Thinner, more powerful, and more expensive.
A red plastic gaming device sitting atop a black stand with the words Virtual Boy printed on it.

According to a new report by The Verge, Meta recently shared an internal presentation where the company outlined the next several years of virtual reality releases. According to the report, Meta will release three new Quest headsets, smart glasses in 2025, AR glasses in 2027, and something Meta is calling a "neural interface" smartwatch.

The Verge says that this roadmap was shared with employees in Meta's Reality Labs division on Tuesday. Focusing specifically on the VR aspect, Meta is supposedly readying the Quest 3 headset for launch later this year. The Quest 3 is reportedly two times as thin as the Quest 2, at least twice as powerful, and will cost slightly more than the current $400 (USD) price tag for the Quest 2.

Keep in mind that the Quest 2 used to cost $300 before Meta raised the prices globally by $100 in August 2022.

Similar to the recently released Meta Quest Pro, priced at $1,500, the Quest 3 will feature mixed reality functionality. This is thanks to the new front-facing camera that allow for video of the real world to pass through to the viewer.

Mixed reality will be a huge selling point, and (Mark) Rabkin (Meta VP for VR) said there will be a new “smart guardian” to help wearers navigate the real world while they are wearing the device. “The main north star for the team was from the moment you put on this headset, the mixed reality has to make it feel better, easier, more natural,” he said. “You can walk effortlessly through your house knowing you can see perfectly well. You can put anchors and things on your desktop. You can take your coffee. You can stay in there much longer.”
The Quest 3 will reportedly ship alongside 41 new apps and games that will partially make use of the new mixed reality experiences.

In 2024, Rabkin says that Meta will ship a more "accessible" headset currently codenamed Ventura. Rabkin says that the goal of Ventura is to "pack the biggest punch we can at the most attractive price point in the VR consumer market."

After Ventura, things get a little more uncertain. A device codenamed La Jolla is planned but will come well after Ventura is out. This new device will become Meta's most advanced headset ever and feature "photorealistic, codec avatars."

“We want to make it higher resolution for work use and really nail work, text and things like that,” Rabkin said about La Jolla. “We want to take a lot of the comfort things from Quest Pro and how it sits on your head and the split architecture and bring that in for comfort.”
Rabkin goes on to admit that the current Quest 2 is just not cutting it when it comes to user engagement. He admits that "people who bought it this last Christmas, (are) just not as into it as the ones who bought it early." There is also no doubt that this deeper push by Meta for new VR and AR hardware is being spurred by the increase in competition that is coming or will be coming soon. Everyone has been keeping an eye on companies like Apple and Google (to a lesser degree) for new augmented reality hardware.

As far as AR specific hardware from Meta is concerned, the roadmap talks about new AR glasses in the pipeline. Meta hopes that these glasses will be able to be worn throughout the day and replace smartphones. If you thought Facebook advertisements were bad now, just wait until they can deliver real-time, personalized ads directly to your eyeballs as you're petting your dog or working.

Prior to those AR glasses, tentatively slated for 2027, Meta will release its second generation of smart glasses. The first generation was released in 2021 as a pair of Ray-Ban branded glasses that had cameras built into them. The second generation of the smart glasses will ship with a "viewfinder" display that will allow the wearer to read incoming text messages, scan QR codes, and translate text in real time. These glasses will ship with a "neural interface" band that will allegedly let the wearer control the glasses using hand movements. The hope is that one day the band will let the wearer use a virtual keyboard and type at roughly the same speed that people can type on smartphone screens right now.