Meta is Pulling the Plug on Quest 1 Security Patches Next Month

Meta announced that security patches for Quest 1 are officially coming to an end next month, marking the final phase-out of the now five-year-old headset.

Meta sent an email to Quest 1 owners on Friday stating the 2019-era Quest will no longer receive any security updates or bug fixes starting August 31st, 2024.

While users will still be able to download and play supported apps, the company notes that “if any security vulnerabilities are discovered in the future, private data that is directly stored on the device or accessible from it would be at risk of compromise.”

Quest [left] and Quest 2 [right] | Photo by Road to VR
The first indication that Quest 1 was headed for the chopping block came in early 2023 when Meta announced that first-party social apps Parties and Meta Horizon Home would no longer support Quest 1.

Then, in March 2024, the company announced it was removing the ability for developers to target Quest 1 for new apps, essentially halting any new games or experiences.

It’s unclear whether Quest 2 will meet a similar fate so quickly. While Meta hasn’t released official sales figures, the company’s 2020-gen standalone is widely considered the best-selling VR headset to date. To boot, it still holding the top spot as a the most popular VR headset on Steam, with 38.10% of surveyed users using Quest 2 to play SteamVR games.

Meanwhile, Meta appears to making room for a new headset to supplant Quest 2 in its lineup, as Quest is now out of stock in nearly all regions when purchased direct from Meta.

You can see the full email from Meta to Quest 1 owners below:

Hi [User],

We’d like to let you know that starting August 31, 2024, we will no longer provide bug fixes or security updates for Meta Quest 1 headsets. You will still be able to download new apps and continue using your existing apps as long as they are supported by the developer. However, if any security vulnerabilities are discovered in the future, private data that is directly stored on the device or accessible from it would be at risk of compromise.

This update follows our announcement in January 2023, when we stopped releasing new features and new Meta Quest apps for Quest 1 on the Quest Store.

We’re excited about the future of Meta Quest and look forward to providing you with more groundbreaking MR experiences.

In the meantime, Meta Store Support is available to assist you with general inquiries.


The Meta Store Support Team

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Travel Mode is the Latest Vision Pro Feature to Come to Quest 2 & 3

Meta is finally rolling out the long-awaited travel mode for Quest 2 and Quest 3, ostensibly hacking away another unique feature from Apple Vision Pro.

Update (May 13th, 2024):  Meta says the new Quest 2/3 Travel Mode was specially tuned to account for the motion of an airplane, even when it comes to looking out the window. The company says in a blog post it will be updating Travel Mode in the future to work with other modes of transportation, such as trains.

It’s being pitched as an experimental feature for now, so to activate Travel Mode you’ll need to select it in the Experimental section of the Settings menu, which will then let you toggle Travel Mode on and off from Quick Settings.

The original article announcing Travel Mode follows below:

Original Article (January 25th, 2024): Airplanes seem like an ideal place to dive into VR, as you can switch out the cramped environment of the cabin for a giant movie theater, or whittle away the hours browsing the web on a massive screensomething that shouldn’t bother your seat mates too much. Although Quest’s tracking is one of the most reliable out there, it still has trouble in moving vehicles like airplanes and cars. Meta is apparently working to fix that.

For anyone who’s tried to use Quest on an airplane, it’s basically only usable when you’ve reached a consistent altitude and direction. When you’re taxiing, banking, taking-off or landing, you’ll quickly find yourself being unwittingly jostled around in VR, making it distractingly unusable. Gain attitude, and you might find yourself falling through the virtual floor.

Responding to X (formerly Twitter) user Andrew Fox, Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth says the company is working on a way to make Quest work better for in-flight entertainment.

Here’s Bosworth’s response:

“No, we use an IMU to keep objects localized relative to your headset motion so moving vehicles represent a challenge (when they accelerate in any direction). We also use the cameras, of course, they work together as the IMU is higher frequency but lower accuracy. Working on it!”

The issue is basically the same for any optically-tracked VR headset on the market at this point. However, this hasn’t stopped companies from thinking of clever ways around it. Holoride, an Audi co-founded startup, partnered with HTC to hook its standalone Vive Flow headset into cars using a retrofitting device which accounts for the vehicle’s relative motion, letting users engage with a handful of licensed apps.

