Update: August 4, 2023 (11:55 AM ET): Our Meta Quest 3 rumor hub has been updated to include new information about the headset and controllers, based on FCC filings.
Original article: It feels like the Meta Quest 2 has been around for ages. In fact, the VR headset has been out for long enough that it even went through a mid-cycle rebrand, going from the Oculus Quest 2 to the Meta Quest 2. Even though it has only been available for three years — launched back in late 2020 — the hardware has started growing long in the tooth. As such, it’s time for the headset’s successor to take its place — the Meta Quest 3. Now that Meta has officially announced the Quest 3, here’s everything you need to know about the new VR hardware.
Meta Quest 3: Release date, price, and availability
Meta announced the Meta Quest 3 on June 1, 2023. While you can’t pick up Meta’s next-generation mixed-reality headset just yet, you can sign up right now for updates.
The social media giant says there will be multiple storage options. However, it only revealed the pricing details of the base 128GB model, which will cost $499.99. This is $200 more expensive than the Quest 2 when it launched. Based on interviews, we knew Meta was targeting somewhere between the $300-$500 range. Unfortunately, it landed on the higher end of that spectrum.
Meta hasn’t announced a solid release date yet. The company only gave us a launch window for fall 2023. But it says that more information will come on September 27, 2023, during this year’s Meta Connect conference.
Earlier this year, Mark Rabkin told The Verge that the company is developing two other headsets in addition to the one we know about. One of those devices was described as a more affordable Quest 3 variant internally known as Ventura, expected to launch in 2024. So if $499 is a little too rich for your blood, it may be in your best interest to wait a year and hope that Meta releases this cheaper model.
Meta Quest 3: Specs
Meta didn’t exactly go into detail about the specs of the Quest 3. It only provided vague descriptions such as having “our highest resolution display and pancake optics” and featuring a “next-generation Snapdragon chipset.” However, it did confirm the optic profile is 40% slimmer, and the controllers have TruTouch haptics. Since we don’t have much to go on yet, we’ll have to rely on what we’ve heard from leaks and interviews.
It’s believed that the Quest 3’s resolution might be 4,128 x 2,208 pixels or 2,064 x 2,208 pixels per eye. If true, that would be a 30% improvement over the Quest 2’s 1,920 x 1,832 pixels per eye. And Meta may use uOLED displays this time around, but we have also heard rumors suggesting OLED or mini-LED. These displays may have a 120Hz refresh rate as well — something the Quest 2 got back in 2021.
Something else we learned from leaks is that the Qualcomm chip could be a Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2. If you’re familiar with mobile processors, this chip is essentially a variant of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 — the latest chip from Qualcomm running on this year’s most powerful phones. This would be the biggest improvement of all, as the Quest 2 runs on an XR2 Gen 1, the equivalent of a Snapdragon 865 chip — think of the Samsung Galaxy S20.
In July, the Touch Plus controllers received approval from the FCC. In the listing, it was confirmed that these controllers will use one AA battery each. It was also confirmed that the controllers will use the same 2.4 GHz wireless spectrum as Meta’s previous controllers.
A few weeks after the controllers passed through FCC certification, so did the headset. Based on the filings, it looks like the Meta Quest 3 will support up to Wi-Fi 6E. This higher frequency support should help reduce interference from other devices.
Finally, we know that one of the storage options will indeed be 128GB. As for the other storage options, rumors have suggested we could be in store for a 512GB model.
Meta Quest 3: Features
Like its predecessor, the Meta Quest 3 is an all-in-one headset. This means everything you need is inside the headset; no need for cables or to connect with a console or computer. This generation of the Quest has been fitted with a number of features like hand tracking, full-color passthrough, and plenty more. We’ll break down all of these features for you, starting with the design.
From a side-by-side comparison, it’s easy to tell just how much thinner the new system is. Along with that thinness, it’s also said to be noticeably lighter, which is good because weight is important for a device you wear on your face. Although it may be thinner and lighter, the Quest 3 does borrow some of the design philosophy of its predecessor.
In another departure from Quest 2, the Quest 3 has a dial located at the bottom. This dial is meant to be an interpupillary distance (IPD) adjustment wheel as the CAD images from YouTuber SadlyItsBradley (Brad Lynch) point out.
Additionally, the headset appears to have a four-camera array, two side cameras for tracking, and a depth sensor. Interestingly, it appears that the parts necessary for eye and face tracking are missing. Mark Gurman of Bloomberg confirmed there was no eye and face tracking after doing a hands-on demo in May. Given that Zuckerberg made such a big deal about eye and face tracking during Meta’s Connect 2022 keynote, it’s kind of a surprise it’s not a feature in the Quest 3.
