Mark Zuckerberg has announced the new Meta Quest 3 virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) headset. The new version of the Quest will feature a higher-resolution display, a faster processor, and improved tracking, the Meta founder and CEO claimed.
In a blog post on Thursday, Meta revealed the headset also features a new design that is 40% thinner and more comfortable to wear compared to Quest 2, its predecessor. Quest 3 will be released later this year in over 20 countries, including the U.S., Canada, UK and Australia.
The 128GB headset starts at a price of $499.99 and users have the option to pay for more storage space. However, a lot more detail about the headset was left unannounced, including the full specifications of the chipset that will power it.
Zuckerberg said more information about the new Quest would be revealed at Meta’s “Connect” conference on Sept. 27. “Quest 3 will be the best way to experience MR and virtual reality in a standalone device. It’ll be compatible with Quest 2’s entire library…” he wrote on Instagram.
Virtual reality market heats up
The launch of Meta’s Quest 3 comes at a time when the virtual reality market is starting to heat up. Apple is reportedly working on its own headset that is expected to be launched on Monday during the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference.
The headset is rumored to be similar to the Meta Quest 3 in terms of its focus on graphics and comfort. According to industry reports, it will be used for gaming and social features. Other companies such as Sony and Magic Leap, are also developing new virtual reality products.
Earlier this week, PC maker Lenovo announced that its enterprise-focused ThinkReality VRX headset had gone on sale with a starting price of $1,299.
Meta did not discuss Apple’s imminent headset launch. But the timing of Mark Zuckerberg’s reveal suggests it may have been scheduled to beat Apple to market. For a long time, Meta, formerly Facebook, has looked to VR and augmented reality as the next big thing in tech.
It is all part of Zuckerberg’s grand plan to build the metaverse, a virtual world where people can work, play, and socialize. Quest 3 will be a key part of that strategy. The headset is the “first” that can provide both virtual reality and mixed reality experiences in a single device.
This means users can fully immerse themselves in virtual worlds, or they can overlay virtual objects onto the real world.
“Ultimately, our vision is to…[go] beyond the rigid classifications of ‘virtual reality’ and ‘mixed reality’ to deliver truly next-gen experiences that let you effortlessly blend the physical and virtual worlds,” said Mark Rankin, Meta’s vice president of virtual reality.
“Meta Reality gives you both the deep, immersive magic of VR and the freedom and delight of making your physical world more fun and useful with MR. We’re excited to see what developers and creators can build on the Quest Platform…”
The Quest 3 upgrade
According to Meta’s blog post, the new version of the Quest is a significant upgrade over its predecessor, the Meta Quest 2. It features a higher-resolution display than Quest 2, meaning that images and videos will look sharper and more detailed.
The Quest 3 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, which Meta claims to be significantly faster and more powerful than the processor in Quest 2. Meta said the new chipset will allow for more immersive and realistic virtual realty experiences.
With a battery life of up to three hours, the headset comes with new controllers to help with how people can use it more effectively and efficiently. The new system is fully capable of AR gaming and users can still access over 500 VR games, apps, and experiences from Quest 2.
Meta said the Quest 2, which has been well received in the market since launch in 2020, will see its price drop to $299.99 from $400 starting June 4. The product will also receive software updates to boost performance and speed.
“Quest 2 remains our most affordable entry point to VR and [Quest] Pro is optimized for work use cases, with face and eye tracking for more authentic self-expression in meetings,” the firm said in its announcement.
“We’ll continue to sell Quest 2 and Pro alongside Quest 3, and we’ll keep shipping new software updates to make the Quest experience even better.”