Facebook, I mean Meta, has officially announced the long-rumored Quest 3, its next virtual reality headset. The Quest 3, the successor to the most popular VR headset to date, will be available later this year starting at $500.
The quest and later the quest 2 have both been positioned as affordable ways to get into the wild world of virtual reality gaming and entertainment. And overall, both devices achieve that goal, offering a relatively cheap, easy-to-use, and standalone option for people who want to experience VR gaming without the need to buy PlayStation VR or an expensive VR-capable PC. But the Quest 2 is almost three years old – ancient in the tech world – so here comes the Quest 3 from Meta.
Officially announced on Thursday, the upcoming VR device will be more powerful than a Quest 2. Meta claims that the newer Snapdragon chip powering the device will have twice the GPU performance of the old Quest 2. Thanks to the new pancake lens optics first seen in last year’s Quest Pro it will also be about 40 percent smaller than the Quest 2, which was already reasonably compact. The Quest 3 will also feature a higher resolution display and significantly higher quality pass-through cameras. Now in color and powered by a dedicated depth sensor, they enable users to better see the real world around them without having to remove their headset, opening the door to more sophisticated mixed reality experiences.
The Quest 3 will also feature a new version of the Quest hand controllers, now less bulky thanks to the removal of the tracking rings. One apparent downside is that they’re still only tracked by the base headset and don’t have self-tracking like the Pro’s more advanced controllers. So it’s likely they still have trouble getting “lost” when moving your hands behind your back, etc. (Quest 3 is compatible with the Quest Pro controllers, though, if you’re willing to pay for that upgrade.) There are also new haptics to better convey physical sensations. Finally, the Quest 3 will be able to track your hands directly to play without a controller, a feature that worked only moderately on the previous headset. Hope it’s better now.
Of course, all that extra power and performance doesn’t come cheap. The Meta Quest 3, due out later this year, will start at $500 for 128GB of storage, with a 256GB version costing more. Well, on the one hand That’s $50 cheaper than a PS VR2 headsetwhich is not standalone and requires a PlayStation 5. However, the upcoming Quest 3 headset will still cost $200 more than that Quest 2’s original MSRP is $300. But compared to Meta’s $1000 Quest Pro Headset, the $500 Quest 3 feels a bargain.
Meta continues to burn money to create the Metaverse
As Meta continues to announce virtual reality projects and products, the company is struggling to monetize this stuff. In 2022 alone, the company’s VR division lost over $13 billion. And many of his projects, like his own version a metaversehave failed and could not connect to users. Meta’s own staff is reportedly not using it its difficult virtual reality-based meeting and productivity apps.
But hey, Mark Zuckerberg really believes that in the future we’ll all have to strap expensive headsets to our faces so we can walk around virtual offices and get yelled at by digital bosses while dreaming of spending our weekends in them Ugly virtual reality rooms with Strangers who keep invading our personal space. So Zuck will keep throwing money into VR and the metaverse no matter how badly it fails or how many people he has to be released.
One good thing to emerge from this mess is the Quest 2, the first affordable, mass-market VR headset. And soon we’ll have what appears to be quite a reasonable, albeit more expensive, successor.