Mixed Marketing Reality

Image courtesy Meta

Meta has been pushing mixed reality as a headlining feature of Quest 3, but similar to Quest Pro, it still feels underwhelming in practice. If the company was hoping developers would use Quest Pro to figure out some killer mixed reality apps before the launch of Quest 3… I still haven’t seen them.

When it works, the mixed reality can feel really cool. Watching a whole wall in your room ‘fall down’ and reveal a big virtual world beyond it is really can really sell the idea that the real world around you is changing. But once that wall falls down, what do you do with the gameplay that makes meaningful use of the room?

Mixed reality on Quest 3 still feels like it’s in the demo stage. There’s only so many times you can see ‘thing popping out of a portal on the wall’ and be impressed.

To that end it feels like a bit of a distraction for the platform’s developers who are collectively still getting a handle on exactly what works well in VR. Throwing mixed reality into the mix (pun intended) threatens to slow that progress as Meta encourages developers to focus on this newly improved (but mostly unproven) capability of the headset, making them rethink how their immersive apps should work from the ground up.

That’s not to say that mixed reality, and Quest 3’s capabilities therein, aren’t promising. It definitely opens the door to some cool possibilities and new use-cases, but it’s going to take a long time to figure out what works and what doesn’t—and Meta seems to think the best approach is to foist that responsibility onto developers.

As for players, mixed reality needs a killer app before it’s worth marketing as a key feature. But hey, if it means we get good passthrough out of the box, that’s a plus in the meantime.

– – — – –

Ultimately Quest 3 represents an impressive hardware upgrade over Quest 2, though it’s more expensive, starting at $500 rather than $300. Even if most apps won’t be able to take full advantage of the hardware’s capabilities, it certainly keeps Meta in the lead among standalone headsets thanks to the quality of the hardware and the company’s leading library of standalone VR apps. The headset’s headlining capability, mixed reality, is still missing a killer app; but it has potential, and it paves the way for some added conveniences like automatic playspace scanning and higher quality passthrough.

Created using images courtesy Meta

As a parting aside, I’m happy to see that Quest 3 is the first headset with some official color options!

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Yeshaya

    Could you please elaborate more on the better audio? Is it generally higher quality sound, or is there a specific new feature that improves immersion?

    • Xron

      Surround yourself in 3D sound
      With enhanced sound clarity and an audio range that’s 40% louder than Quest 2, all your favorite apps become more immersive.
      Stream movies by creating the ultimate home theater within your headset, or play games backed by a soundtrack of booming bass that brings you straight into the action.

      From meta’s site.

      • “3D sound” is meaningless.
        It’s OR trying to bamboozle you.
        I’ve been having “3D sound” since my first iPad in 2010.
        It’s way cool, certainly; but the point is it’s no
        cutting-edge technology like they’re trying to make you think.

        • Nevets

          Sure, but they’re not as bad as Apple for that. Apple makes every one of their reinvented wheels sound like an Aircar.

        • Mike

          Thats not really true. i find the 3d audio very useful and immersive in skyrim vr with the 3d audio mod. when something is behind me, I can hear it behind me so it’s useful in knowing where sounds are coming from in 3d space. 3d audio doesn’t really provide the “surround sound ” effect that movies do where `you get ambient sound all around you. in movies the action is always in front of you do to the screen orientation and the surround is for effects, in VR the surround sound is used not for effects but for situational awareness and that’s useful because the action doesn’t just reside in one direction like in your home theater or a movie theater.

    • Ben Lang

      Mostly louder and a bit more bass. Might be just loud enough now to not make me wish I had headphones on any time I’m playing something really immersive.

      • J.C.

        I was unimpressed with the q2’s audio, it was tinny AND super audible to other people. I got one of the 3D printed adapters to put the HTC deluxe audio straps on.

        2 questions, if you could. Is the Q3’s audio still “just as audible to everyone else as the user”, and which side is the headphone Jack on? I’ve seen tons of pictures but the headphone Jack switches sides all the time in them because people apparently use Selfie mode in some pics. If it’s on the left side, I can get another DAS (current one will stay with the q2) and a set of inevitable adapters from Etsy and be done with it.

  • ViRGiN

    Best consumer headset to date; outside of those who like to masturbate about displayport and raw panel resolution.

