Zuck thinks Quest 3 is better than Vision Pro, but that’s not the point

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Zuck thinks Quest 3 is better than Vision Pro, but that's not the point

Image: Marcus Kane (Twitter: @marcuskane)

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Mark Zuckerberg tried the Vision Pro and compares it to the Quest 3, but he should have emphasized something else.

FACTS

Mark Zuckerberg posted an Instagram video saying that he “finally tried” Vision Pro, and then went on to do a three-minute comparison with Meta Quest 3.

“I have to say that before this, I expected that Quest would be the better value for most people since it’s really good, and it’s like seven times less expensive. But after using it, I don’t just think that Quest is the better value. I think the Quest is the better product, period.”

Zuckerberg compares various aspects of the products such as the passthrough quality, the use cases, the weight and ergonomics, the displays and field of view, the interface, and input methods as well as the software offering. Zuckerberg also talks about the eye tracking:

“Apple’s eye tracking is really nice. We actually had those sensors back in Quest Pro. We took them out for Quest 3, but we’re going to bring them back in the future.”

Toward the end of his video, Zuckerberg gets philosophical about what he sees as the big differentiator between Meta and Apple:

I know that some fanboys get upset whenever anyone dares to question if Apple’s gonna be the leader in a new category. But the reality is that every generation of computing has an open and a closed model. And yeah, in mobile, Apple’s closed model won, but it’s not always that way. If you go back to the PC era, Microsoft’s open model was the winner. And in this next generation Meta is going to be the open model. And I really want to make sure that the open model wins out again.

CONTEXT & OPINION

Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t mention the most important thing

Zuckerberg seizes the moment with his video to promote his own product after the initial hype around Vision Pro has cooled off. You can’t blame the businessman in him for that, even if he stretches the truth in some areas, going so far as to call Quest 3 the better headset.

I’m not going to subject Zuckerberg’s judgments to a detailed analysis. That would play into his hands. But it should be noted that Quest 3 and Vision Pro are very different products in terms of approach and price, making a direct comparison difficult, at least on a general level.

Zuckerberg’s repeated claim that Meta will represent the open ecosystem model for face computers is worth a few words. Yes, Meta Quest allows sideloading and can be used on a PC, but otherwise Meta has largely followed Apple’s strategy of complete control over hardware and software. If Meta is serious about becoming the Android of the coming headset wars, it needs to put its money where its mouth is.

It remains to be seen who will gain the upper hand. Meta’s biggest headache will be integrating its headsets into existing computing platforms, especially the smartphone. Vision Pro is already well integrated into Apple’s ecosystems, while Meta doesn’t even have access to the Google Play store. However, it would be premature to write Meta off. The company has yet to make a serious attempt to build a headset like Vision Pro. Quest Pro certainly wasn’t, but the effort may be starting to show with its successor.

Also, keep in mind that we are still in the very early stages of headets as general purpose computers. There are still many barriers to wider adoption of the technology, the biggest of which are weight and ergonomics. In that respect, Vision Pro is more of a step back than a step forward.

Most importantly for me, Zuckerberg failed to mention that Meta will benefit in many ways from Apple’s entry. The coming duel of epic proportions will free up investment and accelerate the development of the technology. I think that’s the key takeaway.

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