Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, has launched its latest VR headset, the Meta Quest 3, which promises to blend physical and digital worlds together. The device features a new color-passthrough camera, a powerful processor, and improved visuals and haptics. But how does it compare to the upcoming Apple Vision Pro, which is expected to be a game-changer in the mixed reality market? Here is our analysis of the Meta Quest 3 and its potential impact on the future of VR.
What’s New in the Meta Quest 3?
The Meta Quest 3 is a standalone, mixed-reality headset that does not require a PC or a smartphone to operate. It is the successor to the popular Meta Quest 2, which was launched in 2020 and sold over 10 million units. The Quest 3 is more expensive than its predecessor, starting at $500 and going up once you add extras like more onboard storage ($150) and a better headstrap ($70). The Quest 2 launched at $300 back in 2020, so this is a sizable jump, but you can also look at it as costing the same as a PS5.
The main feature that sets the Quest 3 apart from other VR headsets is its color-passthrough camera, which allows you to see your surroundings through the glasses with augmented reality layered on top. This means you can interact with both physical and digital objects in your environment, such as playing games, watching videos, or browsing the web. The camera also enables hand tracking, which lets you use your fingers to control the interface without needing controllers.
The Quest 3 also boasts a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 processor, which Meta claims offers faster load times and more seamless gameplay compared to its predecessor. The device also has improved visuals with better resolution on its twin lens screens. Meta says the “4K+ Infinite Display with 25PPD and 1218 PPI brings the best resolution” to its Quest devices. The resolution is about 2064×2208 pixels per eye.
The Quest 3 controllers have also been redesigned. They are now called Touch Plus controllers, as they use TruTouch haptics to offer force feedback akin to the PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller. Meta says that hand tracking is getting really good with the new controllers.
How Does the Quest 3 Stack Up Against the Vision Pro?
The Meta Quest 3 was announced back in June just before the Meta Quest Gaming Showcase, and is almost certainly launching at Meta Connect on September 27. Now that we know what’s happening with Apple’s so-called “spatial computer,” Meta’s latest VR/AR device bears many of the same hallmarks of virtual reality tech we’ve had for the past several years.
Where the Vision Pro only uses gesture controls, the Quest 3 has redesigned stick controllers that still seem mainly used for gaming. The Vision Pro incorporates most apps that already exist for the iPad and iPhone, but Meta’s new device will continue to use what’s available in the Quest Store and out of its internal development teams.
The Vision Pro is expected to be a much more advanced device than the Quest 3, with features such as eye tracking, facial recognition, spatial audio, and a sleek design. However, it will also come with a hefty price tag of $3,500, which makes it inaccessible to most consumers. The Vision Pro is also rumored to be launching in early 2024, which gives Meta a head start in the mixed reality market.
The Quest 3 will also have some advantages over the Vision Pro, such as being compatible with Xbox Game Pass, which will offer access to hundreds of games for a monthly subscription fee. Meta also has a large user base and social network that can help drive adoption and engagement for its VR platform. Meta also has plans to create a metaverse, which is a virtual world where people can interact, work, play, and create.
What Does the Quest 3 Mean for the Future of VR?
The Meta Quest 3 is a significant step forward for mixed reality technology, as it offers a more immersive and interactive experience than previous VR headsets. It also shows that Meta is serious about investing in VR as a key part of its future vision. However, it also faces stiff competition from Apple, which is known for its innovation and quality in consumer electronics.
The Quest 3 and the Vision Pro are likely to appeal to different segments of the market, depending on their preferences, budgets, and use cases. The Quest 3 will be more affordable and accessible, while the Vision Pro will be more premium and sophisticated. Both devices will have their pros and cons, and will likely coexist in the mixed reality space.
The Quest 3 and the Vision Pro are also likely to influence the development of other VR devices, such as the HTC Vive, the Sony PlayStation VR, and the Valve Index. These devices will have to keep up with the innovations and features of the Quest 3 and the Vision Pro, or risk losing market share and relevance.
The Quest 3 and the Vision Pro are also likely to have an impact on the content and applications that are available for VR. As more people adopt mixed reality devices, there will be more demand and opportunities for creating and consuming VR content, such as games, movies, education, health, entertainment, and social media. The Quest 3 and the Vision Pro will also enable new forms of interaction and collaboration, such as telepresence, virtual meetings, and shared experiences.
The Quest 3 and the Vision Pro are not just VR headsets, they are platforms that can shape the future of VR and beyond. They are devices that can change how we see, hear, feel, and communicate with the world around us. They are devices that can open new possibilities and realities for us.