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I tried the $1,500 Quest Pro and saw the best metaverse

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Burlingame, Calif. — Good news. After using almost every virtual reality headset produced in the last seven years, including Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta’s latest, his $1,500 goggles, we’ve seen the best the Metaverse has to offer.

Yes, the best is already here and has been around for quite some time.

it’s a video game.

Zuckerberg and other tech executives hope to buy these gadgets to fulfill their fantasies of the Metaverse becoming an immersive virtual world where they shop, socialize and work. However, the consumer should not necessarily follow the whims of the business his leader.

Gaming has been the most compelling use for these headsets since the Oculus Rift came out in 2016. The introduction of the contraption, a clunky headset that connects to a PC, marked the debut of mainstream virtual reality and saw an early wave of applications. about this kind of entertainment. Based on extensive testing of that device, and the myriad of competitors that followed, as well as the new Meta Quest Pro set out next week, it seems safe to conclude that the tech has found its sweet spot.

Headsets are wearable, immersive video game consoles. People should buy them for the same reasons they buy PlayStation and Nintendo: to entertain and find a short escape from the real world.

Meta believes high-definition headsets, new business-specific software, and lightning-fast internet connections will transform the way we work, collaborate, and create art. In the company’s own jargon, Quest Pro could unlock “net new use cases.” But when asked, the product leader couldn’t name the “killer app” for the flashy new headgear.

Anand Dass, Director of Metaverse Content at Meta, said at this month’s product briefing:

So Meta’s pitch for the Quest Pro could be life-changing by enabling tasks that weren’t possible before. This is a very compelling story, but a vision yet to be realized.

Amid the hype surrounding virtual (enhanced, blended, nonsense-looking) virtual goggles, there’s a valuable lesson to be learned. Money should not be spent on corporate hopes and promises of what the technology will be. These headsets should be purchased for their current functionality. And from what I’ve seen, the Meta Quest Pro will be primarily a gaming device in the near future. (I expect the same to happen with Apple’s headsets, which are expected to be announced next year.)

At Meta’s Burlingame office, I strapped on my Quest Pro to see what was new. Meta highlighted his three features. The headset’s high-definition display has four times as many pixels as its predecessor, his $400 Quest 2. A series of cameras built into the headset has made it possible to render facial expressions and eye movements in real time. New motion controllers with improved pressure sensitivity let you gently squeeze or aggressively grab virtual objects.

Meta employees and app developers spent an hour guiding us through software tailored for the headset. I created a digital avatar of him of my face, mimicking the grin and grimace he makes when he raises his curious eyebrows. I drew 3D pictures and threw darts of my virtual boyfriend.

The improved graphics and controllers were impressive (and my animated avatar was a bit creepy), but after removing the headset and returning to the real world, these new features made the game I could only imagine wanting to play .

My favorite virtual reality game, Blaston, released in 2020 and involves players shooting each other in a virtual arena, has been improved to make the triggering of various guns more realistic. may benefit from motion controllers. PokerStars VR, where gamers gather around a virtual card table to play Texas Hold’em, would be much more fun if we could take cues from each player’s facial expressions.

By the end of the demo, I was also wondering if the headset would work. suggested that it could be a multitasking tool for But according to Meta, the device’s battery he only lasts 1-2 hours. (You can use the headset while it’s plugged in, but using the computer is less complicated.)

But an hour or two of battery life is fine for one thing. It’s a game, you guessed it.

This is the reality that you should base your purchasing decisions on. Even Meta doesn’t believe many people will buy the Quest Pro. The target users for the device are early adopters, designers and enterprises, he said. If you fit into either of these camps, we recommend a wait-and-see approach to determining whether virtual reality applications will become available that will help your profession.

The company has removed more defined niches from its target list. It’s the hardcore gamer willing to spend a lot of money on every piece of new gaming hardware. they want a treat. Not only does the headset give you access to high-definition virtual reality games made for the Quest Pro, it works with hundreds of games made for the Quest 2.

Many of those old Quest 2 titles are pretty good. Heart-pounding, sweaty games like Beat Saber and FitXR are a boon in an era where you need to wear your smartwatch to stand up.

First impressions that the Quest Pro is great for gaming and mostly used for entertainment aren’t bad. It means that reality has come a long way in less than a decade. For now, that’s the only reason I buy one of these.