Meta on Thursday announced the Quest 3, its next generation all-in-one untethered VR/MR headset. The updated headset is based around a newer Qualcomm SoC for VR/MR applications, offering increased performance, a higher resolution display, improved controllers, an all-new 6-degree-of-freedom (6DoF) positional tracking system, and backwards compatibility with existing software developed for existing the Quest headset.

Meta's Quest 3 comes with the company's 'highest resolution display yet' coupled with slimmed down optics assembly to make the device thinner. Meta is not disclosing the display resolution or refresh rate just yet, but it is reasonable to expect that it exceeds per eye resolution of 1832x1920 resolution and 72 – 120 Hz refresh rate range featured on the Quest 2. Meta says that the Quest 3 has a 40% slimmer optics profile, enhancing the overall comfort of the device. However, it is necessary to note that comfort can be highly subjective and depends on individual ergonomic preferences.

To ensure decent performance at a higher resolution, Meta says the Quest 3 uses the 'a next-generation' Snapdragon system-on-chip that 'delivers more than twice the graphical performance' compared to Quest 2 (which uses the Snapdragon XR2) without defining the exact SoC. The only other VR SoC in Qualcomm's lineup right now is the Snapdragon XR2+ Gen1 – used in the Quest Pro – but given Meta's intentional imprecision here, it's more likely it's an even newer SoC, or possibly even something custom.

In addition to increasing display resolution and enhancing performance, Meta says they've also greatly improved sensor and tracking systems of the Quest 3. The headset has three pill-shaped sensors on the front panel: the left and right sensors are dual 4MP outward-facing RGB cameras capturing stereoscopic visuals, whereas the middle sensor is the depth sensor. Tracking cameras are one corners of the device and they also support hand tracking right out of box.

Meta says that its new Meta Reality technology enabled by the two RGB cameras and the depth sensor provide considerably more immersive mixed reality experience compared to that on Quest 3 and even on Quest Pro.

"Ultimately, our vision is to enable you to move through all realities in a way that’s intuitive and delightful," said Mark Rabkin, VP of VR. "Going beyond the rigid classifications of ‘virtual reality’ and ‘mixed reality’ to deliver truly next-gen experiences that let you effortlessly blend the physical and virtual worlds. Meta Reality gives you both the deep, immersive magic of VR and the freedom and delight of making your physical world more fun and useful with MR. Weare excited to see what developers and creators can build on the Quest Platform when the possibilities are limitless."

Last but not least, Meta re-engineered its Touch Plus controllers for the Quest 3 headset. The new controllers eliminate outside tracking rings and feature improved ergonomics. Furthermore, they add TruTouch haptics to enhance tactile interaction. Meanwhile, those who want to have an even better experience can buy Meta Quest Touch Pro Controllers which offer full self-tracking.

Meta says that it will reveal more details about its Quest 3 on September 27, raises the obvious question of whether the company announced the headset days before Apple is expected to unveil its own VR/MR headset in order to steal some thunder from that introduction. As for availability, the company plans to start selling its Quest 3 late this year for $499 for a 128GB version. Those who want to have more internal storage can opt for a more expensive model.

Source: Meta

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  • tipoo - Friday, June 2, 2023 - link

    Is this SoC basically likely to be based around the SD 8 Gen 2? It's fairly impressive in that it does beat the A16 GPU and also has hardware accelerated ray tracing if so (although, I don't really think mobile can do enough with this yet to be that interesting, but it's still nice to have the acceleration structures there), albeit the M2 in the reality/whatever they call it is another doubling over the A16. Also the Quest 2 is literally hitting 1/10th that rumored cost lol.
  • name99 - Friday, June 2, 2023 - link

    "Apple is expected to unveil its own VR/MR headset to steal some thunder from that introduction"

    Apple is selling a very different class of device. Look at the (basically weasel) words that Meta is using "**Ultimately**, our vision is to enable you to move through all realities". ie "yes we understand that we will be competing against Apple in AR and we have nothing today, but who knows, maybe one day we will".

    Comparing the Apple device against this is like comparing an iPhone X against a candy bar Nokia. Sure, if ALL you care about is making calls, then the Nokia is fine. But the whole point of the iPhone is to do a lot more than just make phone calls.

    AR is a LOT harder than VR... And I suspect that Apple will be pushing the AR angle more than the VR angle. Sure, they will show the obligatory game because the mob demands that; but more interesting will be the Ar demos. Even before the new stuff, think of the current things that can be done with Apple AR today (ie represent existing API and SW/HW capabilities) but which basically suck because they require you to hold the phone in an unnatural way.

    These include a bunch of purchasing stuff (trying out clothes, trying out new furniture in your house -- which can be augmented with "can I even get it into the house/will it fit in the room I want/ will it fit in the car). And yeah, the internet likes to sneer at purchasing, but it matters to a lot of people.
    Then there's screen extension stuff, which I am EXTREMELY interested in.
    Then there's a variant of screen extension stuff that is basically "can I read while lying down on my back?" which may not matter to the young'uns but matters a lot to the older among us with bad eyes and/or backs.

    Then there's the stuff that we don't have a CLUE about but which (IMHO) Apple should be pushing hard, specifically "bionic eyes" - why can't I use this to do at least the visual tasks my camera can do (so zoom to at least 10x both for distance and for near magnification), like eg binoculars but so much more convenient (and with stabilization built in...)
    Why can't I see in infrared (easy today) and UV (easy enough to add)?
    Why can't I accurately "see" distances and angles (lateral, but also how far away something is), or how fast it is moving, or what temperature it is?
    Why can't the glasses do a better job than I can of detecting small motions (eg when looking for animals) and directing my attention to that?
    To what extent is it feasible to "predistort" the image so that, mostly anyway, I can use this as a replacement for glasses?

    The price issue is uninteresting. $3000 for BETTER EYES? That's the freaking bargain of the millennium!!! And that's what's coming, if not this year, then in the next decade.

    Vastly more interesting is the issue of "hassle". If putting this on and off is more hassle than taking glasses on and off, that substantially limits how often one wants to engage in that hassle. But if it's basically the hassle level of putting on glasses, or inserting AirPods, then wow!
  • AnnonymousCoward - Friday, June 2, 2023 - link

    Maybe I'm narrow minded on this but I see AR as totally pointless for me. I don't have a problem buying furniture and use a tape measure. If you look like 200 years into the future, to Star Trek TNG level tech, then I can see AR as being really useful and seamless. But what can you really get out of the next headset or google glass, to make it worth the battery charging, weight, bulk, cost, visual quality that obstructs normal vision, etc.
  • TrendHop - Sunday, June 4, 2023 - link

    I think you prefaced your position perfectly in the first 4 words. The road to 200 years from now starts today.
  • Dante Verizon - Tuesday, June 6, 2023 - link

    The conclusion is funnier than the arguments. If you want good vision don't use iPhone for more than calls, and certainly avoid VR devices.
  • PeachNCream - Monday, June 5, 2023 - link

    So it'll cost $500 to slap a Facebook data miner on your head so you can look like a you're wearing a low-budget movie prop until Zuck gets over his Metaverse fetish or it finally proves itself a lost cause and then what? You have electronics waste to deal with. Thank goodness it has the term "Next Gen" somewhere in it though because that matters!

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