    There is still time for huge announcements for Q3 – xmas is going to be big.

    It completly defeats the purpose of PCVR, unless you are truly into simulators (and actually play them rather than sitting in the cabin giving fake impressions how immersive it is).

    • eadVrim

      You are right, It very easy to play into a Boeing 737 cockpit.

      • ViRGiN

        It’s not difficult to spawn mid-air and just steer left and right, which is what some youtubers calling themselves “simmers” do. And literally nobody calls out them and their cosplaying as enthusiasts.

        • eadVrim

          Some “simmers” do not necessarily mean all simmers

          • ViRGiN

            No way!

    • kakek

      Completely defeat ? My dude, the graphics comparison of games with Q2 / Q3 / PCVR ersions we have seen so far are still clearly behind even low end PCs in terms of quality.

      This will defeat PCVR if they can release lone echo 1 and 2 on it.

      • ViRGiN

        PCVR “graphics” might be “better” than standalone, and yet they look nothing like PC graphics.

        • kakek

          Well, yeah. Nobody talked about that.
          By essence, flat graphics will always look better than VR. Because whatever power we have for VR ( with any hardware ), then the same harwared will be able to do better in flat, where it requires to push 1/3rd the number of frame.
          Wich is why quest games don’t even look as good as flat mobile games either. Whatever the XR2 Gen 2 is able to output, you will find equivalent chips in phones that are able to output 3 times the polygons and textures, since then only need to flat 60FPS ( with tolerance for frame drop), instead of stereo 90 FPS perfectly stable.

          • ViRGiN

            Lots of quest games look much better than decade of mobile games. It wasn’t until very recently we started getting quality titles, like warzone mobile.

          • kakek

            Come on, make a minimum effort to make your argument credible.

            Now you are comparing current mobile VR to decade old flat mobile games ? That’s bullshit, and you know it.

          • ViRGiN

            “decade of” not games from a decade ago. What was the highest end mobile title before quest release?

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            Not always. At one point we will get well working ETFR implementations combined with smart upscaling everywhere, which will significantly reduce the amount of pixels that need to be rendered or reconstructed at high quality. This optimization just doesn’t work with flat monitors, where you have to render everything at the same resolution due to both lack of eye tracking and the screen covering only a small percentage of your field of view. So at one point the combination of large FoV, high resolution displays, ETFR and the ability to get closer to object will make VR look way better than gaming on a large TV, with that point still being many years away.

  • Ad

    Definitely reads like the quest 3 is a means to an end. It doesn’t lean towards MR because that’s a better set of new experiences, but because they need to iterate on their mixed reality capabilities so they can take on apple and win the much more valuable AR wars in the future.

  • Dragon Marble

    I was surprised to see that with the newly added depth sensor there’s still warping around your hands

    I think that’s because this is not a depth issue, but an occlusion issue. The two eyes don’t see the same angle, therefore a prefect 3D image cannot be reconstructed. That also explains why I have zero warping on my PSVR2: the two cameras (at the bottom) are exactly my IDP apart from each other.

  • TH_VR_RD

    Yeah, I’d like to know what ground has been gained here too.

    • kraeuterbutter

      lower latenccy with XR2 gen2
      Wifi 6e
      AV1 codec support
      that all combined with great E2EC because of the lenses and
      better color than Quest2
      and higher resolution

      it shoudl hands down be the best wireless experience so far
      better than Quest2, better than Pico4

  • Andrew Jakobs

    It supports Wifi 6E and the XR2 gen2 according to Qualcomm should have less latency and better performance. It also supports Wifi 7 if paired with the right router. No word on USB-C cable yet, but I don’t expect it will support DP over USB-C, but who knows, there isn’t a good specsheet of what the XR2 Gen2 soc already does by itself. So I expect it to be a slightly improved USB-C experience, even taking the higher resolution into account.

    • Merlin

      There is also AV1 encoding. This might increase streaming quality at the same Bitrate. Guy Godin the guy behind Virtual Desktop already announced support for the codec.

  • xyzs

    Completely agree. Meta products are quite good on the hardware side, but their OS is a total mess. It lacks consistency and UX good ideas.

    When I am on my home page, it don’t want a ugly store full of advertisement in front of me or some services shortcuts from Meta I never requested, I want my chosen Apps, if possible organized the way I chose myself.
    I would like, just like on an iphone or android device, that all apps (custom and system native) are treated, sorted, displayed the same way.

