Considering the Meta Quest 3 doesn’t officially exist yet, it’s probably a bit early for a hands-on review.
And yet Meta has given Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman a hands-on preview of a prototype device for his latest issue of Power On – a newsletter that’s coincidently usually about Apple products. Whyever would they do that, I wonder?
Anyway, Gurman is pretty positive about the whole thing — especially when it’s set to cost around a fifth as much as Apple’s upcoming headset. The headset, he claims, feels “far lighter and thinner than the existing Quest 2 from 2020”, and while there’s not really a noticeable uptick in graphical quality, performance wise it apparently feels a lot more snappy.
“The speed of navigating through the device’s interface, launching apps and playing games also felt much improved over the Quest 2,” he writes. “That’s because the headset includes a second-generation version of Qualcomm Inc.’s Snapdragon XR2 chip.”
The other big improvement is video pass-through for mixed reality. While the Quest 2 has this, it’s extremely grainy — only really used to help you set up the room. With the new version, it’s a “night-and-day improvement over the Quest 2” Gurman says.
“Due to the dual RGB color cameras, video pass-through on the Quest 3 presented colors more accurately and offered an almost lifelike rendering of the real world,” he writes. “I was even able to use my phone while wearing the headset, something that often feels impossible on a Quest 2.”
While Gurman’s insiders tell him that it’s likely to come in higher than the Quest 2’s NZ$709.99, it’ll still be a whole lot cheaper than Apple’s upcoming headset, which is set to start at NZ$4,775 if the rumours are to be believed.
And Meta could benefit from mixed-reality fever kickstarted by Apple. “Assuming the device costs about [US]$500, it would be about a fifth as much as the Apple headset — while being more than a fifth as compelling,” Gurman concludes. “With that in mind, I think the Quest 3 could make some noise this holiday season, especially as XR is top of mind for consumers.”
Picture: Remy Gieling / Unsplash