We already know the Oculus Quest headset is getting a major branding update this time around as it ditches the Oculus name in favour of Meta, but what other changes are coming to Meta Quest 3 headset?
It’s been over a year since the Oculus Quest 2 launched and rumours about the Meta Quest 3 have been gradually rolling in.
Zuckerberg himself has confirmed that the Meta Quest 3 is in the works and the CEO even revealed that Meta has started thinking about what the Quest 4 will look like.
“Because of how hardware gets developed, you kind of need to know what your next three products are going to look like all at the same time,” Zuckerberg told The Information in a podcast in early 2021 (via Upload).
“It’s not like software where we’re changing it every couple of weeks. We have product teams spun up now working on the next few generations of virtual reality and what Quest 3 and 4 are gonna look like.”
But, what does Meta have planned for its next VR headset? Read on to learn everything we know about the Meta Quest 3 so far, including when we think it will launch, how much it could cost and what specs and features we expect to see on board.
We initially hoped to see the Quest 3 launch in 2022 seeing as there was only a 1.5 year gap between the original Oculus Quest and the Quest 2. However, its looking more and more likely that Meta’s high-end VR device Project Cambria will come first.
According to XR hardware analyst Brad Lynch, we can expect Project Cambria (aka Meta Quest Pro) to launch in Q2 2022, while a Meta Quest 3 release will follow a year later at Meta’s Connect 2023 conference.
Considering Connect 2021 took place in October, this means we may need to wait until the end of 2023 to meet the next Quest headset.
Consulting CTO John Carmack has also stated that the Quest 2 “will have a long life”, which doesn’t bode well for a 2022 update.
There’s no official word on how much the Meta Quest 3 will cost at this point, but we expect it to cost in a similar range to the Oculus Quest 2, which had a starting price of US$299(~S$408.12) at launch.
While we could see another price increase, it seems unlikely with the high-end Cambria already in the works to appeal to fans looking to invest in a more premium VR experience.
An image was posted on Twitter recently, supposedly showing off the Quest 2’s new Meta-branded packaging. If you look closely, you can even see Meta’s logo engraved on the headset where the Oculus “O” used to reside.
Its very likely we’ll see the same design and packaging updates on the Meta Quest 3.
Meta made the Quest 2 10% lighter than the original Quest and ditched the physical IPD slider, allowing users to instead pull on the eye cups to toggle the three preset positions. We assume both of these will stick around on the next Quest.
We were fans of the controllers that came with the Quest 2 – we found the placement of the button helped to simulate real-life hand movements and we liked how the controllers themselves switched on alongside the headset, meaning you don’t need to turn them on separately.
However, it would be good to see Meta swap out the controllers’ AA batteries for something rechargeable for convenience sake.
Specs and features
Zuckerberg has repeatedly referenced Meta’s plans to leverage face and eye-tracking with the Meta Quest 3. In the aforementioned interview with The Information, he touched upon the benefits of more accurate face and eye tracking.
“One of the things I’m really excited about for future versions is getting eye tracking and face tracking in, because if you’re really excited about social presence you want to make sure the device has all the sensors to really kind of animate realistic avatars so you can communicate well,” said the CEO.
Zuckerberg later expanded on the topic in an interview with Lex Fridman (via Upload).
“There’s a whole part of your brain that’s just focused on reading facial cues. So when we’re designing the next version of Quest, or the VR headset, a big focus for us is face tracking and basically eye tracking so you can make eye contact which isn’t really something that you can do over video conference.”
Another major update we expect to see on the Meta Quest 3 is a 120Hz refresh rate by default. The current Quest can now reach 120Hz, but launched at 90Hz and currently requires developers to upscale their games to support it. A faster refresh rate equals a smoother image and a reduced likelihood of causing motion sickness.
According to Lynch’s tweet, the Quest 3 will feature a uOLED display rather than the Quest 2’s LCD one, which would deliver more vibrant and realistic colours. Meta has apparently signed a deal to build production lines for the screens with Changxin Technology.
You can also expect to see an update to the chipset, though whether that’ll be the upcoming Snapdragon XR3 or a custom SoC is yet to be seen.
Looking at other players in the VR world, features like light-field imagery are becoming more popular, allowing developers to create a more realistic representation of how we see light in the world.
It also wouldn’t be too shocking if we saw upgrades for haptic feedback, with Sony’s PSVR 2 headset expected to focus on this area after the success of the PS5 DualSense controller.
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