Meta continues to double down on AR and VR technology, and the new Meta Quest Pro bears testament to that. Unveiled on Tuesday at Meta’s Connect conference, the new VR headset is said to be the first in Meta’s new high-end line of devices and boasts of impressive features such as high-resolution sensors, crisp LCD displays, a sleeker design, and others.

The headset will hit the shelves from October 25 and will cost $1499 (with the headset, you will get your hands on Meta Quest Touch Pro controllers, stylus tips, partial light blockers, and a charging dock). The price is nearly four times that of the Quest 2, which will continue to be sold for $399. Pre-orders have already opened in 22 countries. And while it may be argued that the Quest Pro is a heavily redesigned version of Quest 2, the new headset also brings a variety of new features and improvements.

For one thing, the Fresnel lenses seen in the Meta Quest 2 are missing from the Meta Quest Pro, which has next-generation optics and thinner lenses that lower the depth of the optical module by 40% while still giving clear and crisp views. To produce deeper and more vivid colours, the two LCD panels employ local dimming and quantum dot technology as well to give you 1800 x 1920 pixels per eye.

Mixed reality gets an upgrade in the Meta Quest Pro as well – the headset boasts of high-res outward-facing cameras that capture four times the pixels as Meta Quest 2’s external cameras and lets the user view their physical environment in full color. Additionally, the Quest Pro is equipped with improved touch controllers that contain embedded sensors, which allow for better hand tracking.

To add the cherry to the cake, the Quest Pro also comes with inward-facing cameras for eye and face tracking, which will not only detect whether the headset is fitted correctly, but also power facial expressions on avatars in the metaverse. In simple terms, it means that your avatars will be able to smile, wink, and raise an eyebrow when you do.

So far, it seems that it seems that the Quest pro is worth the $1499 that we have to shell out to get it. Zuckerberg said that the headset was built specifically with work in mind, which will be a boon in the post-pandemic era where working from home has become the norm in many places. The Quest Pro also sports Snapdragon XR2 Plus, which is claimed to 50% more power than the Quest 2’s XR2, and come with 256GB of storage.

Meta-Microsoft team up for Windows Apps on Quest headset

To add to this, Meta has teamed up with Microsoft to bring some of the Redmond-headquartered company’s Windows apps to its Quest headsets. According to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft will provide a way to stream Windows apps to Meta’s headsets, and people will, in the coming months, be able to access the Team’s chat app, the Microsoft 365 suite, and Xbox Cloud Gaming on a Quest device.

“At Microsoft, we’re incredibly excited about the metaverse and how digital and physical worlds are coming together,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said during the presentation, adding that users will be able to “play 2D games with your Xbox controller projected on a massive screen on Quest,” and that they were “excited for what’s to come.”

“You [will] have a new way to securely stream the entire Windows experience, including all the personalized app content settings to your VR device with the full power [of Windows,]” Nadella added. “We’ve been thinking about how to bring the power of Microsoft 365 and Windows 365 to 3D spaces to really help drive productivity and enable you to create, communicate and collaborate in completely new ways.”