I’m a heavy virtual reality user. I’m on my Meta Quest 2 at least five nights a week, playing a wide variety of virtual reality games and always looking for new experiences. When I saw the new Meta Quest Pro was being released, I was enthusiastic and thought that it could be something I might upgrade to once it was released. I think I’m not alone in saying that when I saw the eye-watering $1,499 price tag, I knew I couldn’t justify the price. What I could possibly justify though were the newly announced $299 Meta Quest Touch Pro controllers. Here are my three reasons to buy the new Meta Quest Touch Pro controllers.
Reason 1 - Vastly Improved Tech
Seeing all the promotional videos, online discussions and initial buzz about better tracking, improved rumble with localized trigger and thumb responses along with the exceptional 6-8 hour battery life, really gave me the sense that these high-end controllers may be worth the asking price. I play such a diverse array of games and felt that I would see varying levels of improvements in each. While I know these Touch Pro controllers wouldn’t necessarily make me better at any one game, it had the potential to immerse me more in games by not losing tracking at key moments of a battle, swinging motion or unique movement. For me, a big part of virtual reality is immersion. These controllers should give reassurance that it was my fault that I hooked a shot on Pebble Beach in Golf+, missed a throw off the Serafin Pier in Bocce Time! or swung too late on Green Day’s Holiday in Beat Saber rather than those mistakes caused by a loss of tracking, and conversely that would increase the immersion and help me improve my gameplay. The one thing where tracking is key and that can really break me out of a game is when you are drawing back a bow and end up losing tracking because one of the controllers was out of the field of view from my Meta Quest 2 headset, forcing me to reset my shot or missing out on a key opportunity.
On a very high level, the difference between the way the Meta Quest 2 controllers track movement versus the Touch Pro controllers is that the Quest 2 uses the cameras on the headset, while the Touch Pro controllers track themselves using cameras on the controller. Now, the Meta Quest 2 controllers can still track when they are out of sight of all the headset cameras (for example, over your shoulder), but only for a second or so before they stop position tracking, whereas the Touch Pro controllers track constantly. Here is a thorough breakdown of how the Meta Quest 2 controller tracking works.
Reason 2 - The Quest 3 Controller (most likely) won’t be as powerful
Another reason to purchase the Meta Quest Touch Pro controllers was my intuition that these controllers will be better than what Meta provides in their next consumer-iteration of the Quest, most likely called the Meta Quest 3. Taking into account that this will be a consumer focused product, and not a business focused product like the Meta Quest Pro, if they were to include $300 controllers into a consumer focused product, how much more room do they have to increase price? If you factor in the actual headset cost to be $200 at minimum (fuzzy math says the Quest 2 headset is currently $250 if you factor in the price of replacement controllers at $150), you are then at an entry point of $550 for the Meta Quest 3. That price is $150 more than the entry level of the Meta Quest 2, and $150 more than the Digital Edition of the Playstation 5 at $399. Anything over $399 is generally out of reach for the casual consumer, which Meta has been trying to target lately. Meta has already shown with their $100 price increase to the Meta Quest 2, that they are not too interested in continuing to heavily subsidize getting these gaming units into people’s hands, therefore the Touch Pro controllers just don’t seem very likely to be bundled with the next Meta Quest.
Reason 3 - They (should) be compatible with the “Meta Quest 3”
Lastly, a big reason to buy these controllers is the fact that with Meta selling the Touch Pro controllers separately and officially making them fully compatible with the Meta Quest 2, they have shown that they are willing to support the Quest line and make certain products cross-compatible. That being said, I fully acknowledge that the Quest 2 controllers are not compatible with the Quest 1, or any other headset, but do feel confident there will be some parity with devices and accessories going forward, therefore making the Touch Pro controllers not just a one-off siloed to the Quest Pro and Quest 2.
Purchase Price and Shipping Details
After all my research, along with watching some online video reviews and reading numerous Reddit threads talking about other people’s experiences, I decided to treat myself, improve my VR experience and buy the new Meta Quest Touch Pro controllers through Meta’s website for $299, plus tax. They did ship them for free, but all in, it was $323 for the two controllers. The controllers shipped out via UPS and should arrive in three days. I’ll provide some pictures, initial impressions and comparisons when I receive them.
I’d love to hear your feedback on the Ruff Talk Discord about your thoughts on the new controllers, if you think they’ll be included in the next Quest or any other opinions. Until then, I hope your next VR experience is a memorable one.