Meta's bet is bigger than VR, but people can't see past their hate for the org.
I have no more love for Meta than the next person, but I don't think their bet on the Metaverse is as dumb as everyone thinks. Here's why:
The goal is now to have the big next gen hardware device that will allow them to control their own destiny, and those of other players. Meta's ideal is that this is a platform that people build on in the same way smartphones have.
Nobody thinks that VR is going to be this platform. VR is cool, but even if they get the kinks out of the experience, it just feels too niche. It's not something that we will spend hours on the way we do on smartphones.
Here's where it gets interesting.
Meta knows this. Yes, they have internet there too. But the real goal isn't VR, it's AR. VR is just the stepping stone to build the tech, push research, and get inroads with manufacturers and distributors. Meta isn't going to come out with a glasses-like form factor overnight, so they're perfecting it one iteration at a time.
The Quest Pro is an AR device for office applications right now, but if it can have a truly slim profile in the future, it has broad market potential. AR applications are meant to be adjuncts to the real world, and can be used for function as well as entertainment.
That's the real bet. It's a big one, and there's plenty of ways it could go wrong, but it's far from stupid. People just don't quite see it because they're so eager to see Meta go down.