    Also, it’s ridiculous that the UI is so darn flat, while they could make buttons with shapes or floating a few milometers on top of the background etc…

    • ViRGiN

      Even SteamVR 2.0 UI redesign doesn’t allow you to customize your space.

    • Nevets

      I completely fail to understand how Meta doesn’t get this. We might all have different ideas about what an ideal ux might look like but Meta’s effort is so far off the mark that it staggers me.

    • Hear, bloody hear!!
      The UI’s such a redundant mess, it’s literally “unusable”, so to speak, at times.

  • ApocalypseShadow

    Looks nice on the tech. Besides the fact that they attacked both PC and PS VR 2 instead of just letting the tech speak for itself. Shows the lack of professionalism.

    The system will live or die on games. Not exercising or trying to be Apple before Apple releases. The Xbox streaming really means nothing as there’s no VR there.

    But I did like some of the evolution and AI. And features like watching games from the sidelines. Just not who it’s from to access that.

    But we’ll see if it sells and to who. The same gamers playing Quest 2? Or will they actually grow their platform. But game content is the most important part that they should concentrate on. But their battle with Apple should prove quite interesting. More so if Samsung and Google jump in.

    • Lulu Vi Britannia

      I haven’t watched the presentation (the last two were dogshit so I gave up on that). What did they say about PCVR and PSVR2? You got me curious ^^’.

      • ApocalypseShadow

        It was average but watchable. They went after the wires and sensors of other devices in comparison to their inside out method and depth sensor of the headset. Said it more than one. Also, after Zuck left the stage, the other executive went after Sony for their room scanning which is no different than Quest 2. It was fine then. But now a smart remark against PlayStation using a similar room and play field method.

        After that I was done watching as there were no big announcements of games at all. Sony got trashed for launching Horizon and GT7. And Facebook is only launching one game with Asgard’s Rath 2. Which doesn’t even look like a system seller. I even wonder if the Quest community will trash Facebook for having really nothing for a hardware launch. No pass through games worth mentioning from them at launch and one VR game. With a bunch of upgrade ports to make them look better on Quest 3. But PS VR 2 got trashed for that very same thing of getting better versions of existing games. The community will most likely be silent on that but say Sony has no games.

  • Kevin Brook

    Great technical analysis as always Ben. I’m thinking about gettting one, but I already have a Quest Pro, and my primary interest is in PCVR. I use standalone for exercise but I have a 13900K, 4090 PC so am never going to game on the Quest store.

    Can you say anything about the panel brightness, colours and black levels vs the Pro or is it too early to tell? The FOV is stated at 110 but everyone who has tested it seems rather unimpressed with the FOV in practice, how does it compare to the Quest Pro?

    I guess its impossible to compare display clarity as you will only have tried standalone at the event and the chip allows it to run at a better resolution than the Pro can in standalone, but do you think there would be a noticeable bump for PCVR. I usually run Steam games about 3500 x 3400 per eye and the Pro looks amazing.

    The mixed reality looks way better than the Pro, but like you I’m not sure I care at all about MR. It looks like it would have been a magical thing to have experienced in my childhood, but as a middle aged man it just looks like a bunch of experiences for children from what I’ve seen so far.

    Really on the fence about getting one. For standalone, it looks a monumental upgrade, but I’monly buying with PCVR in mind so not sure if the Pro, with its local dimming, QLED, open design that I love, eye tracking and self tracked controllers is still the better option.

    • Ben Lang

      Too early for a side by side with Quest 3 and Pro, they really didn’t give me a lot of freedom in my testing, but I’ll have more time soon. Meta claims the lenses on Quest 3 are even a bit better than those on Pro, however, Quest 3 lacks local dimming, so contrast is likely to be worse.

      But yes from a resolution standpoint I think the increase in resolution from 3.5MP to 4.6MP will make a noticeable difference for PC VR.

      • ViRGiN

        Any idea about draw calls target? “Double the performance” isn’t exactly a metric to follow

      • TH_VR_RD

        Thanks, another PCVR user here – interested to know how the Quest 3 stacks up against the Pro in that context when more info becomes available.

