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Meta’s Quest 3: A Game-Changer in the VR Market

Virtual reality (VR) technology has been gaining increased attention in recent times, and this week, Meta (formerly known as Facebook) made a significant announcement. The company unveiled its most affordable VR headset to date, the Meta Quest 3. This move by Meta comes just in time, as Apple is expected to make its foray into the mixed reality headset market at the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference.

The Need for a Standout VR App

While the VR market has been steadily growing, there is still a crucial question that remains unanswered: What exactly are these headsets for? While gaming is an obvious application, there has yet to emerge a “hero” app that becomes a must-have for VR enthusiasts.

This lack of a standout app has hindered the widespread adoption of VR. For any technology to truly take off, it requires a killer app that compels people to purchase the necessary hardware. Consider the AI revolution we are currently experiencing. The success of ChatGPT, an application that is accessible and understandable to everyone, played a pivotal role in driving the popularity of AI. While a few apps on Meta’s Quest have garnered significant followings, they have yet to achieve mainstream success.

Insider Intelligence Principal Analyst Yory Wurmser noted, “There really hasn’t been a metaverse-related app that’s taken off. Horizon Worlds, for instance, has a few hundred thousand users, tops. The apps that have gained a pretty large following are games, such as Beat Saber, or fitness apps, such as Supernatural. Those two genres are where most of the activity on Quest occurs, especially games.”

Meta’s Efforts to Overcome the App Challenge

To address this challenge, Meta recently held its Gaming Showcase event. During the event, the company unveiled a host of new titles for the Quest, many of which are based on popular intellectual properties like “Assassin’s Creed Nexus VR,” “Stranger Things VR,” and “Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord.” The purpose of these showcases is to demonstrate the wide range of games available on the Quest, with the hope that one of them will emerge as the long-awaited mega-hit app, according to IDC Research Director Ramon Llamas.

Llamas stated, “Showcases are just that: an event to announce and present new experiences, apps, and games. Some of them might see the light of day, others may not, but what I like about it is that there are a variety of titles and game types appealing to different age groups, gaming groups, and numerous other audiences. Glad to see some of these titles coming back for a second or third time too.”

The Significance of a Hero App

While a single hero app may not solve all the challenges faced by VR technology in gaining widespread adoption, it could certainly make a substantial impact. When combined with access to other popular games and apps, a standout app can go a long way in attracting users.

Llamas highlighted the importance of being known for something in the app space, saying, “Having an app that is exclusive to you (like Meta’s Beat Saber) can help, but also important is access to the top-tier games available on other gaming platforms.”

Apple’s Entry: A Threat and an Opportunity

The imminent entry of Apple into the VR headset market poses a significant threat to Meta’s current dominance. However, in an unexpected twist, it could also be seen as an opportunity for Meta.

Llamas commented, “Apple brings much-needed attention to the market. It has done this with many of the products the company has released since 2007 when the first iPhone came out.”

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