Supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is reiterating some interesting claims about Meta’s upcoming pro headset.
Back in January Kuo released a report claiming a headset he called “Oculus Quest 3”:
- will launch in the second half of the year
- has two 2.48″ 2160×2160 Mini LED panels
- has dual-element Pancake lens
- should ship 1-2 million units this year
We didn’t cover the claims at the time as we were focused on covering CES 2022, we doubted the “Oculus Quest 3” naming claim given Meta dropped the Oculus brand, and 1-2 million seemed too low for a Quest 2 successor.
However, whereas his January report called the headset Oculus Quest 3 he now says “I think the new model’s name would be Oculus Quest 2 Pro”.
So what’s going on here? Is this Quest 3, Quest 2 Pro, or something else?
Oculus Quest was originally called “Project Santa Cruz” before it got a name and price. In October Meta announced a new headset codenamed “Project Cambria”. It was described as “a completely new advanced and high end product” positioned “at the higher end of the price spectrum”.
Meta hasn’t yet revealed the name, specs, or price of Project Cambria, but did say it:
- isn’t Quest 3
- has high resolution color passthrough for mixed reality
- has a more compact design thanks to multi element pancake lenses used instead of fresnel lenses
- has eye tracking and face tracking
- will launch in 2022
Mark Zuckerberg referred to Cambria as the first of “a new product line”, separate from “the Quest product line”. That seems to suggest Cambria won’t be called Quest 2 Pro – though it seemingly was once known as ‘Quest Pro’.
Given Kuo’s naming pivot and his mention of pancake lenses and face tracking, we believe his reports are almost certainly referring to Project Cambria and his product name claims are guesses. We highly doubt Meta would release two headsets in the same year both with expensive pancake lenses and face tracking. What would make these products substantively different? And why would Meta only announce one of them?
As such, if Kuo’s claims are correct – naming aside – Cambria should have dual 2160×2160 Mini LED panels and launch in the second half of this year (between July and December). That’s up from the 1832×1920 per eye resolution provided by Quest 2’s single conventional LCD display.
Mini LED isn’t a completely new display technology like the name might suggest – it’s just an advanced form of LCD backlighting. While traditional small LCD panels use a single backlight behind the entire display, Mini LED instead uses hundreds or even thousands of tiny LED elements to deliver contrast levels close to OLED – though usually with the tradeoff of some blooming. Mini LED is already present in the high end PC headset Varjo Aero, and Pimax plans to use it in its standalone headset too.
In late December Meta confirmed Project Cambria is still on track for 2022 launch, and stated that it will be sold alongside Quest 2, not replace it. “Quest 2 will have a long life” Consulting CTO John Carmack noted.