Meta Quest 3 announced for $499 with 40% slimmer design and mixed reality features

Meta Quest 3
(Image credit: Meta)

The Meta Quest 3 is officially here. In a video dropped on Meta’s website, in addition to CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Instagram, Meta finally announced its long-awaited follow-up to the Meta Quest 2.

At first glance, the new headset looks fairly similar to the best VR headset we’ve ever tested, despite Meta’s claims of it being “reimagined and redesigned.” But it doesn’t take you long to realize this is truly a step forward.

First, there is the long-rumored camera array on the front. This array has two sets of cameras, on on the left and one on the right, each with an RGB camera and a standard camera to allow full-color passthrough. There is also a depth sensor in the middle. Combined, this takes Meta’s entry-level standalone VR headset from pure VR to a mixed reality device.

We even get to see these mixed reality capabilities shown off at one point in the video. In one scene, a user is playing the VR game Demeo on their own table rather than on a virtual one. Because of the depth sensor and camera, the Quest 3 is able to overlay the game on existing worlds rather than needing to create wholly virtual ones. Of course, this is also a sizzle reel, so the real-world product may not look quite as impressive. Then again — maybe it will. Zuckerberg calls the Quest 3 "Our most powerful headset yet."

Meta Quest 3 Specs

Price: $499.00
Storage: 128GB (larger size TBA)
Release date: September 27 (likely)
CPU: Unnamed next-gen Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU
Backwards compatible: Yes

The Quest 3 is also noticeably slimmer. In fact, according to Meta, the new headset is 40% slimmer excluding the facial interfaces, which appear similar in size. That’s a massive boost for the Quest 3 given the Quest 2 was objectively front-heavy.

But it’s not just the headset getting slimmer. The new Quest 3 controllers have ditched their tracking rings and added TruTouch haptics which Meta debuted on the Quest Pro. This will add immersion while gaming but should have applications in a wide variety of scenarios.

Meta Quest 3

(Image credit: Meta)

As previously mentioned, Meta also promises significantly upgraded performance. The Quest 3 will be powered by a next-generation Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset, which Meta says gives the Quest 3 double the GPU processing power of its predecessor. Meta also promises higher resolution displays but fails to give specifics on this front. And it looks like the Quest 3 will get access to the Quest 2’s library of games.

You can’t pre-order the Quest 3 yet, but if you head over to the Meta Quest 3 product page, you can sign up for updates. Meta says "Mark your calendars because we’ll have lots more to share at Meta Connect, which returns this year on September 27." So we can presume this will be the official launch date. The headset will cost $499 at launch for a 128GB model. 

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Malcolm McMillan
A/V, AI and VR Writer

Malcolm McMillan is a staff writer for Tom's Guide, writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment with a particular focus on artificial intelligence (AI) and AI-based tools like ChatGPT. He has written up much of our coverage on the latest AI tools including ChatGPT, the new GPT-powered Bing and Google Bard. He also covers A/V tech such as televisions, soundbars and more, in addition to covering VR headsets from the Meta Quest 3 to the PS VR2.

Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.