If you're like me, or the tens of thousands of VR enthusiasts out here, you've been patiently waiting for more details about the Meta Quest 3 since June. This afternoon, Meta went live with their annual Connect event, and, while brief, entertained us with a slew of announcements.
Whether you remain critical of Meta's business practices or not, they are pushing virtual reality into the mainstream and deserve some recognition for that. The in-person event itself started off a little messy with sign-ins and seating taking longer than usual. This pushed Connect back by half an hour, creating problems for embargoed publishers and creators who had pre-scheduled their releases and meetings.
Mark Zuckerberg drably announced the Meta Quest 3, and we definitely could've used a little more enthusiasm. But, I digress. Deemed the "first mainstream mixed reality headset," I perked up considering the Apple Vision Pro was also announced earlier this year and is expected to hit shelves in Q1 2024. But with a significantly lower price point, the Quest 3 is still more attainable for enthusiasts.
Everyone considers the price of a new headset before making a purchase. The OG Quest was on the higher side, and then the Quest 2 was practically being given away. It only makes sense that the Quest 3 is more expensive, especially since the release of the Quest Pro and its near-unbeatable specs. Preorders are already open and sales start at $649.99 CAD, launching on October 10, 2023.
So what makes this next addition to the Meta Quest family so special? Let's go over the details together! The machine itself is more robust than its predecessors with the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 - doubly so, actually. And using passthrough just got much cooler thanks to the dual RGB camera. The feature is now enhanced for better colour, depth, and audio.
What this means is that you can move through both your physical and virtual worlds simultaneously. So, instead of playing Demeo in someone's basement (which is fun, too!), you can fight your way through the board while sitting in your own living space. Upgrade the situation even further with the 4K+ Infinite Display which comprises two displays which are 2064x2208 resolution per eye. Click here to learn more about Stacking the Optical Deck via Meta.
You can expect the audio to be augmented, too, and it's advertised as having a 40% louder range than the Quest 2. Meta also promises a more immersive, 3D experience with enhancements to clarity and bass. What stood out to me were the new pancake lenses, which I feel are an awesome improvement. Slim and sleek and fewer painful VR face indent moments.
The stock strap looks a bit stronger than the Quest 2's and it allows for a player to wear different hairstyles while in-game. I don't know about anyone else, but a space-bun-friendly strap is my kind of strap! It looks to come in a robin's egg blue or a coral orange - which one would you pick?
While Zucks mentioned a controller-free experience if wanted, they've made some interesting modifications to the controllers which are similar to the Quest Pro. Called the Touch Plus Controllers, they don't have a sensor ring around the top anymore. The controllers are more intuitive and feel natural like you're actually handling a weapon in your game. They also include TruTouch Haptics so you can feel what you see inside your headset.
For a limited time (end of January 2024), each preorder/purchase of the Meta Quest 3 will come with a complimentary copy of Asgard's Wrath 2. If you buy the 512GB model, you'll also get access to the platform's monthly gaming subscription, Meta Quest+.