        • polysix

          Why do you need someone to tell you this? It’s obvious QPRO is better in every respect except native resolution which is almost a moot point on PCVR with 1.5x SS + the power needed to drive it with good graphics.

          My Q Pro destoyed my ex Q2 for PCVR precisely because of EVERYTHING it has that Q2 (and Q3) lacks (except the pancake lenses they both now have). Grey black LCDs are no good for VR, never were never will be, PCVR deserves better.. if not micro OLED then AT LEAST local dimming LCD with more colour gamut as in Quest Pro. Q3 is a downgrade for PCVR over QPRO, and only an upgrade for standalone over Q2 (you could argue the extra power over QPRO for standalone is worthy but then… grey blacks, less comfy, no eye tracking, looks worse etc). If you want the best PCVR HMD right now it’s Q Pro wireless, it has better lenses than Aero and Pimax ffs, and has more than good enough RES to be driven by current GPUS at ultra quality and has ZERO MURA, decent brightness and still very good black levels vs Q2/Q3.

          • TH_VR_RD

            Guy get’s offended I asked a question, proceeds to write a whole book of an answer based mostly on speculation. Gotta love the internet.

          • polysix

            Tw*t. I answered your fkin question you retard. Not based on speculation but on experience.

            Go grab the Q3 with grey blacks, low quality lower contrast lower colour range LCDs with bad ergonomics then.

            And if you have trouble reading more than 2 paragraphs without resorting to ad-hominin I’d suggest you state that in advance of asking questions you clown.

      • Kevin Brook

        Thanks, Ben. I’ve preordered one, but from Amazon so that it’s an easier return if I prefer the Pro. 3.5MP to 4.6 MP sounds quite a jump on paper.

        • polysix

          Resolution isn’t the only story. You’re looking at a MASSIVE downgrade going from Pro TO Q3 which has the exact same poor LCD panels from Q2 (only 2 of them now). Posterization from lower colour gamut, no local dimming so hello grey blacks again, no self tracked controllers, worse ergonomics (battery on face – face gasket touching cheeks), no eye tracking (I use it via open XR on my pro to gain 10-20% perf improvement on PCVR), no supplied charging dock, ugly looks, gonna need to spend even MORE to buy a charging dock and elite strap to even start to compare to pro and after spending MORE than you can now get pro for you’ll still be lacking eye tracking, decent black levels, fuller colour… all because it’s slightly higher res thant your PC won’t be able to drive at the same high settings as it can drive Pro so will objectively look worse anyway?

          Your choice but it’s a strange one, Q3 is NOT made for Q PRO users into PCVR, it’s clearly aimed at mainly standalone users who also like a bit of MR/AR (Useless to me at this point in the tech) and a cost cutting exercise in every way.

          There is no decent upgrade from Q PRO for PCVR until Valve’s next thing (maybe) or Quest Pro 2.

      • polysix

        Q3 also lacks the 130% colour gamut that Quest Pro has so expect the same old posterization and ‘flat looking’ games as seen on Q2. My Quest Pro is miles better than my Q2 was (for PCVR) due to the local dimming (near OLED level in mixed scenes and BETTER than OLED in full black cos NO MURA) AND the improved colour gamut.

        The only thing Q3 has over Pro for PCVR is resolution which is a moot point at this stage when it’s hard to drive even QPRO on a 3080 with full settings at 1.5x ss. QPro is a real sweet spot right now for (wireless) PCVR with best comfort and design. Q3 is great for standalone but many of us really can’t stand standalone games with their flat cartoon worlds. Everything else in Q3 from controllers to ergonomics to looks of the HMD to lack of eye tracking is a downgrade vs the Pro (for PCVR).

    • Cless

      You have the same specs as me. Its best to get any of the +1000$ HMD’s. The Q3 resolution won’t cut it, just like the QPro doesn’t either (compared to same priced HMDs).
      I would argue the Varjo Aero, even if you have to deal with a cable, will give you a good upgrade over the QPro if you don’t use the extra features it comes with. It basically has 900k more pixels of resolution, which is an increase of over 40% extra pixels, and optics are pretty much as good.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        Have you actually already seen the Q3 improvements? You’re purely going on specs, not actual perception. And I agree cable isn’t a problem if you’re doing seated racing of flying sims, but otherwise I’d prefer wireless over small improved visuals. Let’s not forget, current $1000+ headsets with higher resolution displays still have fresnel based lenses, which all have other negative impact on the high resolution displays.

