If, understandably, you don’t fancy spending NZ$2,699.99 on the new Meta Quest 3 headset to mess around in a metaverse that’s struggling to convince the company’s own employees of its worth, then stand by for something cheaper.

In Meta’s third-quarter earnings call, CFO Dave Wehner, CEO Mark Zuckerberg and VP of Finance Susan Li all mentioned a “next generation” of “consumer Quest headset” launching next year. That can only mean non-Pro, which in turn can only mean Quest 3 (unless they give it a rebrand to make me look silly in a year’s time.)

“About time”, you might say, given the Oculus Quest 2 arrived 511 days after the OG Quest, and it’s already been a further 744 days since then. But hey: at least it means you’ll likely see a substantial upgrade, and hopefully some of the innovations from the Quest Pro filtering down if we’re lucky.

Of course, “cheap” is a relative term when it comes to virtual reality, which involves putting a box over your head that’s realistic enough to fool your brain into thinking you’re somewhere else (anybody who has ever felt a sense of nausea and fear playing Richie’s Plank Experience will sympathise). 

Right now, we’re looking at a headset that’s probably around a third of the price of the Meta Quest Pro. That’s according to Mark Zuckerberg himself, who told Stratechery that the Meta Quest 3 would be “in the price range of $300, $400, or $500, that zone.” 

Before you get too excited, that’s US dollars — if he’d been talking to us, we’d have made him get the calculator out and say: “in the price range of NZ$512.58, NZ$683.44, or NZ$854.30, that zone.”

While this all very exciting for VR fans, investors will have been generally less thrilled by the call, which highlighted company sales shrinking 4% year on year thanks to businesses’ smaller advertising budgets, stiff social competition and Apple’s privacy settings limiting its ability to target ads. 

That’s still NZ$47.3 billion of revenue mind, so don’t set up a crowdfund or anything…