, people using technology to feel present with each other, right? It’s not phones, it’s not computers.”

Zuckerberg didn’t talk pricing, but the next-gen VR headset reportedly will be more than twice as expensive as the current Meta Quest 2 (available in $400 and $500 models). The new device will be called the “Meta Quest Pro” and will cost more than $1,000, Bloomberg reported last month. Meta had previously confirmed the forthcoming VR headset would cost “considerably more” than $800.

Meta’s Reality Labs, which encompasses its VR and AR businesses, has been a drag on earnings. For the second quarter of 2022, Reality Labs’ operating loss widened to $2.81 billion versus a loss of $2.43 billion a year earlier as revenue increased $452 million (up 48% year over year).

Meta’s pivot toward the metaverse, including its name change, comes as growth in its core social media business is slowing down. It’s uncertain whether the stepped-up push into VR will materialize into the multibillion-dollar opportunity Zuckerberg foresees.

Also during the sit-down with Rogan, Zuckerberg spoke about other topics:

  • Zuckerberg said that when he wakes up, his phone has a “million messages” and they are “usually not good”: “So it’s almost like every day you wake up you are punched in the stomach.” (via The Independent)

  • Zuckerberg said Facebook’s decision to restrict the New York Post’s story about a laptop owned by Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, just weeks ahead of the 2020 election was taken based on the FBI’s misinformation warnings. Zuckerberg called the FBI a “legitimate institution” and defended Facebook’s temporary suppression of the story but admitted regret over the situation. “It sucks… I think in the same way that having to go though a criminal trial but being proven innocent in the end sucks,” the CEO said. “Depending on what side of the political spectrum [you’re on], you either think we didn’t censor it enough or we censored it way too much.” Twitter had blocked the URL to the Post story from being tweeted (and suspended the Post’s account) before reversing those actions more than two weeks later. (via BBC News)

  • Asked by Rogan why the U.S. is so divided politically, Zuckerberg (as he has before) downplayed the role of social media: “I think there’s probably a media environment issue that predates the internet. If some of the news is so far left and some of it is so far right, there’s all this talk of filter bubbles on the internet, but even predating this, going back to the ’70s or ’80s, when Fox News and these other media organizations were established, that’s had a long term effect and people have studied that.” (via Vice)

RSVP today
RSVP today

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Click here to read the full article.