        • Christian Schildwaechter

          Varjo uses aspheric lenses in all their HMDs, incl. the Aero, and they are very good at limiting typical problems of these lenses like chromatic aberration and pupil swim. I have tried neither the Q3 nor the Aero, but in this case the assumption that Aero will still provide superior visuals with larger FoV is a pretty safe bet. It also comes with some nice extra features like (very fast) eye tracking or the excellent head mount with lots of adjustability and good balance. Until a few days ago, this was a USD 2000 HMD that now has dropped to half that, it is still playing in a completely different league than the Quest 3.

          • Cless

            Wow, that’s rude, now what do I answer? You gave all my points away lol

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            Sorry about that. Maybe you could add something about the automatic IPD adjustment, that the headset alone weighs less than the Quest 3, the mini-LED displays with calibrated color spaces, the active cooling, or that it is the cheaper, consumer oriented sibling of the Varjo VR-3/XR-3, generally considered the best VR/AR/MR headset available and used intensively by Apple to develop the software and content for the AVP?

          • Cless

            God dammit, you didn’t need to flex on me okay!? I had already conceited the win to you!!

          • Kevin Brook


            Conceited is how I’m acting now.

          • Cless

            Hahaha, damn, English man, been using it for 6 years and still so many words get mixed up hahaha

          • Kevin Brook

            Aero’s FOV is much smaller than Quest Pro. Aero certainly has much better brightness and clarity though.

        • XRC

          Been using Pimax Crystal a couple months now, their aspheric glass’s lenses have excellent clarity, very refreshing after years of Fresnel headsets.

          However, there is some chromatic aberration in certain scenes (typically menus) and slight distortion around the perimeter, which causes me to experience geometric instability and pupil swim.

          Dynamic foveated rendering using the Tobii eye tracking is now working after recent update (“eyechip”), this is already showing improvement, and further improvement from using a custom face cushion to provide eye relief adjustment.

      • Kevin Brook

        I haven’t tried the Aero, Bigscreen or Crystal. The Crystal is just too big and looks ridiculous to me. The other two headset’s reliance on base stations and index controllers is what put me off. I got rid of mine a long time ago and I don’t want to spend another £500 on 4-5 year old tech just to play a new headset.

        I prefer (good) inside out tracking and won’t ever buy base stations again.

        i have had a Vive Pro 2 and Reverb G2 though, and despite both having higher resolutions and being Display Ports they are dogpoo compared to the Quest Pro’s visuals. Would never touch them now.

        • Cless

          I mean… the WHOLE point of base stations is to buy them once and being able to change HMDs like this instead of being forced to keep buying controllers, cameras and tracking capable mobile hardware everytime you switch… like you have to do now…

          Also, the ONLY thing the QPro has visually, is the lenses, you just like Pancake lenses, which are great, but also, all new decent HMD have (included all I mentioned here).

          • Kevin Brook

            I’m not a fan of the base stations nor the Index controllers. The base stations I found annoyingly noisy, always whirring away sounding like a pair of mini fridges. Even in VR I could hear them when I approached the walls. The tracking wasn’t ideal either. I have a large playspace area, plus a sofa, plus flight cockpit and a racing cockpit. Two base stations wasn’t enough to fully track them.

            As for the other HMD’s, they all have strengths and weaknesses. I’m not a fan of aspheric lenses due to the pupil swim and the size, I don’t want a big boxy headset.

            BSB interests me, but I’m not wanting to buy base stations again, especially when I don’t even like them.

            Over the next 12-24 months we’re going to start seeing 3500 x 3500 microOLED displays from major manufactures like Samsung, Apple, Pico and probably Meta. I’m happy to wait until then as none of the current offerings have what I want in a headset more than the Pro.

            I do have the Quest 3 on order, not sure yet if I will keep it.

          • Cless

            Wow, really? That is definitely not my experience with base stations. I’m annoyed easyly by those kind of sounds but unless I put my ear right by them I couldn’t hear them. My base stations are the first gen of the OG vive though, so maybe that’s why?

            And… yeah, that room doesn’t sound like a good VR space for the base stations, unless you have them on a stand or something which would be incredibly annoying to setup, or hanging in the middle of the ceiling.

