Meta announced its newest Meta Quest 3 mixed reality headset back in June, promising twice the graphical performance of its predecessor, the Quest 2. Now, with increased competition in the mixed reality segment from Apple, the company has revealed more details about its next-generation headset at its Meta Connect 2023 annual conference on Wednesday, including an official launch date. The headset will start shipping October 10, with Meta Quest 3 pre-orders live right now. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg also showed off immersive virtual reality capabilities of the headset, while keeping your physical surroundings in sight with full-colour passthrough.
In addition to the Meta Quest 3 release date, the focus was on headset features that “blend the physical and digital worlds together,” as Zuckerberg put it. The Meta CEO showed off virtual games being played in real physical surroundings via the headset, lego puzzles and custom creations, and real-time AR/VR workouts. Meta is promising 10 times the pixel count compared to Meta Quest 2, so that users can see their living rooms in sharp detail with the help of two dedicated colour camera sensors and a depth sensor. A double tap on the side of the Meta Quest 3 switches between immersive virtual worlds to your physical surroundings with virtual elements laid on top. Meta Quest 3 claims to be the world's first device powered by the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 platform, allowing faster load times and crisper visuals. The headset also features 8GB of dynamic RAM — 33 percent more memory compared to the Meta Quest 2
The headset comes with a higher resolution display than its predecessor — a 4K+ (2,064 x 2,208 pixels per eye) Infinite Display, offering 1,218 pixels per pinch. The Meta Quest 3 claims a nearly 30 percent bump in resolution compared to the Meta Quest 2. There are improvements to the headset's audio capabilities, too, with Meta bringing spatial audio to the device for immersive film-watching and gaming sessions. The Quest 3 also boasts a 40 percent louder audio range than the Quest 2.
All of it comes in a sleeker overall package. Meta claims the headset's pancake lenses give it 40 percent slimmer optic profile compared to the Quest 2, with a more customisable and adjustable fit. The Quest 3 comes with redesigned precision Touch Plus controllers, that offer haptic feedback and ditch the tracking rings, leaving its sensors to do the heavy lifting. “It's completely standalone!” Zuckerberg said during the presentation, making sure to direct a slight dig towards the Apple Vision Pro headset. “No wire, no battery pack, nothing like that that's going to break your sense of presence,” he said at the Meta Connect presentation.
Zuckerberg also shared that Xbox Cloud Gaming is coming to the Meta Quest 3 in December and the suite of Microsoft 365 apps will be available on the headset by the end of the year as well. Meta Quest 3 starts at $499.99 (roughly Rs. 41,500) for the 128GB variant, while the 512GB variant comes in at $649.99 (roughly Rs. 54,000), which also includes a six-month subscription for Meta Quest+, bringing in two free titles to users every month. Pre-orders for the new headset are live right now on Meta's website, with shipping starting October 10.
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