When it comes to affordable VR, it’s fair to say that Meta has the market somewhat cornered.
Meta Quest devices are among the cheapest and most widely-available VR headsets on the market, and they’re also pretty respectable in terms of specs, meaning that anyone who has an interest in VR technology can start on the ground floor with Meta Quest.
The Meta Quest 3 was officially announced earlier this year, but the device is finally here, so we thought this would be a good opportunity to take a look at its price, spec sheet, and more.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Meta Quest 3!
- Meta dominates affordable VR with popular, cost-effective Meta Quest devices.
- Meta Quest 3, an accessible entry-level VR option, launched October 10th.
- The Meta Quest 3 costs £479.99 for 128GB, £619.99 for 512GB in the UK.
- Quest 3’s XR2 Gen 2 chip doubles GPU performance, offers high-resolution displays.
- Quest 3 introduces new features like improved controllers, mixed reality, and slimmer design.
- Critics praise Meta Quest 3’s hardware upgrades but note mixed reality content scarcity.
- Meta Quest 3 is backward compatible, enhancing its appeal to existing Meta users.
- Reviewers suggest Quest 3 is an improvement, but AR content needs development.
Meta Quest 3 release date – when did the VR headset come out?
The Meta Quest 3 headset was released on October 10th, having been announced all the way back in June.
Following that initial announcement, the Quest 3’s release date was announced during the Meta Connect event in September. That’s also where we learned the price of the unit, as well as its general aim to prop up Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of the “metaverse”.
Meta Quest 3 price – how much does it cost?
If you’re in the UK, the Meta Quest 3 headset’s base model, which packs in 128GB of storage, will cost you £479.99.
That’s a fairly expensive purchase, but it pales in comparison to the price of other headsets; the Valve Index, for instance, starts at £689 for the headset and controllers, and adding in the base station will cost you an extra £230.
If you want the 512GB model, you’re going to be paying a little extra; that version of the Meta Quest 3 costs £619.99.
Meta Quest 3 specs – what’s under the hood?
Much has been made of Meta’s ability to bring to market an entry-level virtual reality headset that’s still able to compete with some of the greats, and indeed, the Quest 3 continues that trend.
The unit uses the XR2 Gen 2, a Snapdragon chip that’s based on the company’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 mobile processor.
According to Meta, the XR2 Gen 2 can boast more than double the raw GPU performance of its predecessor, which means that, in theory at least, the Quest 3 is twice as powerful as the Quest 2, at least when it comes to graphics.
Resolution-wise, the Quest 3 displays 2064×2208 images on a per-eye basis, which is around 30% higher than the Quest 2’s resolution.
All in all, you’re getting a sharper and more powerful VR headset with the Quest 3, as you’d expect.
Meta Quest 3 features – what can the headset do?
Naturally, since it’s Meta’s flagship VR device, the Meta Quest 3 comes with a whole host of features to make your VR gaming experience that much smoother.
Here’s a roundup of what the Meta Quest 3 can do!
- Touch Plus controllers. The controllers that ship with the Meta Quest 3 are revamped versions of the previous device’s Touch Pro hardware, and they’ve got improved haptic feedback too, so you can immerse yourself in your game much more effectively.
- Backwards compatibility. The Meta Quest 3 is fully backwards compatible with Meta Quest 2 software, so anything that was designed for the Meta Quest 2 can also be played on the new system.
- Improved mixed reality. Based on the use of new cameras and depth sensors, the Meta Quest 3 will pioneer Meta’s proprietary “Meta Reality” system, meaning that you can use the Quest 3 as an AR device as well as for VR gaming.
- Slimmer design. Meta has redesigned the Quest 3 for improved comfort and ergonomics, so you’ll hopefully notice that the headset is significantly slimmer and less bulky than its predecessor. When it comes to VR headsets, that’s always a plus; after all, nobody wants to be wearing a heavy computer on their heads for lengthy periods of time, right?
Meta Quest 3 reviews – what are the critics saying?
Since the Meta Quest 3 has been out there in the wild for some time now, critics have had a chance to render judgement on the VR headset.
In The Verge’s review, David Pierce acknowledges that the Meta Quest 3 has “better, more comfortable hardware” than the Quest 2, and that the displays are sharper as well.
However, Pierce also says that the headset’s focus on mixed reality hasn’t quite paid off due to a lack of content available and a passthrough protocol that “isn’t quite sharp enough”.
IGN’s review is much more effusive, awarding the Quest 3 a score of 9 out of 10 and calling it “the new king of accessible VR”.
It’s fair to say that IGN has something of a reputation for arguably inflating its review scores, but the 9 out of 10 score is encouraging nonetheless.
In a review for Wired, reviewer Matt Kamen awards the headset 8 out of 10, pointing to its superior hardware as a plus but bemoaning the lack of mixed-reality content available.
In general, it seems that reviewers agree that the headset itself is an improvement over the Meta Quest 2, but also that more content will be needed before widespread adoption is viable.
If you’re considering upgrading your current high-end VR setup or delving into the world of mixed reality, it’s important to weigh your options. The Meta Quest 3 offers an intriguing glimpse into the future of immersive technology with plenty of games to play, yet it’s wise to consider the current state of content availability, especially for augmented reality (AR). For those on the fence, it might be beneficial to explore the Meta Quest 3 further, compare it with other headsets, and read through customer reviews.