It’s not just the headset that got an update; Meta also gave the controllers a slight redesign. The Touch Plus controllers for the Quest 3 no longer have the halo used for tracking and instead rely on in-air hand tracking. The company says advances in tracking technology allowed them to do away with the rings to make the controllers more streamlined and ergonomic. You can also use the fully self-tracked Touch Pro controllers with the headset.
According to Meta, the system delivers “twice the graphical performance as the previous generation Snapdragon GPU in Quest 2.” Gurman, on the other hand, claimed the screen’s clarity seemed similar to the Quest 2. However, it displayed noticeably faster performance due to the second-generation Snapdragon XR2 chipset. Specifically, he pointed out faster app launching, system navigation, and smoother gameplay.
If you’re wondering what the depth sensors are for, they’re meant for mixed reality. In the report mentioned earlier from The Verge, Rabkin explained that mixed reality is a core focus for the Quest 3. Meta’s goal was to make mixed reality “feel better, easier, more natural.”
Part of that was improving the passthrough mode known as “guardian,” which allows you to see around your environment but previously appeared in black and white. Now Meta says the mode uses high-fidelity color, as well as machine learning and spatial understanding to let you interact with virtual and physical objects. This makes it the first mainstream headset to have a high-resolution, color passthrough.
Gurman claims that the video passthrough offers more accurate colors and an “almost lifelike rendering of the real world.” Gurman also asserted in his hands-on that the headset would have environmental meshing — identifying real-world walls and using them for gameplay purposes.
New games and apps
Meta’s third generation Quest was announced only a week before Summer Game Fest and the other video game showcases that have replaced E3’s prior dominance over the June game news cycle. As such, we can expect to hear more about the games coming to the platform in the next week. However, the company did hold its Meta Quest Gaming Showcase event right after announcing the headset.
The show gave us a look at 25 games that will be coming to the Quest 3. Some of the highlights included Asgard’s Wrath 2, Assassin’s Creed Nexus VR, Stranger Things VR, Silent Slayer: Vault of the Vampire, and Vampire: The Masquerade — Justice. Here are the rest of the titles that were announced:
- Samba de Amigo
- I Expect You To Die 3: Cog in the Machine
- Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord
- NFL PRO ERA update
- Racket Club
- Dungeons of Eternity
- The 7th Guest
- Arizona Sunshine 2
- Attack on Titan VR: Unbreakable
- PowerWash Simulator VR
- We Are One
- Demeo Battles
- Walkabout Mini Golf
- Ghost Signal: A Stellaris Game Fleet Expansion
- Death Game Hotel
- Little Cities — Sandbox Update
- No More Rainbows
We know that Meta plans to have 41 new apps and games available by the time of release, and many of them should be from Oculus Studios. It’s also known that Meta is working with Rockstar Games to bring Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas into the fold. This showcase gave us a look at over half of those expected launch games. However, it’s important to point out that any of these games could be delayed.
With 41 games and apps planned to launch along with the headset, the Quest 3 has some pretty good support out of the gate. But it could be further bolstered by the existing library of the Quest 2. Given that the control schemes didn’t have to be overhauled like PlayStation had to do when moving from the PSVR to the PSVR 2, there was a good chance the Quest 3 would be backwards compatible with the Quest 2’s library.
Meta did confirm that the Quest 3 will be backwards compatible. So apps like Beat Saber and Bonelab should work perfectly fine with the Quest 3. Meta points out that the Quest 2’s library contains over 500 games, apps, and experiences, so you shouldn’t have a hard time finding something to do.
Meta Quest 3: Where can you buy it?
If you’re looking to make an upgrade, you won’t be able to do it yet. The device isn’t scheduled to launch until sometime this fall. Although there’s no information yet, we would expect preorders to open up in the not-too-distant future. When preorders go live, you’ll likely be able to submit your order from the Meta Store.
The organization says that the system will be available in every market Meta Quest is currently supported. This list consists of 23 countries including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
As mentioned earlier, the 128GB version will sell for $500. We’ll continue to update this article when more information is available.
Meta Quest 3: FAQ
Yes. There is a 128GB version of the Quest 3, and Meta says, “we’ll offer an additional storage option.” It did not say what that option would be yet.
Meta claims the Quest 3 offers twice the graphical performance as the Quest 2.