While Meta announced the high-end Meta Quest Pro at Meta Connect 2022, there was no sign of the successor to the hugely popular Meta Quest 2.
So when can we expect the Quest 3 and, more importantly, what can we expect from the next-gen virtual reality headset?
While it’s still in its infancy, there are already rumors and leaks that give us a rough idea of what to expect from the Quest 3, including rumors of an early release date and feature leaks.
When Meta first started teasing the Meta Quest Pro in 2021, many assumed it would be the successor to the Quest 2. Now, of course, we know it’s an entirely different headset with a focus beyond gaming.
The good news is that we shouldn’t have to wait too long for a proper successor – a 2023 release seems increasingly likely for the Meta Quest 3.
A 2023 release was promised in Meta’s Q4 2022 earnings call — which took place on Feb. 1, 2023 — when CEO Mark Zuckerberg laid it out pretty clearly: “Later this year, we’re going to be launching our next-generation consumer headset.”
While Zuckerberg doesn’t explicitly mention the Quest 3, the reference to a “consumer headset” is telling – Meta considers the current Quest 2 to be a consumer-oriented headset, as opposed to the professional/creative focus for the Quest Pro.
A 2023 release is supported by analyst Brad Lynch, which suggests that the upgraded Meta Quest 3 will be unveiled at Meta’s Connect 2023 event and released soon after. If the company maintains the same schedule as in recent years, it can be a October 2023 reveal for the Quest 3.
It is worth noting that the company has an event for that time. It will hold a Quest Gaming Showcase on June 1, promising “double news” from last year’s equivalent event. That said, previously this was strictly a software showcase, and we expect the same this time around. Still, there’s a remote chance of a Quest 3 reveal – or at least a good tease of the headset – so it could still be worth tuning in.
While it’s probably way too early for Meta to praise the upcoming headset – especially if it’s not expected until late 2023 – Mark Zuckerberg has calmed the nerves of VR fans who were fearful of the hefty $1500/£1500 price tag for the MetaQuestPro.
While some feared that the high price of the Quest Pro might indicate a higher price point for the entry-level VR headset, Zuckerberg confirmed in an October 2022 interview with Stratechery that the Quest 3 will be in the “$300 price range, $ 400 will fall”. , or $500, that zone.”.
With that in mind, we expect the Quest 3 to cost a similar amount to the $399 / £399 Meta Quest 2, but we’ll update this section if we hear otherwise.
What will Quest 3’s specs and features be?
While it won’t be out for a while, the Quest 3 has already been the subject of a number of leaks, giving us a good idea of what to expect from the upcoming VR headset.
Equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR 2 platform, the Meta Quest 2 offers the impressive standalone performance we’re all familiar with.
It would be safe to assume that Meta and Qualcomm would continue that relationship with the Quest 3 and the next-gen Snapdragon mobile platform, which should be available by the time the Quest 3 enters production.
VR analyst Brad Lynch initially suggested that Meta could take a different path, instead developing its own chipset for the upcoming headset. The analyst claimed the company was reportedly working on a chip with a “focus on a GPU that’s better designed for VR loads”, so as not to “rely on an SoC that all the smaller XR players will use”.
However, in a follow-up video posted to YouTube at the end of September 2021, Lynch now suggests that the Quest 3 will indeed have the next-generation Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chipset, alongside a boosted 12GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage.
While that doesn’t give us much to hold on to, it seems to confirm that the Quest 3 will have better graphics performance, which should translate into better, more immersive games and apps available on the standalone platform.
Updated LCD screens
Another prediction from Lynch suggests that the Quest 3 will offer quite an upgrade in terms of display. While Lynch initially suggested a move to OLED was at stake, more recent leaks suggest that Meta has instead opted for a faster, higher resolution LCD display than the Quest 2’s.
According to Lynch, the Quest 3 will have an LCD display with a resolution of 2064×2208 per eye and an increased refresh rate of 120Hz – that’s both higher resolution and faster than the top-end Quest Pro, boding well for consumers .
While the Quest 2 has offered an experimental 120Hz mode in recent months, it’s exclusive to apps and games that support it, with Meta Home and other OS elements still rendered at 90Hz. The jump to 120 Hz provides a remarkable jump in smoothness no matter where you use the headset.
Not much else is known about the display technology, including the field of view, but it’s exciting nonetheless.
Our best look at the Meta Quest 3 also comes from Lynch, who showed leaked CAD renders of the upcoming headset in late September 2022, giving us a good idea of what to expect from the next-gen headset – including specs that confirm that Meta plans to shift focus to mixed reality.
The video provides meaningful insight into what to expect from the next-gen VR headset, internally codenamed Project Stinson, which appears to be essentially a combination of the Quest 2 and Quest Pro.
The leaked CAD renders seem to suggest that the headset will be aimed more at mixed reality than just virtual reality with more cameras, likely with color pass through capabilities like the Quest Pro.
That makes sense in light of the company’s earnings call in Q4 2022, when Zuckerberg promised that the Quest 3 will “include Meta Reality” — the company’s name for its technology to deliver virtual reality and augmented reality features. in the same hardware.
It’s also said to have the same pancake lenses as the Pro headset, allowing for a more compact form factor, and it looks like there will also be a manually adjustable IPD wheel on the underside of the headset. That makes it much easier to adjust the IDP than the Quest 2, which requires you to take the headset off.
The big difference between the Quest 3 and Quest Pro? Lynch claims the Quest 3 won’t include eye or face tracking, two crucial features of the Pro headset. It’s probably a cost-cutting measure more than anything, allowing Meta to keep the price of the Quest 3 low and more affordable for customers – especially with inflation rising rapidly in many regions around the world.
The video goes into detail on elements like cooling and audio, so sit down and get ready for an unofficial 18 minute deep dive into the Quest 3.