Meta prepares to face Apple with its Quest 3 headset

1 day ago

The Quest 3 mixed reality headset. Image: Meta

Meta’s latest headset sports faster loading times, a more comfortable design and 10 times more pixels than the Quest 2, but it may face competition from Apple’s Vision Pro next year.

Meta has unveiled the latest version of its mixed reality headset – the Quest 3 – which features a range of visual upgrades over its predecessor model.

The new headset will start shipping out on 10 October, but is available for pre-order at a starting price of $499.99 (€549.99) for the 128GB version. The company claims this new headset has double the graphic processing power of the earlier Quest 2 model.

Meta claims this headset features faster loading times, crisp details for gaming, better resolution and a slimmer design to provide more comfort for its users. Like its predecessor, the headset is being advertised for its ability to blend virtual reality with the real world.

“Meta Quest 3 features breakthrough mixed reality that enables a spectrum of experiences,” the company said in a blogpost. “You can play a virtual piano on your coffee table or open a portal to another dimension right in your living room – all while high-fidelity, full-colour passthrough keeps your physical surroundings in sight with over 10 times more pixels compared to Meta Quest 2.”

Meta says Passthrough is a feature on its headsets that allows users to step outside their view in VR to see a real-time view of their surroundings. The Quest Pro – revealed last year – was Meta’s first device capable of full-colour passthrough. This device had four times as many pixels as the Quest 2, according to Meta.

The new headset comes a few months after Apple announced its own upcoming mixed-reality headset called the Vision Pro, which the company described as a “spatial computer”. There are rumours that this headset will release in early 2024.

Apple previously boasted of the Vision Pro’s capabilities, but its price is also significantly higher than competing products like the Quest 3, coming in at $3,499 in the US.

When speaking with staff in June about the future of generative AI within Meta, CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly dissed the Vision Pro headset, telling employees it “could be the vision of the future of computing, but like, it’s not the one that I want”.

“I think that their announcement really showcases the difference in the values and the vision that our companies bring to this in a way that I think is really important,” he was quoted as saying.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic