The Meta Quest 3 headset will go on sale on October 10, starting at $499.00/£479.99 for 128GB of storage, with pre-orders now open for the successor to the ultra-successful Quest 2. We’ve gone hands on with the headset at Oculus Connect today.
As revealed back on June 1, the main selling point for the considerably more expensive headset is the passthrough technology to enable augmented reality experiences. Effectively, it’s a more affordable version of the Quest Pro the company has struggled to shift.
Meta filled in a lot of the spec gaps missing from the June reveal, explaining the Quest 3 will have a 30% display resolution jump and 40% louder audio from the built-in speakers with support for spatial audio.
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While the Quest 2 made it possible to at least see through the front of the headset (mainly for safety reasons), Quest 3 goes much farther with Full Colour Passthrough. That’s possible through the much more pronounced camera array on the front of the headset.
There are also big improvements in the 4K displays, with a 2064 x 2208 LCD panel per eye. That’s an astonishing 1,218 pixels per inch. You’ll get an improved 110 x 96 degree field of view from these pancake lenses and if you’re not getting a perfect view, there’s a wheel within the hardware you can use to tweak the visual experience.
The presence of the AR mode makes it a more viable contender to Apple’s Vision Pro and will almost certainly sell more than a product that costs 7-times as much and requires a wearable battery pack. Meta is calling it the “First Mass-Market Mixed Reality Headset.”
Switching between VR and the AR blended modes can be achieved via the controller or with a finger tapping gesture. In the blended mode you’ll be able to build LEGO sets (below) and play a virtual piano on your coffee table for instance.
Speaking of the Touch Controllers, they’re a little more refined in both weight and size. The headset itself is slightly smaller with a 40% slimmer profile, albeit 8 grams heavier than the Quest 2 (513g vs 503g)
As we already knew, the Quest 3 will run off a new Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 processor and is the first to run this chipset which will be joined by 8GB of RAM. Meta reckons the internals will double the graphical performance. That new processor also promises passthrough latency of 12 milliseconds for those AR experiences, which should see any motion sickness reduced to a minimum.
The Quest 3 is also completely backward compatible with all 500+ apps and games currently available within the Oculus Score. The company is also selling a new charging dock for all three elements – the two touch controllers and the headset itself – for £129.99/$129.99.