Although social media king Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META) remains fully committed to the metaverse transition, investors lack the same confidence. On Tuesday, Meta debuted its latest virtual reality, or VR, headset dubbed the Meta Quest Pro. Priced at $1,500 and set to ship on Oct. 25, the Quest Pro features myriad advanced technologies. Yet META stock incurred red ink on Wednesday, a continuation of consistent equity value erosion this year.
Costing $1,100 more than Meta’s Quest 2 VR headset, the Quest Pro takes a new leap forward in the metaverse, which refers to digital ecosystems accessible through VR or augmented reality, or AR, devices. Primarily, Meta’s latest creation integrates the state-of-the-art Snapdragon computer chip by Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), enabling superior graphics.
Further, the Quest Pro features “improved touch controllers that contain embedded sensors, allowing for better hand tracking, and new lenses for improved reading experiences,” per a CNBC report. As well, the headset “contains some mixed-reality features that can blend elements of the virtual world with the physical world.”
Moreover, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) CEO Satya Nadella appeared during the online debut, discussing work-collaboration apps accessible to Quest VR devices. “Some Microsoft apps that people will be able to access with a Quest device include the Team’s chat app, the Microsoft 365 suite of work software and the company’s Xbox cloud gaming service,” per CNBC.
Questions Linger Over META Stock
Fundamentally, it’s difficult to argue against the practical implications of Meta’s Facebook social network. Leveraging nearly three billion monthly active users and a relatively balanced age demographic spectrum, Facebook enjoys perhaps permanent relevance. The same might not be said about the metaverse, which presently hangs over META stock.
Inadvertently, Microsoft’s chief exec hinted at the ludicrousness of metaverse applications, at least in its early phase. “You will be able to play 2D games with your Xbox controller projected on a massive screen on Quest,” Nadella said. “It’s early days, but we’re excited for what’s to come.”
As Joanna Stern from the Wall Street Journal mentioned, the Quest Pro is “a bit out of touch with reality.” Stern primarily expressed hesitation about the hefty price tag and the headset’s short battery life. However, the journalist asked a pointed question: “What will I want to do in this headset that I can’t on my laptop or my smartphone?”
Certainly, it’s a basic but critical inquiry that Zuckerberg must figure out to save META stock. While the metaverse may have some lucrative applications for video games and other fantastical initiatives, a simulation of the office environment does indeed seem out of touch with reality.
Also, the business-centric metaverse may be a moot point for META stock. While recalled employees are understandably upset about the return to normal – and apparently stand ready to accept termination – employers ultimately have the ball in their court. They sign the paychecks and they also enjoy an eager generation of college graduates keen on getting their careers started.
Therefore, the return to the office is likely to materialize, objections be damned. And that will raise concerns about META stock if the underlying company insists on committing further resources to the metaverse.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.