Meta might ship the cheaper Quest planned for next year without controllers.
Earlier this year, Meta's internal roadmap leaked to The Verge revealing the company planned to release a new headset in 2024 "at the most attractive price point in the VR consumer market."
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman today described this as a "mixed reality headset" and reports that sources within Meta tell him it "looks a lot like the Quest 3 but uses less costly components."
Meta is hoping to reach the $300 price point of Quest 2, and is "considering" shipping the headset without controllers to instead sell them separately, Gurman writes. Meta has significantly improved controller-free hand tracking with software updates over the years, and has released tools and demos to help developers support it in controller-based games.
Meta's VP of VR Mark Rabkin told UploadVR at the company's recent Connect conference that he's working to make controllers "optional for as many of the experiences as possible" and totally optional at the system level.
Quest 3 is launching on Tuesday, but the $500 starting price is a lot higher than Quest 2, hence why Meta is continuing to sell the latter. In contrast, Meta (then Facebook) retired Quest 1 upon Quest 2's launch.
Meta plans to continue to sell Quest 3 as a higher-end option, Gurman reports, and will retire Quest 2.
Neither the roadmap nor Gurman have revealed the new headset's name. Meta also frequently changes its product plans – dropping features like a depth sensor from Quest Pro mere months before release – so it's worth remembering that Meta's final plans could always change.