The rumored Meta Quest 3 is set to get a big performance upgrade over the critically acclaimed Meta Quest 2, but could also come with a price hike.
That’s according to a report by The Verge (opens in new tab), which was tipped off about Meta’s augmented and virtual reality roadmap that was shown to Meta’s Reality Lab employees on Tuesday. Overall, Meta will be focusing on consumer AR and VR hardware, despite some cutbacks in staff and cost-cutting measures across Facebook’s parent company as a whole.
But the most interesting tidbits are around the next-generation Quest. Apparently, Meta employees were told that the Quest 3 is coming later this year.
And it’s been tipped to have double the power of the Quest 2, which should mean it'll be better at handling higher fidelity VR games and experiences without needing to be connected to external hardware. We suspect it won’t quite deliver the VR experience of say the PSVR 2, as that has the power of the PS5 to tap into, but it could be a big upgrade on its predecessor.
Yet despite the extra power, the Quest 3 will apparently be twice as thin as the Quest 2, which would presumably make it lighter, too. That should be a boon, as the Quest 2 is front-heavy, which isn’t exactly ideal for lengthy dives into VR.
Having said that, The Verge noted that the Quest 3 will heavily feature mixed reality experiences, whereby VR and AR are combined, so wearers aren’t fully immersed in just a virtual world. Front-facing cameras will provide a passthrough view to allow the real world to be mixed with virtual elements; on the PSVR 2 the passthrough feed is in black and white, so it would be interesting to see if the Quest 3 goes for a color option.
More power means a higher price for the Quest 3
But this evolution in Quest capabilities will come with a catch: the Quest 3 is expected to have a price tag in excess of $400.
Currently, the Meta Quest 2 starts at $399 in the U.S. and £399 in the U.K. for the 128GB unit. This is a $100/£100 price hike from when the headset first launched in 2020. So with that in mind, we’d not be surprised if the Quest 3 was priced at $450/£450 or more.
According to The Verge, Meta’s vice president for VR Mark Rabkin told employees that they will need to “prove to people that all this power, all these new features are worth it.” At a time when the cost of living is spiralling, such an ask could be quite the task.
However, a new “smart guardian” to stop people immersed in a virtual experience from bounding into a table or set of shelves could be a selling point, as Rabkin noted: “The main north star for the team was from the moment you put on this headset, the mixed reality has to make it feel better, easier, more natural. You can walk effortlessly through your house knowing you can see perfectly well. You can put anchors and things on your desktop. You can take your coffee. You can stay in there much longer.”
And perhaps users will want to, as the Quest 3 will apparently have 41 new games and apps for it when it launches.
But if the idea of paying more for an all-in-one mixed reality headset isn’t appealing to you, Meta reportedly has plans on shipping a headset codenamed Ventura that’s more accessible by being priced very attractively for consumers. But not much else was detailed about this headset.
All in all, it looks like the future is rather bright for the Quest 3 and Meta’s overall VR efforts. Whether it’ll be enough to truly make VR mainstream has yet to be seen. But for people who see the total cost of ownership for the PSVR 2 as a little steep, the Quest 3 could be the upcoming solution to getting sucked into the world of VR and AR without a hefty investment.