Unveiling the Meta Quest 3: The Ultimate VR Experience

Meta Quest 3

At Meta Connect 2023, tech enthusiasts and virtual reality aficionados were treated to an extensive unveiling of the much-anticipated Meta Quest 3 headset. Branded as the most robust offering from the company to date, the Meta Quest 3 is now available for pre-order starting at a competitive price point of $499.99 in the United States, £479.99 in the United Kingdom, and AU$799.99 in Australia. Excitingly, the headset is slated to hit the market on October 10.

While the price of the Oculus Quest 3 may seem slightly higher than its predecessor, the Quest 2, which initially launched at just £299 / $299 / AU$479 for the base 64GB model, it does come with a slew of noteworthy upgrades that more than justify the investment.

I had the privilege of experiencing the Meta Quest 3 firsthand during a special demo session arranged by Meta, and you can delve into my initial impressions of this groundbreaking headset in my comprehensive hands-on Meta Quest 3 review.

The star of the show undoubtedly resides in the new Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chipset, boasting an impressive two-and-a-half times increase in graphical performance compared to the Quest 2’s XR2 Gen 1 chip. With its expanded 8GB of RAM, the Quest 3 empowers VR enthusiasts to immerse themselves in more realistic physics, enhanced lighting, and richer virtual environments for an unparalleled immersive experience.

These enhanced graphics are beautifully displayed on a pair of upgraded LCD screens, now featuring a stunning resolution of 2,064 x 2,208 pixels per eye, up from the Quest 2’s 1,920 x 1,832 pixels per eye. What’s more, these displays support a variable refresh rate that can reach an impressive 120Hz.

The design of the Meta Quest 3 has also received a facelift. Notably, the headset is now 40% slimmer, promising greater comfort during extended use. Adjusting the headset to your specific needs has been made more convenient with the addition of a lens adjustment scroll wheel that can be operated while wearing the headset. There’s also a built-in adjustable spacer to accommodate eyeglass wearers.

Perhaps the most significant development is the Meta Quest 3’s strong focus on mixed reality. Equipped with full-color passthrough capabilities and a depth sensor, it excels at mapping your real-world surroundings. Mixed reality, once perceived as somewhat gimmicky, may finally find its stride with the Quest 3’s improved capabilities and the introduction of features like Augments, which are akin to mixed reality widgets.

As mentioned earlier, pre-orders for the Meta Quest 3 are now live, with shipping scheduled for October 10, 2023. Enthusiasts can secure the base 128GB version for $499.99 in the United States and £479.99 in the United Kingdom (Australian pricing is to be confirmed by Meta). Alternatively, you can opt for the capacious 512GB Quest 3, priced at $649.99 in the United States, £619.99 in the United Kingdom, and AU$1,049.99 in Australia. Additionally, a range of accessories is available, including the Quest 3 Elite Strap and the eagerly anticipated charging dock, akin to the immensely helpful Quest Pro charging station.

In a bid to incentivize early pre-orders, Meta is offering a complimentary copy of Asgard’s Wrath 2 to anyone who orders a Meta Quest 3 before January 27. Opt for the 512GB model, and you’ll receive a six-month subscription to Meta Quest Plus, a service that provides access to new free VR games and apps each month as long as you maintain your subscription.

In my personal assessment of the Meta Quest 3, I found it to be a substantial leap forward compared to Meta’s previous offerings. Visually, the Quest 3’s graphics are a night-and-day improvement from the Oculus Quest 2. Text is notably crisper, making in-game documents much more readable. Shadows and reflections behave more realistically, and objects have a sharper, more lifelike appearance, significantly enhancing the immersive experience.

Mixed reality has also seen a substantial improvement, with passthrough footage of the real world exhibiting more accurate colors and reduced graininess compared to the Meta Quest Pro. Although it’s not yet lifelike, this enhancement represents a promising step in the right direction. These improvements make mixed reality experiences feel less gimmicky and more enjoyable.

Performance-wise, the Quest 3 feels solid. While Assassin’s Creed Nexus took a bit of time to load, once the game was up and running, the in-game city I explored as Ezio came to life with a plethora of characters and interactive props, all without noticeable stuttering.

In terms of design and comfort, the Quest 3 shines once again. The inclusion of an IPD wheel allows for gradual lens spacing adjustments while wearing the headset, eliminating the need to constantly take it off for alterations, a significant convenience compared to the Quest 2. The slim design contributes to improved comfort, and it appears less bulky compared to the Quest 2, although I’ll need more extended use to provide a definitive judgment on its long-term comfort.

I eagerly anticipate spending more time with the Meta Quest 3 beyond my initial 30-minute demo. However, there’s no denying that this headset offers a lot to love.

Previously, I often recommended the Meta Quest 2 due to its outstanding value for money, and it remains a commendable option. Nevertheless, for those willing to invest a bit more or save up, the Meta Quest 3 appears to be a worthy successor, justifying its higher price tag. I’m excited to explore its capabilities further and provide a more comprehensive review in the future.