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Meta Quest 3 is Coming, and We Are Excited
It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were salivating at the thought of the Meta Quest 2 being launched, and anticipating what this would bring us in terms of VR. The potential for relatively low-cost VR experiences would bring the wonders of virtual reality to a growing audience and would be the next stage in developing a credible Metaverse.
But now, the Meta Quest 2 is kinda old hat in the VR world, and we are all looking to the future with the new device. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said the Meta Quest 3 will be released in Autumn 2023, and further added that more details on the device will be revealed at the Meta Connect conference on September 27. It is reported that the Meta Quest 3 will include a greater resolution, stronger performance, and groundbreaking Meta Reality technology. Additionally, it will feature a thinner and more comfortable form that will enable users to wear it for longer periods of time without getting tired.
Having proved the technology with the Meta Quest 2, most commentators have been expecting the newer model to be significantly improved and the tech specs released by Meta tend to back that up, however these are still a little scant in detail. What we do know is that it is likely to hit the market with a base size of 128Gb, but with other variants of 256Gb and possibly even 512Gb storage, though they are all likely to be driven by the same electronics package and have the same performance. Like the Meta Quest 2, the different sizes will just allow different amounts of storage.
According to the company, the Meta Quest 3 has undergone a comprehensive redesign “from the inside out.” Initial images seem to support this claim. Pancake lenses are one of the reasons why this headset is now 40% thinner than its predecessor, the Quest 2, despite maintaining the same overall aesthetic. In addition to that, the front of the headset is adorned with a striking trio of pill-shaped cameras or sensors, and the head strap appears to be constructed from an improved flexible material. As is well known, the head strap that came standard on the Quest 2 was a source of some controversy due to the fact that it was a tad uncomfortable for long wearing and many of the aftermarket alternatives had a high propensity for breaking when subjected to the strain of VR. We are holding our breath as we wait to find out if the standard item on Quest 3 will be of a higher quality.
Released pictures also suggest that there is something that looks like an additional button on the bottom of the headset, which is most likely a wheel to adjust the interpupillary distance (IPD). This should be a significant improvement over the Quest 2 headset. The interpupillary distance is the distance, measured in millimetres, between the centres of the user’s pupils. Finding the right interpupillary distance is essential to developing the right focus on the screen and ensuring the best possible user experience. There is also a rumour that the newly launched device may have a motorised IPD interface. This would make it significantly more usable than the existing three click-settings, which aren’t really adequate for the task at hand. The face shield also looks like it’s been redesigned and could better block out any external light – another frequent criticism of the Quest 2.
With the Quest 3, information will be shown in stunning detail thanks to the combination of Meta’s highest resolution display and pancake optics. The Quest 3 is the first headset to incorporate a next-generation Snapdragon chipset, co-developed with Qualcomm Technologies to handle the additional processing demands of VR’s higher resolution displays. The Snapdragon chipset gives more than double the graphics capability as the previous generation Snapdragon GPU in Quest 2, meaning the user will receive smoother performance and wonderfully clear details in immersive games. The speed of the Snapdragon will make forays into the Metaverse much more streamlined and enjoyable.
The company is also moving forward with ambitions to expand the capabilities of the new device far beyond those of a standard VR headset. The Quest 3’s Meta Reality technology allows users to effortlessly combine the real and virtual worlds. These new experiences go beyond today’s mixed reality by intelligently comprehending and responding to objects in your actual surroundings and allowing the user to navigate that place in natural, intuitive ways that were practically impossible previously. High-fidelity colour Passthrough, cutting-edge machine learning, and spatial understanding bring virtual and real-world content into seamless interaction, opening up a world of new and exciting possibilities for the user.
We have already mentioned that the Quest 3 is a more stylish and comfier headset than its predecessor. The Touch Plus controllers featured in Quest 3 have also been revamped by Meta to be more streamlined and user-friendly. Engineers have been able to eliminate the outside tracking rings thanks to developments in tracking technology, making the controllers feel like an organic extension of your hands and reducing their footprint. In addition, the controllers’ TruTouch haptics, which made its debut in Touch Pro, allow the player to experience the game like never before. The Direct Touch system, which allows the user to interact with virtual items using only their hands, is supported out of the box, and the user can upgrade to the new Meta Quest Touch Pro Controllers for a premium experience.
While no UK price has been quoted yet, Meta claim that the Quest 3 entry-level (128Gb) unit will hit the shops at $499 (currently around £386), making it more expensive at launch than the Quest 2, but given that the known tech-specs is significantly higher, that’s to be expected. We don’t know the potential price for the other models, but since they vary only by virtue of internal memory size, it’s unlikely to be much different.
As we ramp up to the release of the Meta Quest 3, there is likely to be much more in terms of press releases from the company, so keep checking back here to keep up to date with all of the latest news.