            I would definitely keep going with the Pro, since you already have it and wait for those great displays. I would definitely trade sliiiiiiightly worse optics for a screen with local dimming any day as well.

    • shadow9d9

      Sounds like you aren’t a gamer then, if you’d casually dismiss exclusives like asgard’s wrath 2. Gameplay always trumps graphics.

      • Kevin Brook

        It’s not that, it’s just I have a 13900K, 4090 PC and standalone graphics look like absolute trash to me. I can’t get immersed in a game world that looks like I’m in a PS3 game. I love VR , but given the choice between a mobile exclusive and a flatscreen AAA title like Starfield, or Cyberpunk Phantom Liberty, I’m happy to take a break from VR to still enjoy something with cutting edge visuals and massive production values.

        • polysix

          Exactly this, so many VR noobs who’ve only tried standalone on q2 think that’s ALL there is to ‘VR’ and don’t realise that gimmicky/mobile/shovelware feel is NOT at all how great VR really is (on PCVR or even some select PSVR2 titles).

          Those standalone games with 10 year old graphics quality, bad lighting, low poly, bad textures are absolute trash. They do NOT induce presence like VR is supposed to do (anyone who was around with Luckey and Oculus’s early days knows this – that THAT was the goal)… meta have really diluted the message and power of VR with standalone trash even if they got some impressive sales.

          Top quality PCVR is a paradigm shift, absolutely awesome… standalone VR is goldrush shovel ware shite made to earn a quick buck just like mobile phone games did.

          I pity anyone who’s never tried proper immersive VR on a top end PC or even the best PSVR2 can offer (GT7 and RE VILLAGE graphics in VR, it shows a startling lack of experience and vision of what VR is and should be if they are prepared to settle for flat looking fitness and rhythm games forever more. LMAO.

      • Jesus, EVERYTHING’S Trump’s fault …. lol
        But *I’m* a gamer and I DESPISE games like “Asgard’s Wrath”.
        I wish I could sell my copy off.

      • polysix

        This is frankly horseshit. It’s such a cliche that gameplay > graphics FOR VR. VR my friend.. VIRTUAL EFFIN REALITY.. .that takes GREAT graphics to actually fool us. I’ve had more HMDs than you’ve had hot dinners and I can tell you the novelty wears off fast if you serve up flat shaded cartoon (standalone) graphics… people tire of it, it’s a novelty, it doesn’t induce presence, it doesn’t wow anyone… it’s trash frankly.

        VR.. REAL VR needs GREAT GRAPHICS… even something like a lowly PS5 running GT7 is awesome because it gets the graphics side right (though really struggling – it needs a PS5 pro asap imo).. anything lower than that is sheer gimmicks.. may impress the soccor moms for an afternoon but retention is terrible on Q2 due to the potato graphics (other than fitness/rhythm games which people would play no matter what).

        Graphics are VITAL to VR… once you get over the VR ‘novelty’ which wears off fast, you are left feeling underwhelmed UNLESS you genuinely feel like you’re in that other world – that takes good graphics. Otherwise there’s no point to VR at all, you may as well stick to consoles/PC gaming if ‘gameplay’ is all you want. We want VIRTUAL REALITY.. not just 3D head and hand tracking in a totally non-immersive cartoon abstract world that breaks immersion at every stage.

      • TH_VR_RD

        Gamer’s come in different flavors guy. Flight simmers are all about visual fidelity, and will chase that dragon right into bankruptcy (mostly kidding, sort of, don’t ask me how I know).

    • Dave

      Hi Kevin, I’ve always remembered you mentioning about the Q’Pro when you bought one. Never forgot that. I was close to getting one but the resolution was the issue which let it down for me. I’ve bought two Quest 3’s (one for my brother) to make up :-) and I know this will offer an ‘upgrade’ over the HP Reverb G2 which I have currently as I’m also into PCVR and MSFS in particular. Have you used mixed reality much since you bought the Pro headset?

      • Kevin Brook

        Hi Dave. In a word, no! I disabled it within a week of getting the Pro as it interfered with me adjusting the headset. I didn’t care for it at all on my Pro, other than using it Puzzling Places. I’m with Carmack in that I don’t think it serves much purpose on a VR headset. Quest 3 might be much better though, so we’ll see.

