Meta has officially announced that its next consumer-focused headset, the Quest 3, is on the way. An announcement video was posted via Mark Zuckerberg’s Instagram and Facebook profiles just ahead of the Meta Quest Gaming Showcase, and crucially, ahead of Apple’s WWDC event.
If you’ve not been following all the VR news, Apple is expected to unveil its long-rumoured XR headset at WWDC on June 5, but Meta snuck in first with some news of its own.
Before you get too excited, the Quest 3 is still a little way off. The teaser tells us that the new headset will be launching this fall/autumn, and we can expect all the juicy details to be revealed at Meta Connect on September 27 2023.
Starting with the aesthetics, we can clearly see three prominent camera arrays on the front panel, as opposed to the plain front of the Quest 2. The teaser tells us that the new headset is 40 per cent slimmer than its predecessor, which should help improve comfort, though the battery still appears to be in the front of the headset, as there are no enclosures around the back.
The video hints at proper IPD adjustment, too, as the lenses are seen smoothly moving towards each other. You can also see an adjustment wheel at the bottom of the headset, which could be related to this. This is great news for those who don’t get along with the Quest 2’s notched IPD approach, and could mean that it’s compatible with far more faces.
The teaser promises game-changing performance, thanks to a new, unnamed, processor from the Qualcomm Snapdragon family. There hasn’t been any detail shared yet, but Meta says the new chip has double the GPU processing power for faster and smoother gameplay.
When it comes to the displays, Meta says that they’ll be higher-resolution to provide clearer and sharper visuals, but we don’t know much more beyond that. If the rumours are correct, we’ll be seeing pancake lens technology in the new headset, and the new slimmer design supports this.
An exciting feature that’s coming to the Quest 3 is full-colour pass-through. This will unlock the ability to experience mixed reality gameplay, something that Apple is supposedly working on, too. The video shows a tabletop game being played in MR, and the text tells us that we can expect natural depth perception with the new headset. Exciting stuff!
The Quest 3 will also be getting redesigned controllers which feature TruTouch haptics for enhanced physical feedback. The most obvious change here is that there’s no longer a big racking ring on the top, allowing the controllers to be much smaller.
As for when you can get your hands on one, we won’t know the exact date until Meta Connect, but we do have the pricing already. It starts at $499. It’s a big jump from the diferente asking price of the Quest 2, but given that high-capacity Quest 2 units already sell around this price, the jump isn’t too surprising. We’re looking forward to finding out if it’s worth the outlay.