In 2021, Meta announced it was attempting something similar in a partnership with BMW, which would more accurately anchor virtual objects by hooking Quest’s tracking system into the car itself. Although the company issued an update on the research project in mid-2023, it’s still unclear when we’ll see it in the company’s consumer VR headsets.

Undoubtedly one of the biggest names to promise a solution to travel woes lately is Apple, as the company announced its $3,500 Vision Pro headset would include a ‘Travel’ mode, which Apple says can be used to “stabilize visuals for use on planes.” How this works is still a mystery at this point, although it’s possible the headset switches to a special tracking mode based purely on visual sensors while ignoring IMUs entirely. It would lead to less accurate tracking overall, but at least be useable in an airplane.

Could Meta be up to something similar? It’s likely. If the company wants to keep core feature parity with Vision Pro, which launches February 2nd, we may see something sooner rather than later. Of course, there’s no timeline on Meta’s efforts just yet, so we’ll be keeping an eye on Bosworth’s Instagram, as he regularly does Q&As there.

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‘Alien: Rogue Incursion’ Signals the Beginning of the End for Quest 2 & Quest Pro

VR veteran studio Survios finally revealed Alien: Rogue Incursion, the upcoming single-player horror game that’s sure to pit you against some nasty Xenomorphs. The officially branded tie-in game is coming to Quest 3 later this year, but not any other Quest headset, which could signal waning developer interest in supporting Quest 2 and Quest Pro.

In addition to launching on PSVR 2 and SteamVR, a Survios spokesperson told Road to VR that Alien: Rogue Incursion is indeed “native to Meta Quest 3 only,” i.e. not Quest 2 or Quest Pro. Given what we know about where standalone headsets are headed, there’s a fair bit we can tease from that statement.

And it case you misses it, here’s the Alien: Rogue Incursion announcement trailer:

Alien: Rogue Incursion is slated to launch Holiday 2024, putting release somewhere around eight months out from the recent Quest 2 fire sale, which slashed the company’s last-gen VR headset to just $200, and discounted a ton of official Quest 2 accessories.

Now almost four years old, Quest 2 has been supported by practically all games available on the platform since the VR headset’s release in October 2020. The same goes for Quest Pro, the company’s first true mixed reality headset which launched in October 2022 for an eye-watering $1,500—later lowered to $1,000.

Both were timed around Meta’s respective Connect developer conferences for those years. However now rumors maintain Meta is currently working on some sort of ‘Quest 3 Lite’ follow-up that would imply a cheaper version of the company’s flagship, which would conceptually displace Quest 2 in its lineup. Maybe in… October 2024? We simply don’t know.

Quest 2 (left) & Quest Pro (right) | Photo by Road to VR

If this article were published a month ago, it would have been pretty straight forward story: Meta is ostensibly getting ready to sunset Quest 2 and Quest Pro to make way for Quest 3 Lite…or whatever it will be called, and has tipped off Survios to let them know to not waste time or effort on making sure their fairly big budget official Alien game runs on older hardware.

But there’s a new wrinkle in the story; Meta announced last week it will soon be licensing Horizon OS (ex-Quest OS) to third-party OEMs ASUS, Lenovo and Xbox, which are all very likely running on the same chipset as Quest 3, and possibly the prospective Quest 3 Lite too.

Survios hasn’t said as much, but that “native to Meta Quest 3 only” caveat probably only applies to the Meta’s specific Quest first-party product line since it’s obviously supporting SteamVR headsets and PSVR 2, meaning we may see a wider distribution across headsets built by ASUS and Lenovo, and the Xbox-branded Quest hardware—whenever those arrive.

A few things are certain though: as one of the most veteran VR studios out there, Survios has created a dizzying number of games over the years, including Creed: Rise to Glory, Puzzle Bobble 3D: Vacation Odyssey, The Walking Dead: Onslaught, Electronauts, Sprint Vector, Raw Data, and Battlewake. And if such a prolific studio thinks its time to shelve Quest 2 and Quest Pro to get the best possible reach out of its official Alien IP game, it’s likely other developers will follow suit.