        I still love the Pro, best headset I’ve ever owned by far, the open design is wonderful.

      • polysix

        Q PRo > Quest 3 in every tangiable way for actual PCVR and good looking blacks/colours.

        I can’t believe so many uniformed people are hung up on ‘resolution’ as the only metric and don’t take everything on balance.

        The grey blacks of my ex quest 2 is the exact same reason I’d never touch quest 3. I usually prefer OLED HMDs, but the MURA issues there drove me mad (Sent my PSVR2 back due to this) but out of many HMDs – all OLED except my Q2 and Qpro, the only one I actively disliked was Quest 2 cos the LCDs were woeful, zero immersion, bad colours, grey blacks that didn’t induce presence, these are the SAME ISSUES you’ll get with Quest 3 that were mostly solved with Quest Pro thanks to local dimming (which in some ways has been better to me than even my old OLEDs cos it has NO MURA AT ALL and is pin sharp thanks to those great lenses).

        All PCVR looks stunning in my quest pro at 1.5x Super sampling on an RTX3080, good blacks, great colours, awesome sharpness… never do I think it looks ‘low res’ or anything and my PC can DRIVE that res at ultra settings. It would struggle to run even native on Q3 res let alone at 1.5x so you really don’t understand the issues at all if you only look at resolution and forget all about colours, black levels and ability to actually run it.

        Honestly if you were seriously into PCVR the last thing I’d look at is ANY LCD HMD without local dimming, or even any non MICRO OLED (cos they have no mura) – and as bigscreen beyond is lacking in other areas and is still wired which annoys me that leaves quest pro – wireless PCVR smooth and with very little visual downside, eye tracking, great blacks, great colours, not dim like beyond, not faded like q2/q3, no mura like PSVR2/Rift/Vive og etc.

        I’ve been into VR since DK2 rift almost 10 years back and owned many HMDs over the years, Quest Pro was the first one where I finally felt like we had a DECENT polished product without any visual drawbacks (other than mild glare from pancakes and LD sometimes which is far better than god rays and grey blacks).

        I hate the misinformation about resolution being the metric everyone focusses on, it leads to LOW QUALITY products with HIGH NUMBERS to fool people in a race to the bottom (ala PIMAX). THINK before buying and choose wisely.

        If you’re all about standalone fun and rarely touch PCVR? Then fine Q3 makes more sense than qpro but it’ll still have many drawbacks vs Pro.

    • polysix

      I’m not interested in the Q3 at all, coming from Q2 and currently with Quest Pro – like you for PCVR (wireless). I don’t like standalone games at all as they always fail to immerse me with their potato graphics, Q3’s still subpar power isn’t going to change that.

      That said.. for PCVR I honestly believe Quest Pro is the much better choice still. So it’s a little lower res, so what? Most PCs can’t even drive QPROs resolution with top settings (i.e RTX3080 has to go to ASW to do it) esp at 1.5x SS which also makes it look a lot sharper than its res would have you believe.

      So resolution aside, the QUest Pro’s display is superb. Q3 is *STILL* the cheap grey black LCD without increased colour gamut (100 vs 130% on QPRO or something) and obviously without local dimming which is a MASSIVE deal to me in a non OLED HMD.

      I refuse to EVER entertain a non local dimming or non oled HMD ever again. There is ZERO immersion in faded, colour lacking cheap LCD panels like Q2 and Q3… the screens in Q3 are not an upgrade over Q2 in terms of colour of black levels. They are the same, they’ll have the same posterisation issues, the same lack of depth, the same lack of true blacks. Why would I want that for PCVR in a lesser package with worse controllers, WORSE comfort (face brick with gasket on face) when I already have QPro that only cost £700 (brand new sealed) anyway? And that’s with QPRO controllers worth £300 alone! Also.. QPRO looks way way better than the fugly Q3 which has to be the ugliest looking HMD yet with those 3 notches on the front.

      I do not think the extra resolution on Q3 is worth it for PCVR to then lose local dimming, self tracked controllers, much better ergonomics, better looks, included pro controllers and charging dock, eye tracking (usable via OPEN XR on PCVR).

      Q3 is for improved standalone gaming, an upgrade from Q2 sure but nothing for PC users to get excited about unless you play 50/50 standalone and PCVR and want some upgrades. If PCVR is your thing mostly then quest pro is the best on the market right now due to the lenses, the decent blacks WITHOUT any MURA as on the OLEDs (outside of expensive micro oled that lacks in other areas), the increased colour gamut and the ergonomics/wireless/floating design.

