TwitchCon 2022 | Facebook’s Meta Quest Pro

the gaming tap

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Source: TwitchCon
Source: TwitchCon

TwitchCon 2022 Floor Report What did we learn after walking 50,000 steps?

TwitchCon returned in-person and to San Diego last weekend, with a host of exhibitors from all corners of gaming, as well as personalities (and drama). Between samples of only the finest gamer-focused refreshments, we at The Gaming Tap hit the floor to get a read on the industry landscape.

Logitech’s G Cloud
Logitech had available a couple G Clouds ($349/$299 pre-order), its first crack at a handheld console. We’ve been lukewarm on the Cloud previously, feeling it’s got a bad case of iPod Touch-itis and would struggle to compete with the Steam Deck and smartphones and tablets. To their credit,  Logitech seem clear-minded about their product. 

  • More of an exploratory product to test demand
  • Targeting the, admittedly limited, but very real market of home gamers seeking low friction and flexibility
  • Logitech, who partnered with Chinese conglomerate Tencent, was cagey on the details, but has plans for tapping into the Chinese market
    • Asia's gaming market, with its greater emphasis on mobile gaming, could be a better fit for a portable console
A Win for Smaller Players
Many of the system integrators we spoke to seemed to be in a better mood than OEMs and large component manufacturers struggling with a shifting market and slumping profits.
  • Strong demand for mid-range builds (RTX –60 and its equivalents)
  • DDR5 adoption is up as memory supply improves
  • Excitement over Intel Arc as a third option for video cards – after bugs are ironed out
  • RTX 4090 is highly anticipated, but builders are less sold on RTX 4080 options when compared to falling prices for RTX 3090/3090 Ti's
  • The Future: EVGA, which recently exited the video card market, was fondly remembered. The question now is who will fill the void left by the previous largest NA video card manufacturer? Some are expecting Nvidia to step in with more Founder Edition cards
A Good Cause
Gamers Outreach managed to stand out to this writer personally among the many charitable and mission-focused organizations exhibiting at the con. The group provides portable gaming stations that can be wheeled around hospitals.

Lenovo Takes a Tumble
We don’t know if Lenovo will lose customers over questionable foam pit design at its Legion booth, but seriously injured streamers certainly don’t boost sales.

Monitors: Affordability & New Lines
In an interesting development after new players like NZXT and HyperX  expanded into the gaming monitor market, Viewsonic told us they have plans for new product lines in the next year or two. Despite the understandable lack of details, more competition in gaming is always welcome.

  • Viewsonic also brought out its education-focused Viewport (think a very smart whiteboard in display form) for gaming
    • Niche use for esports coaching and gameplay breakdowns
On the other hand, reliable budget monitor brand Scepter is sticking with its core products. It’s 49” curved 1440p, 144hz ultrawide is a respectable value and a striking centerpiece.
  • Affordable ultrawides could be the next trend for gaming monitors
  • Traditional flat panels still outsell curved for Scepter

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Facebook Reveals Meta Quest Pro But who’s it for?

The company formerly known as Facebook had several reveals at its annual Meta Connect event Tuesday, including its long expected high-end $1,499 Meta Quest Pro. While Meta continues to paint a picture of what the future of VR gaming could look like, it’s far less clear how the company will get there.

Under the Hood
The two details that pop out immediately are the Quest Pro’s eye-popping price – $1,499 – and disappointing battery life – between one or two hours, Meta told the Verge.

  • Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2+, which Meta claims will “run at 50% more power than Meta Quest 2”
  • Memory: 12 GB RAM, compared to the Quest 2’s 6
  • Storage: 256GB, compared to Quest 2’s 64/256
Not for Gamers…Mostly
The Meta Quest Pro is not primarily for gamers.  Still, there were a few goodies for VR gamers.
  • Xbox Cloud Gaming: The biggest boost for gamers was Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s announcement that Xbox Cloud Gaming is coming to Meta Quest.
    • Meta users with an xCloud subscription can hook up an Xbox controller and play games (in 2D)
    • No official launch date
  • Game Studio Acquisitions: Meta revealed it will be acquiring Camouflaj, Twisted Pixel, and Armature Studio
    • No game announcements yet from the trio
    • Quality talent: Armature’s Resident Evil 4 VR last year was a hit
A Drop in the Bucket
While Meta has been unwilling to reveal Quest hardware sales (never a good sign for a market they claim is the future), Connect did offer some context on the software side.
  • Meta Quest store produced $1.5 billion in revenue since May 2019
  • One in three of the almost 400 Meta apps have crossed the $1 million mark
  • 33 titles exceeded $10 million
    • 11 additions since February
  • Recent $40 game BONELAB made $1 million in less than an hour
Fuzzy on the Details
It’s clear where Meta wants to go, but it's debatable if even metaverse & VR evangelicals have an idea on how to get there. The studio acquisitions make sense, and xCloud is an excellent add-on, but not one that will bring in new customers who can just buy a TV and console for $1,500. 
  • It’s a…Dev Kit?: The Quest Pro’s battery life and price make it dead on arrival for gamers, if not enterprise consumers as well. Meta appears to be effectively launching a dev kit without the branding and additional features.
  • Facebook Baggage: No amount of PR consultants and rebrands will be enough to convince those on the fence to embrace Meta.

Community Spotlight: Gamestress

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Supply Drop: Games & Players

Upcoming Games (October 14 - 20)

Amberial Dreams - PC
Batora: Lost Haven - PC, PlayStation, Xbox
Destiny's Sword - PC
Dragon Ball: The Breakers - PC, PlayStation, XboxSwitch
Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed - PC, PlayStation, Xbox
Hell is Others - PC
The Jackbox Party Pack 9 - PC, PlayStation, XboxSwitch
The Last Hero of Nostalgaia - PC, Xbox
The Last Worker - PC
Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope - Switch
Marvel Snap - PC
NHL 23 - PlayStation, Xbox
No More Heroes 3 - PlayStation, Xbox
The Pegasus Expedition - PC
PGA Tour 2K23 Standard Edition - PC, PlayStation, Xbox
A Plague Tale: Requiem - PC, PlayStation, XboxSwitch
Saint Kotar - PlayStation, XboxSwitch
Scorn - PC, Xbox
Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival - Switch
Them's Fightin' Herds - PlayStation, XboxSwitch
Trifox - PC, Xbox
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection - PC
The Valiant - PC
Warhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & Teef - PC, PlayStation, XboxSwitch

Editor's Most Anticipated: Scorn. Nearly a decade in the making, Scorn was originally announced by developer Ebb Software in 2014, with a long road to its October 14 release that included two different Kickstarter campaigns.

The game is described by its makers as an "atmospheric first-person horror adventure game set in a nightmarish universe of odd forms and somber tapestry." If you have seen any gameplay footage for Scorn over the years, that description might be underselling just how uniquely unsettling the combination of biological and mechanical elements are in the game — but that also speaks to the ambitious novelty that Scorn appears to be aiming for, and what sets it apart from the endless wave of FPS titles that get announced in the industry.    

Scorn may not be for everyone; I, myself, a veteran of gore-filled horror games, even got a little squeamish watching some of the gameplay. But with intriguing artistic direction and long form production cycle, you would be hard pressed to say that this game is not highly anticipated.

Basically, one gif sums up whether or not I will check out Scorn:


Comms: Social Campaigns

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The Tap: News to Go

  • Cloud Gaming: Google announced an upcoming line of cloud gaming-focused Chromebooks, a week after announcing the end of its Stadia cloud gaming service. The Chromebooks from Acer, Asus, and Lenovo start at $400 and feature pre-installed Xbox Cloud Gaming, Nvidia GeForce Now, and Amazon Luna…plus RGB keyboards!
  • Subscription: Regulatory filings gave insight into just how much money Xbox and its services made (courtesy of Tweaktown). Game Pass produced $2.9 billion on consoles in 2021. Games and services totaled $12.6 billion, with hardware sales pulling in $3.7 billion.
  • GPU: Nvidia’s RTX 4090 has officially launched, with reviewers mostly praising exceptional performance for a (relatively) respectable price (courtesy of VideoCardz). AMD will reveal its next generation of video cards next month.
  • Software: Activision-Blizzard faces yet another workplace lawsuit, this time alleging several instances of sexual harassment and misconduct. This is only the latest legal action for the company, which earlier this year settled for $18 million with workplace regulators.