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Meta Quest Subscriptions Soon to Be Charged in Local Currencies in Scandinavia, Switzerland & New Zealand

If you live in Europe outside of the Eurozone, or in New Zealand, Meta says recurring subscriptions will soon be priced in local currency and not in U.S. dollars.

One of the Quest platform’s biggest subscription plans right now is its Meta Quest+ game service, which lets you play a revolving catalogue of Quest games by either paying $8 USD per month, or $60 USD a year.

Meta announced that starting May 22nd, users in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland and New Zealand will start seeing charges in their respective local currencies, and not in USD, which was initially offered at launch of the service in June 2023.

For example, Sweden-based Meta Quest+ users currently pay $10 per month, and $75 per year, so it’s likely we’ll see a direct conversion there since pricing has already been adjusted relative to that country’s built-in taxes, etc.

Meta hasn’t said whether it will expand this localized pricing to other regions charged in USD. Many countries, including Canada and the entirely of the Eurozone, are charged in their respective currencies already.

Here’s the full statement from Meta below:

Hello ‘User’

We’re writing to inform you that as of May 22, any active subscription tiers that are available in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland or New Zealand will no longer be charged in U.S. dollars and instead will charge users in the local currency of each country – Norway (NOK), Sweden (SEK), Denmark (DKK), Switzerland (CHF), New Zealand (NZD).

When this update goes live, any subscription tier pricing will automatically be updated according to our latest price tiers, which account for conversion rates and locally relevant price formats. The next monthly charge for users in affected regions will be charged in the relevant local currency mentioned above.

If you have any questions, please contact developer support.

The Meta Quest team

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Meta Affirms it Will Continue Making Quest Headsets Even as it Offers OS to (select) Third Parties

Meta says that even though third-parties will be making headsets with Quest OS (now called Horizon OS) the company will continue to develop its line of Quest headsets.

Meta made a huge announcement today, saying that the Quest operating system, rebranded to Meta Horizon OS, would be the software basis of new headsets built by third parties like Asus and Lenovo.

With that news came two big questions:

  • Will Meta continue making its own Quest headsets?
  • Will Horizon OS be open to anyone, or only select partners?

Meta tells Road to VR that it will indeed continue building its own hardware, even as third-party Horizon OS headsets come to market.

“Meta will continue to push the boundaries of mixed reality device capabilities through our own Quest portfolio,” a Meta spokesperson said.

That aligns with the branding decisions the company has made around this announcement. The Quest OS is becoming Horizon OS and the Quest Store is becoming the Horizon Store. Otherwise it would be strange for the Quest OS to run on Quest headsets and other headsets.

Indeed, Quest is being positioned as Meta’s line of headsets, while ‘Horizon’ is being positioned as the software platform overall. Previously ‘Quest’ was essentially used for both the headsets and the platform.

But won’t that mean Meta will be competing with its own hardware partners? Well, yes… but for now it seems the company imagines there’s enough room for specialized headsets from its partners—like different headsets for gaming, exercise, or work—without too much overlap.

Meta also confirmed to Road to VR that Meta Horizon OS is only being made available to select partners, at least for now. That means only those who get specific permission from Meta can use the OS.

Although Meta has said it wants to be the ‘Android of XR’, the decision to make Horizon OS available only to select partners flies in the face of the Android Open Source Project, which is truly open source and available for anyone to use, for free (though it doesn’t include some of Google’s key services like the Play Store). This is ironic, of course, because Meta’s Horizon OS itself is based on the open source version of Android.

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Quest’s Next Update Could Make It Easier to Use 2D Android Apps, But Harder to Mod Games

Meta recently rejected Google’s bid to bring Android XR to Quest, although now it seems the company is looking to make it slightly easier to use 2D Android apps on its standalone headsets, but also possibly harder to mod Quest-native games.

X user ‘Lunayian’ discovered in Quest’s v63 on the public test channel (PTC) that Meta is currently testing the ability to show and keep apps pinned to the Universal Menu dock, which is where you find all of your recently-used apps.

