Meta Quest 2 headset and halo controllers
Jordan Gloor / How-To Geek
The Meta Quest 3 is expected to launch later in 2023 with a starting price tag of around $450. It will reportedly be slimmer than Quest 2 and offer MR and VR experiences. Plus, it is said to feature the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chip, Pancake lenses, and five cameras.

The Meta Quest 3, the successor of the company’s popular Quest 2 VR headset, is long overdue. But even though we are probably months away from its release, several details about it have trickled down through the grapevine.

Meta Quest 3 Release Date: When Is It?

Meta is expected to launch the Quest 3 in mid-to-late 2023. The company’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, indicated this launch time frame for their “next generation consumer headset” during Meta’s Q4 2022 earnings call. While Zuckerberg didn’t specifically name Quest 3, he was very likely talking about it as the 2023 launch of the Quest 3 was also reportedly teased during an internal presentation of the Meta’s Reality Labs division.

But we still don’t have a specific Quest 3 launch date. That said, it could make its debut at the annual Meta Connect event, which typically takes place in October.

Price: How Much Will the New Meta Quest Cost?

The official Quest 3 price will remain a mystery till the launch event. But thanks to the previously mentioned internal presentation of Meta’s Reality Labs division, we know the new Meta Quest will cost slightly more than the Quest 2. As the Quest 2 currently starts at $399, we can expect its successor to have a starting price of around $450, if not more.

The company hopes the new features introduced in the upcoming headset will justify the pricing.

Meta Quest 3 Features: What to Expect

Given that Meta has discontinued its Rift lineup in favor of the standalone Quest VR headsets, the Quest 3 is pretty much certain to be a standalone headset, like the Meta Quest 2 (previously known as Oculus Quest 2). But it will include new features and improvements, including some borrowed from its much pricier sibling—the Quest Pro.

One of the Quest Pro features making its way to the Quest 3 will be the mixed reality (MR) support. Zuckerberg confirmed that Meta Reality support for its “next generation consumer headset” during the Q4 2022 earnings call. Meta Reality is the company’s implementation of mixed reality.

So apart from the virtual reality experiences that Quest 2 provides, the Quest 3 will also offer augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality experiences. These AR/ MR experiences will be a part of the 41 new apps and games that Meta is reportedly shipping with the Quest 3.

So Quest 3 owners will not only be able to see their surroundings in color while wearing the headset but also interact with virtual things in a physical space.

This will be a significant upgrade from Quest 2, which has a basic passthrough mode, allowing users to see their surroundings while wearing the headset. But it’s limited to black and white and has a low resolution. Quest 2 also doesn’t support Meta Reality.

More importantly, the Quest 3 will include a smarter Guardian system that will make it easier to navigate the real world while wearing the headset. Guardian is a feature in Quest headsets that allows users to set up boundaries in VR so they don’t go outside the play area or bump into objects in the real world.

RELATED: The Best VR Games for Oculus Quest, PC, and PSVR

What Hardware Will the Meta Quest 3 Use?

Codenamed “Stinson,” the upcoming Quest 3 is believed to include a host of hardware improvements, some of which will help power the mixed reality experiences on the device.

According to the alleged CAD blueprints of the device, shared by YouTuber Bradley Lynch, the headset will come with two black-and-white cameras, two RGB cameras, and a depth camera for environmental tracking and video passthrough. All these imaging sensors are supposed to pass through real-time color video of what’s in front of the headset. And the depth camera with the depth projector will also enable better hand-tracking.

Alleged CAD renders of Meta Quest 3
SadlyItsBradley/ YouTube

The upcoming Meta headset is also said to include the company’s innovative Pancake lenses that were first seen in the Quest Pro. These lenses, along with the built-in LCD panels, enable better text readability, sharper lines, and overall improved clarity in the Pro model.

Additionally, the CAD drawings show the Quest 3 to be significantly slimmer and smaller than the Quest 2, which is not surprising given that the Pancake lenses require less space than the Fresnel lenses used in Quest 2. The Verge also mentioned the slimness of the Quest 3 in its reporting on the internal Meta roadmap. But the upcoming headset will still reportedly keep a soft rubber strap and the front-stored battery as the Quest 2.

The Quest Pro's Pancake Lenses
The “pancake lenses” in the Meta Quest Pro headset. Dave McQuilling / How-To Geek

In terms of the processor, Lynch claims the Quest 2 successor will use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chip. The chip is believed to be based on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip found in most 2023 Android flagships, just like the XR2 Gen 1 chip of the Quest 2 was based on Snapdragon 865 chip found in many 2020 Android flagships.

As the XR2 Gen 2 chip will be significantly faster than the Gen 1, it should provide a much better gaming and overall experience. The Quest 3 is also said to use faster LPDDR5 RAM instead of the LPDDR4X present on the Quest 2.

As for other specifications, there is no word on whether Meta will increase the display resolution, but it’s said to stick with regular LCD panels and not upgrade to the quantum dot technology that’s present in the Quest Pro.

Finally, Lynch speculates that we could see a 12GB RAM version of Quest 3 with 512GB storage. But the base model will stick with 6 or 8GB of RAM.

Future of the Quest VR Headset

While Quest 2 was a success for Meta, its Quest Pro has yet to see the same adoption and is already selling at a $500 discount. This has led to some spring cleaning in Meta’s Reality Labs. According to The Verge, a headset codenamed “Cardiff,” which was supposed to debut in 2024, has been canceled. In addition, another headset codenamed “Hermosa” has also been canned.

So the success or failure of the Quest 3 will have a big impact on the company’s VR, AR, and MR ambitions.

But Quest lineup’s future isn’t all that bleak. Meta reportedly plans to ship a more “accessible” VR headset codenamed “Ventura” in 2024. From the sound of it, the Ventura could be cheaper than the Quest 3. But the company is also working on the other end of the spectrum. Its most advanced headset, codenamed “La Jolla,” will arrive after “Ventura” and support the photorealistic Codec Avatars.

While we’ll have to wait to see what the Meta Quest 3 offers, for the time being we still think the Quest 2 offers the best value among VR headsets. If you haven’t tried VR yet, its affordable price makes the barrier to entry very low. If you do get one, be sure to check out our favorite Quest 2 accessories to enhance the experience and make it more comfortable.

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Profile Photo for Gaurav Shukla Gaurav Shukla
Gaurav Shukla is a technology journalist with over a decade’s experience reporting and writing about consumer technology. His work has appeared in Android Police, XDA Developers, and NDTV Gadgets 360.
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