Meta Quest 3 development goes according to plan - report
Meta Quest 3 will be released this year, that's confirmed. According to XR hardware analyst Brad Lynch, development is going as planned.
Lynch leaked Meta Quest Pro early on, and he could pull off the same coup with Meta Quest 3 this year.
In September 2022, the hardware analyst and Youtuber published the blueprints of a presumed Quest 3 prototype, which, if accurate, allowed far-reaching conclusions about the headset's technology and appearance.
A summary of all the leaked information about Meta Quest 3 so far can be found in the linked article.
Meta makes good progress
A few months later, Lynch revisits that leak and gives an update on the status of development.
In December, according to Lynch's sources, the first EVT devices were tested by Reality Labs core teams. EVT stands for "Engineering Validation and Testing" and refers to the first of three validation phases of a prototype on the way to a market-ready product, in which the basic technology is put to the test.
In December, I was made aware that the first Meta Quest 3 EVTs were being tested internally by core Reality Labs teams.
Now I am hearing the next phase of devices are starting to make its way to other XR software departments @ Meta
Dev kits are slated 2Q23 for 3rd party partners
- Brad Lynch @ CES 2023 (@SadlyItsBradley) January 6, 2023
Now, he said, he's heard that the next phase has started and that the devices are making their way to other software departments and that developer kits will begin shipping to third-party developers in the second quarter of 2023. Development is proceeding according to Meta's internal schedule.
According to Lynch, Meta is still holding on to the prototype it leaked in the fall. So there's no change to my tech predictions.
Will Quest 3 come with a next-gen chip?
And what about the new Qualcomm chip that, according to Lynch and other leakers, is supposed to power Meta Quest 3 and bring a significant performance leap over Meta Quest 2 and comparable headsets?
The SoC was not announced at the last Snapdragon Summit in November and a presentation of the next-gen chip was also missing at CES 2023. Qualcomm usually announces new chips much earlier than they are used in devices.
When I asked Lynch, he said that the lack of an announcement might have to do with the partnership between Qualcomm and Meta that was made public in the fall, which "put some slowdowns for these sorts of things."
He also said that he had heard that it had become more difficult for (smaller) vendors to work with Qualcomm since the public partnership. Qualcomm itself let it be known at the time that the VR chips developed together with Meta would also be available for other manufacturers.
Be that as it may, it has not yet been officially confirmed that a new, VR-specific Snapdragon SoC is in development, let alone that it will work in Meta Quest 3.