Meta Quest 3 with v64: My first impressions of the improved passthrough

Meta Quest 3 with v64: My first impressions of the improved passthrough

Quest update v64 is rolling out since yesterday and brings better passthrough quality for Meta Quest 3. Here are my first impressions.

It often takes weeks for an update to reach my Quest. System update v64 was different: it was available for download the day it was announced, and judging by the comments under our article, some of our readers were, too.

What has been improved?

Meta promises the following improvements in the release notes for system update v64:

Improved resolution

We have improved the perceived resolution for passthrough by optimizing the passthrough pipeline. This makes it easier for users to see finer details and read smaller text in the real world - such as notifications on a smartphone screen.

Improved image quality

We have fine tuned the camera processing pipeline to improve color, exposure, contrast and dynamic range in passthrough. This makes color passthrough better match the real world. We have also reduced graininess (aka image noise) in lower light conditions making for an overall more comfortable passthrough experience in a range of lighting conditions.


First impressions of the new passthrough

I tested the passthrough update that same evening in artificial light and the next day in natural light. Here are my initial, purely subjective impressions:

  • In low light, the graininess is significantly reduced, but I noticed a yellowish tint. During the day and in natural light, this is not noticeable.
  • Environments and contours appear (artificially) sharper, as if a sharpening filter had been applied.
  • Textures of physical surfaces stand out more clearly, and text (magazines, books) is easier to read.
  • My smartphone display, including text, is also easier to read and suffers less from overexposure, which is a big plus.
  • The image seems a bit duller, but I didn't notice any noticeable darkening of the passthrough.

My conclusion: System Update 64 subtly improves the new passthrough, which benefits not only the practical use of passthrough in everyday life, but also immersive mixed reality games.

Passthrough view of a living room with Quest Update 64. The user holds a smartphone in front of him.

Distortions and wobbling around near objects are not tackled by the update. | Image: MIXED

You shouldn't expect night and day differences or technical miracles, this is a software update after all. But Meta didn't promise that either: Meta's CTO said in October that we should expect a "modest" improvement. My impressions agree with that assessment.

The distortions and wobbling, especially when looking at close objects, are still visible, but Meta has not addressed these artifacts. A future update may bring some improvements in this area.