Meta Quest 3 launches at Meta Connect — everything you need to know

Meta Quest 3
(Image credit: Meta)

Today Meta officially launched Meta Quest 3, the company's new contender for the best VR headset

The headset, which was previously announced prior to the Meta Quest Gaming Showcase this summer, was finally revealed in full by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg during his Meta Connect keynote address.

And while the Quest 3 may look similar to the Meta Quest 2, make no mistake — this is a major overhaul. Pancake optics allow for a better display and thinner design, and the headset is powered by a new Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chipset for twice the graphical performance of the Quest 2.

Plus, the Quest 3 also adds two RGB cameras and a depth projector, which combine to create a true mixed reality device. That means you're no longer limited to VR, but can also experience the world around you with the addition of AR holographic overlays.

Here are the main things you need to know about Meta's announcement today. If you want a more in-depth look at what to expect, make sure to check out our early hands-on impressions.

Meta Quest 3 release date and price

Meta Quest 3

(Image credit: Meta)

The Meta Quest 3 is officially available for pre-order starting today, with orders shipping on October 10. In the U.S. the Quest 3 will start at $499 for a model with 128GB of storage, which is $100 more than the Quest 2 and its $299 price tag. There is also a larger storage size model — 512 GB — available for $649.

We also have pricing for a few other regions. In the U.K., the launch price is £479 for the 128GB model and £619 for the larger 512GB model and in the E.U. the price is €549 for the 128GB model and €699 for the 512GB model. In Australia, you can get the 128GB base model for AU$799 and the 512GB model will set you back AU$949.

Meta is offering a promotion for early adopters. If you purchase the 128GB model between now and January 27, 2024, you’ll get the game Asgard’s Wrath 2 for free. If you decide to get the 512GB model you'll also get a six-month Meta Quest Plus subscription in addition to the free VR game.

You can pre-order the Quest 3 from the Meta Store in 23 countries or from select retailers. In the U.S. you can pre-order from Amazon, Best Buy, Target and Walmart in addition to Meta's site. U.K. customers can pre-order from Amazon, Curry's and Argos in addition to the Meta Store.

Key Meta Quest 3 specs

As mentioned, the Quest 3 is not strictly a VR headset. It can play all the best Meta Quest 2 games but it also can bring in the world around you thanks to the two RGB cameras and depth projector on the front of the headset visor. Because of this transition to mixed reality, the Quest 3 is getting over 100 new or upgraded apps by the end of the year.

Meta Quest 3 Specs

Price: $499.00 (128GB), $649 (512GB)
Release Date: October 10
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2
Storage: 128GB, 512GB
Display: 4K+ Infinite Display (2 LCDs with 2064 x 2208 pixels per eye)
Full-color passthrough: Two RGB cameras (18 PPD)
Refresh rate: 90Hz (native), 120Hz (experimental)
Weight: 515 grams
Battery life: up to 2.9 hours
Backwards compatible: Yes
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6e, Bluetooth 5.2

And Meta has made sure that the specs of the Quest 3 are worthy of these new capabilities. In addition to the new Qualcomm processor providing a major boost, the display is now two LCD displays with 2,064 x 2,208 pixels per eye resolution. Meta calls this new display the 4K+ Infinite Display and at a 30% improvement over the Quest 2, the difference should literally be visible to the naked eye.

Meta didn't stop the overhaul at just the headset, either. The Quest 3 comes with new Touch Plus controllers, which ditch the Quest 2 Touch controller tracking ring and feature TruTouch haptic feedback. This should make using the Quest 3 feel more realistic and therefore also improve immersion. 

If you want to ditch the controllers altogether though, Meta says you can. The Quest 3 features Direct Touch hand tracking that should allow you to go controller-free in some games and apps.

Overall, the Quest 3 should pan out to be a major upgrade. The inclusion of mixed reality capabilities, a noticeably slimmer design that's more comfortable to wear and improved performance should make this a strong contender for the best VR headset you can buy. 

That's not to say it's perfect — it lacks eye tracking and foveated rendering and fails to improve on the Quest 2's battery life. And the $200 higher price tag may be too big a leap for some. But if you can afford it, the Quest 3 looks like it'll be the headset to get.

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Malcolm McMillan
Senior Streaming Writer

Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.

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.