Since Quest is based on an open-source version of Android, users have been able to sideload apk files for both XR-native apps and standard 2D Android apps via SideQuest, however it seems the company is baking these into the Universal Menu to make recently used apps easier to access. Before this, sideloaded apps would disappear from the Universal Menu when another app was opened, so you’d have to go back into the App Library to find them again, which was a minor hassle, but a hassle none the less.

A report last week was substantiated by Meta CTO Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth, who called Google’s Android XR ambitions too “restrictive,” as the search engine giant was “threatening to fragment the ecosystem,” so we shouldn’t expect Google’s Play store on Quest anytime soon. Still, it’s clear Meta knows what it’s missing in its continued bid to compete with Apple Vision Pro, which boasts over 1.5 million apps built for iPhone and 1,000+ visionOS-native apps.

Speaking of sideloading, update v63 on the PTC seems to include a few other features that are stirring the pot with users who opted into the software test channel. The update has ostensibly removed access to scoped storage, which allows folder access for things like game modding.

Meta forum moderator ‘WootM4ge’ maintains in a post that “prohibiting access to the scoped storage within your headset wasn’t a feature that Meta intentionally added, but instead was a part of a new update to Android that implemented some security features, which has locked access to files.”

It’s not certain whether this will carry over to the public release channel, but if it does, it means things like Minecraft standalone port QuestCraft and the miasma of BONELAB mods currently available will be nonfunctional. There’s no word on when Meta will roll out v63 officially, so we’ll be keeping our eyes out in the meantime.

We’ve reached out to Meta on whether v63 will indeed revoke access to scoped storage, and will update this piece when/if we hear back.

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Meta CTO: Android XR Rejected Due to Google’s “restrictive” Terms & Plans to Fragment XR

A report from The Information last week alleged Meta and Google held talks in effort to bring Android XR to Quest. Meta CTO Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth has now confirmed this report, stating further that not only were Google’s terms too restrictive, but Google is actively planning to fragment the ecosystem with its Android-based XR operating system.

Here’s the full statement from Bosworth via a Threads post from last Friday:

After years of not focusing on VR or doing anything to support our work in the space, Google has been pitching AndroidXR to partners and suggesting, incredibly, that WE are the ones threatening to fragment the ecosystem when they are the ones who plan to do exactly that.

We would love to partner with them. They could bring their apps to Quest today! They could bring the Play store (with its current economics for 2d apps) and add value to all their developers immediately, which is exactly the kind of open app ecosystem we want to see. We would be thrilled to have them. It would be a win for their developers and all consumers and we’ll keep pushing for it.

Instead, they want us to agree to restrictive terms that require us to give up our freedom to innovate and build better experiences for people and developers—we’ve seen this play out before and we think we can do better this time around.

Shortly afterwards, Bosworth re-posted on X (formerly Twitter) a comment made by UploadVR’s David Heaney which seems to sum up Meta’s thought process:

“Meta and Google both launched standalone VR platforms in 2018. Google abandoned Daydream after less than 2 years, while Meta grew Oculus (now Quest) to tens of millions scale,” explains Heaney. “Now years later, after the market is already proven, Google wants Meta to kowtow to its attempt #2?”

Quest 3 (left) and Apple Vision Pro (right) | Based on images courtesy Meta, Apple

Still, having Android XR on Quest would instantly make Meta’s hardware more competitive with Apple Vision Pro, which boasts 1.5 million apps built for iPhone in addition to 1,000+ visionOS native apps. The price of admission may simply be too high though.

While Bosworth says bringing Google Play with “its current economics for 2d apps” isn’t a sticking point, Meta’s rejection may very likely involve how software revenue would be split in the long-term. Bringing Google Play to Quest in its entirety isn’t such an issue sow since there are only just a few older VR apps built for Cardboard, although that’s probably about to change as companies like Samsung release their own Vision Pro competitors using Android XR as their chosen operating system.

On Quest, this may eventually allow Play store apps to out-compete some of the content created specifically for the standalone XR headset, which would give Google a slice of the pie that (at least in Meta’s eyes) it didn’t rightfully earn. And controlling that revenue stream is likely be one of Meta’s most important XR ambitions moving forward, provided it wants to continue subsidizing Quest hardware and recouping on software sales like it does today.

