September 27, 2023 – Meta has today announced from its Meta Connect event the launch of the Meta Quest 3, which will be hitting shelves on October 10, with pre-orders open now. According to Meta, the Quest 3 is “the world’s first mass-market mixed reality (MR) headset,” and starts at USD $499.99 for the 128GB version and USD $649.99 a 512GB version.
Meta stated that whilst virtual reality (VR) has been a key technology for providing immersive experiences for users, the importance of the physical world and the connections that users make there are central to the Quest 3, as the company has switched its marketing focus and announced the new headset as a mixed reality device as opposed to just a virtual reality device.
As a result, the quest three features full-color Passthrough that keeps users’ physical surroundings in sight with over 10 times more pixels compared to the Meta Quest 2, according to Meta. Users simply need to double-tap the side of their Quest 3 headset to seamlessly transition between a fully immersive experience and a blended environment with virtual elements overlaid onto physical surroundings.
Key features of the Quest 3 include:
- Double the graphic processing power of Quest 2 – Quest 3 is the world’s first device to feature the new Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 platform, which Meta helped develop in collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies.
- The headset features Meta’s ‘4K+ Infinite Display,’ which the company states achieves a nearly 30% increase in resolution compared to Meta Quest 2. With 25 pixels per degree and 1,218 pixels per inch, the Quest 3 offers the best resolution across Meta’s entire Quest line of devices, and provides a nearly 15% wider field of view than Quest 2.
- Next-generation pancake lens optical stack gives Quest 3 a 40% slimmer optic profile compared to Quest 2, without compromising the depth of visual immersion.
- Quest 3’s redesigned, thinner profile features a more customizable fit and balanced weight distribution than Quest 2, allowing for increased comfort during play sessions.
- New spatial audio enhances sound clarity and bass performance and provides a 40% louder audio range than Quest 2, according to Meta.
Additionally, Meta announced over 100 new and upgraded titles that are coming to the Quest 3 through the end of 2023, with over half of those being brand-new apps. Plus, upgrades and MR features are coming to another 50+ titles currently on the Meta Quest Store, according to the company. Quest 3 is also backwards compatible with Quest 2, meaning users will still get access to Meta’s library of over 500 immersive games and experiences on day one.
Xbox Cloud Gaming on Quest 3
In addition to MR and VR-specific titles, Meta also unveiled a partnership with Microsoft for Xbox Cloud Gaming, which is coming to Quest 3 in December. This will mean users will be able to play some of their favorite Xbox titles such as Halo Infinite, Minecraft Legends, Forza Horizon 5, and hundreds of other high-quality Xbox games—all on a massive 2D screen viewable whilst using the Quest 3.
Meta Quest 3 can automatically map a user’s space and understand important elements like walls, furniture, and objects, so they can interact with the virtual world. Meta stated that this opens up a lot of new possibilities for experiences that will let users stay connected to the world around them, but will also incorporate physical surroundings into mixed reality experiences on the device. For example, users will be able to throw a virtual ball in a game and watch it bounce off their actual wall, or duck behind a coffee table to avoid incoming fire in FPS shooter.
Persistent digital objects anchored in space with Augments
Finally, the company introduced ‘Augments’ – new interactive, spatially aware digital objects that come to life around a user. The Quest 3’s Augments feature will allow users to place digital objects, apps, or photos and videos around them in the virtual world. These Augments will also apparently be spatially persistent, meaning that every time users put their headset back on, these digital objects will appear in the same places.
Pre-orders for the Quest 3 are available now. A range of new accessories are also available for the Quest 3. For more information on the new Meta Quest 3 mixed reality device, its features and accessories, click here.
Image / video credit: Meta / YouTube
About the author
Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.