Mark Zuckerberg took the stage to reveal Meta’s highly anticipated new flagship virtual reality headset, the Quest 3. Positioned as a successor to the best-selling Quest 2, the new model features major specification upgrades aimed at competing with Apple’s Vision Pro VR headset and cementing Meta’s AI leadership.
Quest 3 Specs – Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2, Higher Resolution and Refresh Rate
The Quest 3 is powered by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 processor, delivering significantly improved performance versus the prior XR2 chip in the Quest 2.
With an Arm-based architecture akin to mobile chips, the XR2 Gen 2 enables low latency visuals, efficient power consumption, and a 2x graphics boost over the Quest 2 per Meta. It comes equipped with 8GB of memory.
The displays have been upgraded as well. The Quest 3 utilizes LCD panels with 2064×2208 resolution, increased from 1832×1920 on the Quest 2. Both models support 90Hz and 120Hz refresh rates.
Meta claims the visual fidelity achieves new levels of realism that compel you to reach out and interact with virtual objects.
Enhanced Mixed Reality and Comfort
Key upgrades were made to the Quest 3’s mixed reality and comfort capabilities. It incorporates two new outward-facing color cameras on the front to enable more advanced mixed reality experiences.
Similar to Apple’s Vision Pro, users can toggle between fully immersive VR and a mixed reality mode overlaying virtual elements onto views of the real environment. Switching modes is handled easily by double tapping the headset or using the controllers.
The field of view has also been expanded by 15% versus the Quest 2, now covering 110 degrees horizontally and 96 degrees vertically. This slightly edges out the Vision Pro specs. A new lens adjustment wheel lets users customize the fit for optimal comfort.
Despite being 40% thinner than the Quest 2, the Quest 3 does weigh slightly more at 515 grams versus 503 grams. However, Meta emphasizes that the Quest 3 has been ergonomically redesigned for greater wearing comfort over long sessions.
Upgraded Controllers, Audio, and Gaming Focus
The Touch controllers have been revamped with infrared sensors instead of large tracking rings. Of course, hand tracking is still supported for controller-free interaction.
Integrated speakers deliver a 40% wider soundstage for richer audio immersion. While the battery life ranges from 1.5 to 3 hours based on usage.
As a primarily gaming-focused headset, the Quest 3 supports all Quest 2 titles at launch. This includes hit collaborations like Ghostbusters, Assassin’s Creed, and Stranger Things developed with Netflix. Fitness apps like Supernatural round out the experiences.
Pricing and Availability – Pre-Orders Open at $499
Despite the upgrades, aggressive pricing starts at $499 for the 128GB model – a $200 increase over the entry Quest 2. The higher capacity 256GB version costs $649.
Pre-orders are open now, with official availability starting October 10th. This positions the Quest 3 as an affordable high-end consumer VR headset compared to pricier enterprise-focused options.
Quest 3 Cements Meta’s AI Supremacy Quest
With advanced specs like the XR2 Gen 2 chip and mixed reality capabilities, the Quest 3 promises to stretch virtual experiences even further. It provides an ideal development platform for Meta’s industry-leading AI research to unlock more lifelike VR interactions.
By integrating computer vision, natural language processing, and intelligent avatars, Meta aims to blur the lines between physical and virtual. The Quest 3 offers a glimpse into the ambitious future of ambient computing Meta envisions coming to life.
Zuckerberg took a shot at Apple by undercutting the rumored $3,000 Vision Pro pricing with the $499 entry point for Quest 3. Meta is betting big that its AI expertise married with accessible hardware like Quest will beat Apple’s walled garden approach.
If the strategy pays off, the Quest 3 could be the device that finally brings VR and MR into the mainstream. And Meta will own the gateway to the embodied internet revolution.