Meta’s only real hope is to make the Quest platform so big and attractive to developers in the future that it becomes a target platform alongside Android and iOS—not just to XR developers making games and immersive apps, but to every app from your humble calculator, to everyday things like banking apps, productivity software, video chatting apps—all of the things it needs to break out of console territory to become a general computing platform.

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Prop Hunt-style VR Multiplayer ‘Mannequin’ Heads Into Early Access on Quest Next Month

Fast Travel Games announced it’s bringing Mannequin, the upcoming asymmetrical stealth social VR game, into early access on Quest via App Lab starting next month.

Fast Travel Games announced Mannequin is set to release in early access on Quest via App Lab starting on May 2nd, priced at $20.

At its early access launch, Mannequin is slated to include all four maps featured during its Open Alpha, which is said to include updated visuals. The studio says there will also be improved friend list features, as well as the option to password-protect party play and custom games.

The studio says it’s also going to release promotional codes which will discount the game to $10 during its launch weekend. For now, players of the Open Alpha can still play until its official cut-off date on April 28th.

Notably, an early access release on PC VR is in development, however Fast Travel hasn’t said exactly when we can expect that, or the PSVR 2 version of the game as such.

In the meantime, check out the latest gameplay trailer below:

Previously only available to Discord members, Fast Travel Games just opened Mannequin’s open alpha a bit more with the launch on SideQuest, the unofficial sideloading app store for Quest 2/3/Pro. It’s only available for a limited time between now and its Spring 2024 launch, so make sure to jump in sooner rather than later.

It also has a number of updates, including the ability to find friends In custom games, two new levels (replacing Courtyard and The Lab), an updated lobby, and a number of balance and performance tweaks, Fast Travel says.

Additionally, the studio threw out a new gameplay trailer that includes a brief explainer of the action, linked above:

Original Article (February 20th, 2024): First revealed in September, Mannequin promises to bring a 2v3 experience akin to a deadly game of cat and mouse, letting two elite Agents hunt three shape-shifting aliens, aka Mannequins.

Somewhat like the ‘Prop Hunt’ mode from Gary’s Mod, the Mannequins have to blend into the scenery of frozen humans, but have the power to ambush Agents by dashing forward and freezing them in place with a single touch. On the flipside, Agents can scan for Mannequins and neutralize with their trusty EMP gun.

Fast Travel Games says the alpha “represents a very early build of the game with a first look at just a few of the levels and features planned for the full game,” and is said to include two levels in addition to a social lobby so players can chat or talk strategy ahead of matches.

The open alpha is free to download via the game’s Discord (see update), with the full game set to launch on Quest, PSVR 2, and PC VR headsets later in 2024.

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Vision Pro Has Apps and Quest Has Games, What Can Samsung Bring to XR to Compete?

Samsung has partnered with Google to make an XR headset, although the South Korean tech giant hasn’t tipped its hand on what to expect just yet. Despite its $3,500 sticker price, Vision Pro has shown that big and expensive is okay as long as you can engage diehard fans with compelling hardware and greater ecosystem integration. That’s a patently Apple recipe though that Samsung may not be able to easily replicate. The question is: what can Samsung bring to the table that Apple and Meta can’t? The answer may be Google, but only if it can commit.

The Meta-Apple Binary in the Making

You can’t talk about consumer XR right now without first mentioning Meta, which has undoubtedly dominated the standalone segment since the release of Quest in 2019, leaving would-be competitors to either cater to enterprise or basically stay in markets where the social media giant simply won’t (or can’t) go. That early market lead has provided the company ample time to build up an impressive content library, which has also essentially made Quest the default target platform for many XR app developers over the past four years.

Now that Apple has released Vision Pro, that landscape is set to change, although maybe not right away. At seven times the price of Quest 3, Vision Pro isn’t really a direct competitor in terms of cost-performance, but it appears Meta is gearing up anyway to deal with the future threat of successive Apple headsets.

