2023 looks to welcome a new era of VR headset wars, with PSVR 2 out, Apple’s VR headset is expected to be revealed soon and Meta Quest 3 on the horizon. When it comes to the latter, a new report has been published giving a rare hands-on with the device. Finding a mixed reality-focused Quest 3, several details and features have now been confirmed.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman got the first outside look at a prototype Quest 3, remarking that it “feels far lighter and thinner” than Quest 2. No surprise as every manufacturer has endeavoured to achieve this with each generation. He also notes that the strap “seems a bit stronger” with fabric sides. Hopefully, it’ll fair better than the Quest 2 standard strap, which generally needs upgrading to the Elite Strap for longer gameplay sessions.
Quest 3 features
Previously leaked renders showing three pill-like recesses on the front have now been confirmed. Gurman writes that the left and right ones feature video pass-through cameras and standard cameras. This will help facilitate a far better mixed reality experience than Quest 2 which can only manage black-and-white passthrough. He said he “saw major improvements” in this area, adding: “it is a night-and-day improvement over the Quest 2.” While the middle ‘pill’ will feature a depth sensor.
Quest 3 will also have some other physical differences from its predecessor. There are only two positional tracking cameras on the bottom left and right. Plus the IPD adjustment is now a wheel underneath, meaning you won’t have to take the headset off to make adjustments. A USB-C port and power button still remain on the side of the headset, with a volume rocker on the bottom.
Even though the Quest 3 is rumoured to feature an improved display, Gurman found that the: “actual clarity and VR displays within the Quest 3 feel similar to those in the Quest 2.” He didn’t mention any details about the lenses.
Hand tracking will still be available but there weren’t any face or eye tracking capabilities. The controllers have been redesigned, lose the top ring that’s so prominent on the Quest 2 controllers. So they look more akin to the Quest Pro controllers, albeit without the in-built tracking cameras. You’d think that without the tracking rings or the cameras, the controller tracking might be hindered. But Gurman does say: “Meta is looking to offset that with various other tracking improvements.”
Meta has likely allowed this hands-on to help generate some hype for the mixed reality-focused Quest 3, getting ahead of Apple’s announcement. However, they are going to be leagues apart all things considered. Meta is focused on the consumer end of the market, Quest 3 will be accessible and likely to retail at around $500 USD. Apple’s ‘Reality Pro’ is rumoured to be around $3000.
Which device are you most looking forward to seeing? Let us know in the comments below.