Meta Quest 3: All the facts and rumors

Meta Quest 3: All the facts and rumors

In 2023, the successor to the Meta Quest 2 will be released. What do we currently know about Meta Quest 3?

Meta Quest 2 (review) is by far the most successful VR headset. The question of what to expect with Meta Quest 3 in terms of new technology and software is exciting.

In this article, we gather what we know about the device and separate facts from rumors. It is to be expected that new details will come to light during the year. The article will therefore be updated regularly.

Official information

Is Meta Quest 3 really going to be called that?

In their informal announcements, neither Mark Zuckerberg nor Chief Technology Officer Andrew Bosworth spoke of a “Meta Quest 3.” Zuckerberg called the device the “next generation of our consumer Quest headset” and Bosworth called it the “successor to Meta Quest 2.” Even if the executives do not mention the new headset by name, they probably mean the Meta Quest 3.

The secrecy could be related to the Osborne Effect. Meta wants to avoid consumers waiting for the Meta Quest 3 instead of buying a Meta Quest 2. The product name will most likely not be revealed until the official launch.

When will Meta release the Quest 3?

Since Meta usually unveils new VR hardware at Meta Connect (which usually takes place in September or October) which goes on sale shortly after, we expect a launch in the fall of 2023.

How much will Meta Quest 3 cost?

The final price will probably only be revealed at the official launch. Don’t worry, the Meta Quest 3 is aimed at consumers and will be nowhere near as expensive as the Meta Quest Pro, which launched in 2022.

The device is expected to be in the same price range as Meta Quest 2. Mark Zuckerberg indicated a possible price range of $300 to $500.

Leaks and rumors

The only solid leak so far comes from hardware analyst and Youtuber Bradley Lynch, who received CAD blueprints of a presumed Quest 3 prototype in October. Lynch had previously leaked similar blueprints of the Meta Quest Pro, which subsequently proved to be accurate. So there’s a good chance that the leak is true.

According to Lynch’s sources, there are three prototypes of the Meta Quest 3. The blueprints supposedly show the prototype Meta settled on. However, the hardware analyst admits that little things could change before mass production. This also happened with the Meta Quest Pro.

Pancake lenses & improved form factor

The drawings provide information about the VR headset’s appearance and technical features. The improved form factor catches the eye. The case looks thinner and smaller than that of the Meta Quest 2. This suggests that the new VR headset has Meta’s new pancake lenses installed, which first found their way into the Meta Quest Pro.

In a blog article published in late 2022, Meta writes that four years of research and development went into the lenses and that the company set up an entirely new supply chain to manufacture them. It’s unlikely that Meta went to such lengths just for the tiny Meta Quest Pro market.

CAD-Bauplan zeigt die Innenseite von Meta Quest 3.

This image provides a look at the headset’s lenses and proximity sensor. You won’t find cameras for eye and face tracking. | Image: SadlyitsBradley

If Meta Quest 3 gets the same pancake lenses as the premium headset, we can expect a much sharper image than Meta Quest 2. As for the headband, don’t get your hopes up. Meta Quest 3 might go back to a cheap fabric strap to reduce costs and offer a more stable and comfortable head mount as an accessory.

Color passthrough and mixed reality

What also stands out are the pill-shaped indentations on the front, which are likely meant for a high-quality color passthrough. According to Lynch, these are two black-and-white cameras, two RGB cameras, and a depth camera. That is twice as many front-facing sensors as in the Meta Quest Pro.

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This sensor architecture suggests that the big new hardware feature of the Meta Quest 3 will be mixed reality. That’s not too much of a surprise. After all, the Meta Quest Pro primarily serves as a devkit that studios can use to get an early start on developing mixed reality apps for the Meta Quest 3.

CAD-Bauplan zeigt die Vorderseite von Meta Quest 3 mit Passthrough-Sensortechnik.

This blueprint shows the inner workings of the case with the two B&W and color cameras (side) and the depth sensor and infrared projector (center). | Image: SadlyitsBradley

Sensors for gaze and face tracking, on the other hand, are not in the construction plans. This is surprising, since Zuckerberg gave these technologies a high priority, hinting that they will be a fundamental part of future headsets. Perhaps they will only find their way into the Meta Quest 4 – or Meta Quest Plus.

One hardware feature that the Meta Quest 3 could inherit from the Meta Quest Pro is charging contacts on the bottom of the headset. These are clearly visible on the blueprints and suggest that Meta will sell a separately available charging station for the VR headset.

Two LC displays and a new generation of chips

Lynch’s sources reportedly sent him more details about the technology not deducible from the blueprints. According to these, the Meta Quest 3 will be equipped with two LC displays instead of a single one. Users will be able to adjust the lens and display distance with a dial clearly visible on the blueprint.

CAD-Bauplan zeigt die Unterseite von Meta Quest 3.

The bottom of the presumed Quest 3 prototype with volume control, charging contacts, and the IPD dial. | Image: SadlyitsBradley

Lynch speculates that Meta will rely on a new generation Snapdragon XR2. The aging SoC powers the Meta Quest 2 (2020), Vive Focus 3 (2021), and Pico 4 (2022), among others.

The new chip, supposedly named Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2, allegedly brings a 2.5x increase in GPU performance alongside other key improvements, such as in AI computing capabilities that are important for mixed reality. However, Qualcomm has not even unveiled the new SoC yet. Finally, Lynch says Meta could offer higher-priced versions of the Meta Quest 3 with up to 512 gigabytes of storage and 12 gigabytes of RAM.

What software will Meta Quest 3 offer?

The Meta Quest 3 should support all the software that is available for the Meta Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro. Not all software for the Meta Quest 3 might also be available on the older headsets.

If it turns out that the new VR headset gets a much faster SoC than the Meta Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro, exclusive software is only a matter of time. The situation was similar for the Meta Quest 2 and its predecessor.

Either way, there’s reason for anticipation on the software front. Meta has acquired nine VR studios since late 2019. Eight of them are gaming studios that have not announced any new titles since the acquisition.

Meta most likely has a number of high-quality in-house productions in the pipeline, and it would be a surprise if some of them weren’t launch titles for the Meta Quest 3 and optimized for the VR headset. These potential VR hits include titles like GTA: San Andreas and Assassin’s Creed Nexus.