The Meta Quest 3 announcement delighted VR fans last week, confirming pricing as well as a bunch of features. This included getting a first look at the new controllers which sport a sleeker design. The most visually striking difference over the Quest 2 controllers is the omission of a tracking ring. This has seen a flood of queries come in from gamers worried about how well the Quest 3 controller tracking will hold up. In an Instagram AMA over the weekend, Meta CTO Andrew “Boz” Bosworth went into greater detail regarding how the new system would work.
When Meta first made the announcement it was quite vague about the new controllers and the new design. Simply stating “thanks to our advances in tracking technology” they’d magically removed what many assumed was an important tracking feature. Unlike the Quest Pro controllers which have cameras built-in, the Quest 3 controllers don’t. They rely entirely on the headset’s tracking cameras reading the IR sensors. Slightly tricky if your hand is in the way.
New Quest 3 controller tracking tech
To help alleviate those worries, Bosworth explained: “The new controllers that we have still have infrared LEDs on them, in a constellation that you can’t see. However, they are going to be in many positions where those LEDs are occluded. And so we have fused the computer vision we used for constellation tracking with our hand models. So our hand tracking will also be running at the same time, and so we have a model of your hand which tells us where the controller is – in conjunction with all the tech and tricks we’ve been using for a long time, using IMUs and smoothing to fill in gaps. They work really well.”
So there you have it, worries averted yes?
Well, all that tech talk is fine but how does it really handle some of the really difficult Quest titles, like rhythm action games? If you weren’t aware, Beat Saber’s Expert+ mode is a great way to test tracking and is used internally as a benchmark. Meta employee Misha Davidov claimed on Twitter “They pass the Expert+ test” after Beat Saber co-founder Jaroslav Beck tweeted: “It’s good. Don’t worry.”
If the Quest 3 controllers can handle Beat Saber in Expert+ mode they should be able to handle anything.
Are you looking forward to the Quest 3 launch? Let us know in the comments below.