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Meta Quest 3 lands in October starting at $499.99 with double the performance over last-gen

Meta Quest 3 promotional material

After three years since the arrival of the Oculus Quest 2, Meta is finally bringing the next generation of its virtual reality hardware forward. Today during its 2023 Meta Connect presentation, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the Meta Quest 3. The headset is described by the company as a VR and mixed reality portal, and features the new Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 that's powering the standalone hardware.

According to Meta, the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chip inside the Quest 3 delivers twice the graphics horsepower of the Quest 2 (Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1). The new Pancake optics, like the Quest Pro, has also made the optic profile 40% slimmer, while also having 2064x2208 resolution per eye via two separate displays. This is a 30% boost over last generation.

A built-in IPD adjustment wheel (58mm-71mm) will be available for maximizing comfort as well. The field of view stands at 110 degrees horizontal and 96 degrees vertical. Even with the performance upgrades, battery life is said to be comparable to the Quest 2.

Meta Quest 3 promotional material

Being a "mixed reality" headset, full-color passthrough is also confirmed, offering "10 times more pixels" compared to last generation's offering:

2 RGB cameras with 18 PPD, for 10X the resolution of Quest 2 and 2X the resolution of Quest Pro in passthrough. Delivers full-color, high-fidelity views of your surroundings while you see virtual objects appear in your physical space. Accurate depth projection and room mapping gives you freedom to move throughout your space and interact with virtual characters or objects in the room around you.

Backward compatibility with the complete Quest 2 library has been confirmed too, letting users jump into large array of experiences from the get go. Meta has said that before the end of 2024, over 100 games (old and new) will be utilizing the new hardware's horsepower natively. Aside from standalone usage, PC VR is also supported via a cable or AirLink.

Meta Quest 3 promotional material

Much like the Meta Quest Pro's controllers, The Quest 3's redesigned Touch Plus controllers do not have the iconic outer tracking ring. This new version touts haptic vibrations. Keep in mind that the headset also has hand tracking support for controller-free usage.

While it's been almost a year since its original announcement, Microsoft's Xbox Cloud Gaming platform received a release window for Meta's headsets today. The cloud service is hitting the Quest 3 this December as part of the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription costing $16.99 a month.

The Meta Quest 3 starts at $499.99 for the 128GB version, while the 512GB variant goes for $649.99. Pre-orders are available now and the headsets ship on October 10. Much like with previous versions, Meta is already offering extras to purchase like the Elite Strap and cases.

Meta Quest 3 promotional material

Moreover, the company is granting anyone who purchases a Quest 3 from now through January 27, 2024 a free copy of the upcoming VR exclusive RPG Asgard's Wrath 2, which launches on December 15. Opting for the 512GB model will also add on a free six month pass to the Quest+ subscription, which offers two free games a month and usually costs $7.99.

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