Meta’s Quest 3 VR (virtual reality) headset will start at 499 USD, cheaper than the price announced by Apple for Vision Pro.
This price is 200 USD more expensive than its predecessor (starting at 299 USD), but Quest 3 uses a more powerful chip from Qualcomm and a better screen. Meta has accepted orders and will deliver the device on October 10.
The highlight of Quest 3 is the ability to quickly see the world outside the device, which will help users feel less isolated and more comfortable to use for long periods of time. While in the app on the Quest 3, double-tapping any part of the headset will take the user out of the virtual world. Another innovation is the dumpling lens, an optic first used on Meta’s $1,499 Quest Pro, which helps sharper images and higher resolution.
The release of Meta’s new VR headset is expected to kick off direct competition with Apple in the field of virtual reality. Technology experts believe that Apple’s entry could expand the entire market and create new milestones, similar to how the iPhone set a milestone for the smartphone market.
So far, Meta is off to a good start. According to estimates, Quest 2 is the best-selling VR headset with nearly 10 million units sold last year, down slightly from the peak of the pandemic. Apple’s Vision Pro headphones will only be available in 2024 and have a higher price, starting at $3,499.
But beyond the sales success, it’s unclear how many Quest 2 owners use the device daily or weekly, critical applications or situations where wearing the VR headset is still necessary. still quite vague. To date, Meta has invested more than $21 billion in its Reality Labs division, which develops VR headsets and software.
CNBC said it tried Quest 3 for an hour before launch, including playing games and watching some of the company’s hardware introduction programs. The device’s hardware has been updated significantly, with a new headband and a slimmer headphone shape. However, the headset is heavier than its predecessor, weighing 515 g. The speakers on the device have also been improved and provide a quality sound experience.
Meta’s new wearable device uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chip, a processor using the Arm architecture for power consumption equivalent to a mobile processor. The two screens on Quest 3 have a resolution of 2,064 x 2,208 pixels on each side (Quest 2 is 1,832 x 1,920 pixels). The new headphones give about 2 hours and 12 minutes of battery life.
The biggest improvement in usability is Quest 3’s emphasis on passthrough, where cameras on the outside of the device can display live video on the screen, giving the feeling of a pair of transparent glasses but at the same time can display computer windows and other graphics. Quest 3 can also scan the room around the user so apps can warn them when they are about to collide with their surroundings.
At this point, the big difference between Meta and Apple is that the Mark Zuckerberg-owned corporation envisions the Quest as a gaming device, while Apple sees its device as a computer. Meta says it already has 500 games and apps for the headset, including Ghostbusters games titles, Assassin’s Creed, and Stranger Things developed with Netflix.