Image courtesy Meta, Apple

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg drew some fairly clear battle lines in a recent video after trying Vision Pro himself, as he compares the two companies to computing binaries from the past. Like Windows vs. MacOS in home computers, or Android vs. iOS in mobile, Zuckerberg says he wants Quest to be the ‘open’ model in XR, while he thinks Apple will be ‘closed’, as Apple is ostensibly set to continue its walled garden approach to how it handles apps and ecosystem services on its family of devices.

Far be it from me to suggest they’re both fairly closed, although a very real binary is already here for XR enthusiasts. For now, Apple is positioning Vision Pro as a general computing device thanks to its interconnected ecosystem of iOS apps and services, while Meta is at the lower-end of the spectrum with its console-like Quest 2 and Quest 3 headsets, both of which are subsidized to encourage app sales—priced at $250 and $500 respectively.

While there’s some definite overlap in functionality, this leaves some pretty weird territory for Samsung to enter in the near term. Meta has games and Apple has its ecosystem. Samsung doesn’t really have either.

Samsung’s Balancing Act

At this point, it seems unlikely that Samsung can replicate either Apple or Meta’s specific way of doing things when it comes to releasing a standalone XR headset. Meta has invested tens of billions of dollars in XR over the years building out its console-like Quest platform, meanwhile Apple has been cooking up Vision Pro over the past decade to integrate seamlessly with its wider hardware ecosystem.

While Samsung’s headset is reportedly slated to compete with Vision Pro, we don’t precisely know what that means: Samsung could be hoping to undercut Vision Pro’s $3,500 price point with similar MR hardware, or serve up something closer to the ostensibly soon-to-be discontinued $1,000 Quest Pro, which didn’t find the footing Meta hoped for despite an excellent content library.

What we do know is the company is working with Google to provide software, and Qualcomm for its XR chip expertise. To boot, last month Qualcomm showed off a new reference MR headset made in partnership with Goertek which could point to the sort of features to expect from Samsung, as the company is using the chip-maker’s new Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 processor.

Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 reference | Image courtesy Qualcomm

The Qualcomm reference headset includes eye-tracking from Tobii, support for 4,300 × 4,300 resolution per-eye at 90Hz, 12 concurrent cameras, pancake lenses, hardware IPD adjustment, microphone array, 3.5mm headphone port, and Wi-Fi 6/6E/7. That’s not to say Samsung will include all those features, but it’s possible with Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2. Provided that carries over to Samsung hardware, it would put it somewhere north of Quest Pro in hardware features, and very likely price as well.

And we have every reason to believe Samsung will offer competent hardware too. While the Korean tech giant hasn’t created its own consumer XR platform before, in addition to being a leading display manufacturer Samsung has produced its own PC VR headsets and the smartphone-based Gear VR platform, the latter of which laid the foundation for Oculus Go and Meta Quest.

As for Google, we simply don’t know at this point how big of an involvement it will have in creating anything beyond the headset’s Android-based OS. Considering Google killed its home-grown Daydream platform in 2019, and then gutted its AR hardware team earlier this year, the company may not be in a position to lend a hand to do something as monolithic as laying the foundation for the sort of hardware-agnostic VR platform that Daydream opined to be when it launched its first (and last) standalone Daydream headset with Lenovo in 2018. Google could certify the headset to bring a massive catalogue of Android apps to Samsung’s headset by default like Apple did with its iOS apps, but then again, it might not, which could hobble Samsung’s headset and rob it of an early start as the true Android competitor to Vision Pro.

– – — – –

Here’s the cynic in me: what Samsung could do to win a steady place between Apple and Meta is probably very different from what it will do. I’m expecting the company to offer great, but expensive hardware that doesn’t really succeed at offering meaningful competition to either Meta or Apple in the near term. It’ll get Samsung’s skin in the game so the company can figure out where it fits best as the market moves, but it probably won’t co-opt Google into launching the Daydream that wasn’t.

And in the wake of Apple’s entrance, it’s likely Samsung won’t be alone in entering the standalone XR space for the first time. Valve is widely rumored to be working on its own headset, codenamed ‘Deckard’, which recently was the subject of a meme-fueled website that looked to troll VR hopefuls with the release of the very fake ‘Valve Prism’.

Will Samsung offer a compelling third option in the gulf between Meta and Apple? Or are you waiting for Valve’s next move? Let us know in the comments below!

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