Ahead of what is expected to be the debut of Apple’s own pricy AR headset at WWDC on Monday, Meta has just revealed its new Meta Quest 3 VR headset through Mark Zuckerberg’s Instagram and Facebook accounts (and now its own YouTube channel). The headset comes with redesigned controllers, has full-color passthrough, and is purportedly 40% thinner and has twice the processing power.
The reveal comes just hours before the Meta Quest Gaming Showcase at 1pm EST today, and although Meta isn’t ready to share all the details on the new Quest 3—it’s promised a full reveal later this year at its Connect conference on September 27—today’s announcement included a handful of confirmations about how the headset has been improved over the Quest 2.
The biggest reason to upgrade would be that the Quest 3 is promised to be 40% thinner than the Quest 2, which means it will be considerably lighter, too, and more comfortable to wear for longer gaming sessions, without its head strap needing to feel as tight. On the inside, in addition to “higher resolution” screens, the Meta Quest 3 boasts “Double the GPU processing power” thanks to a “Next gen Qualcomm chipset” providing “2x the graphics performance.”
Although many expect Apple’s unannounced headset to be an augmented reality headset, mixing the real world with additional virtual content, the Meta Quest 3, the latest in a line that has traditionally been VR-focused, is also introducing full-color passthrough video, which means that it will be better suited for mixing real world and virtual content. Previous versions of the Meta Quest only pass through grainy, monochromatic video to help users peek at their surroundings without having to completely remove the headset.
The Meta Quest 3 will also include redesigned wireless controllers with “TruTouch haptics.” The controllers appear to have a very similar design to what’s included with the $1,500 Meta Quest Pro that was announced last October.
If rumors are true, the Meta Quest 3 will definitely arrive with a price tag much cheaper than Apple’s own AR goggles, but it remains to be seen if Apple has finally come up with a good justification as to why everyone needs an AR/VR headset besides gaming, which is where Meta already has a huge lead. If not, the Quest 3 seems like it could help Meta remain highly competitive in this space, even with Apple throwing its hat into the ring.
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