Facebook parent company Meta has been making big bets on virtual and augmented reality in recent years – so big that the company changed its name to Meta to represent its vision for the so-called “metaverse.”
And Meta’s Quest headsets have largely dominated that space. But with Apple poised to announce its first mixed-reality headset in a few days, Meta wants you to know that it also has a new headset on the way. And the upcoming Meta Quest 3 will offer some of the features we’re expecting from Apple’s headset at a much lower price.
The Meta Quest 3 won’t actually be available for purchase until this fall, but here’s what the company is saying about it so far:
- $500 starting price (for a model with 128GB of storage)
- 40% thinner and “more comfortable” than the Quest 2
- 2X the graphics performance thanks to a next-gen Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset
- Updated controllers
- High-fidelity color passthrough
That last one means that you’ll be able to better see the world around you while wearing a headset, thanks to two 4MP RGB color cameras and a depth sensor on the front of the headset, as well as “innovative machine learning.”
Meta says this means the Quest 3 headset will allow you better to see the real world without taking off your headset. While you could already do this with the Quest 2, the upgraded hardware and software will deliver more accurate colors and “10x more pixels in Passthrough compared to Quest 2.”
Among other things, this will let you “play a virtual board game on your kitchen tablet with Demeo” or “decorate your living room with virtual art courtesy of Painting VR.” It also means you can walk around without bumping into things, take a call on your phone, or interact with other physical objects without removing your headset.
Meta says the Quest 3 Touch Plus controllers are also more compact, since they no longer need tracking rings. They also include TruTouch haptics, which were previously only available in Touch Pro controllers. But the Quest 3 also supports hand tracking, allowing you to do some things without physical controllers.
With the Quest 3 set to launch this fall, Meta isn’t planning to discontinue the Quest 2 just yet. But the company is lowering the price. Starting June 4th you’ll be able to pick up a 128GB model for $300 or a 256GB version for $350. And the company says an upcoming software update will bring significant CPU and graphics performance updates to this older headset, which was first released in 2020.
Meta says it will reveal more details about the Quest 3 at its Connect conference on September 27th.