      Q3 is a waste of money for anyone who has a QPRO and doesn’t play standalone.

  • alxslr

    MR is a gimmick

    • Anonymous

      Ignorant troll alert!

      • alxslr

        No, you are being the troll here. I’m just giving an opinion. In a provocative manner, I admint, and of course I can be wrong. But I really think it has ground. I don’t think it will be the 2023-24 version of the Metaverse fiasco, but almost. It’s gonna be great for the guardian, because of the depht sensor. Also for transition between apps and to communicate with your family. And some niche games & apps will be funny and interesting, too. But that’s all. It’s not gonna be the new holly grial that many (Meta included) seem to hope. Pro’s been there fro quite a long time now and we are still waiting for all those marvelous MR apps. I think we they’re gonna be finally here, but the hype is gonna fade fast.

        • Christian Schildwaechter

          For a number of reasons I’m not a big fan of MR either, and it provides very limited benefits for “traditional” VR users besides some nice, but not essential comfort features that don’t really help with most VR games at all. Nonetheless it got/gets a lot of attention and resources from Meta, which is obviously driven by them wanting to reach larger audiences beyond gamers on their march towards the metaverse.

          And from that perspective it makes a little more sense. It of course makes dealing with kids and pets easier, it allows playing in tight spaces, and a lot of people really hate not being able to see what happens around them or are afraid of losing balance/falling. This is a user group that so far may has avoided VR because it requires too much commitment, you need the space and some time where you can just ignore the world, and you have to deal with movement and potential motion sickness. MR can actually allow these people to use VR, and casual games like Puzzling Places they would most likely play work pretty well with MR passthrough.

          So MR is kind of like the original Wii with motion controllers: not really useful for people who know how to handle a gamepad and looking for extra performance for more immersive games, instead of lowering the bar for more casual users. The Wii didn’t win over a lot of existing console gamers, those went for the Xbox 360 or PS3 instead. But in the end it beat them both in sales with >100mn Wii vs ~85mn for Xbox/PS due to opening gaming to large new users groups, the same reason why mobile phones managed to take over 50% of the gaming market in just a few years.

          That may sound like the ultimate horror scenario to some: instead of investing their time and money to make the Quest a better gaming device and support AAA releases, Meta introduces new features that will mostly work with casual games and attract more casual users, shifting developer interest even more to that area. But Meta has to try something to make the Quest more popular, if they want to move towards their metaverse plans and long term profitability. Offering the Quest 2 in 2020 with a really astonishing value proposition didn’t do the trick, most gamers still ignored it, and after most of the VR enthusiasts had upgraded from their older Oculus HMDs, interest and growth first slowed and now has somewhat stalled, with not enough new users joining in and staying for more than a few months.

          Currently large game developers take one look at the monthly active users numbers/potential buyers, and leave. So while the addition of MR will provide very limited benefits for VR enthusiasts besides some small comfort gains (leading to worse battery life), they may still benefit in the long run by MR lowering the usability entry bar to many more users that might ultimately help paying for more costly game development. So it is more than just a gimmick. It’s a strategic move, but it will take some time to reap the full benefits.

          • alxslr

            Maybe you’re right, but again, Nintendo Wii controllers did not survive and died relatively soon. I’m sure MR is here to stay, but many of those casual users could easily get tired when they realize their 3D tetris experience is no so different from the 2D one, once the novelty fades, and the iPad or mobile version has much less friction.

          • Charles Bosse

            The switch controllers do essentially all that the wii controllers do, and tilt is still a major part of several games, including BotW, one of the most popular games of all time. Not everything about the wii lasted, but it’s not like the 3Ds, where the main interesting feature didn’t even survive the full generation. I would say that the Wii was a pioneer in motion control, where the lenticular 3D on the 3Ds was solidly a gimmick. Given my (admittedly limited) experiences with MR and XR, my guess is it will end up somewhere between. Tracking surroundings will make VR more accessable, so I suspect a chunk of the hardware is here to stay in some form.

        • Charles Bosse

          MR is a gimmick, but it’s not originally a Meta gimmick. Apple is pushing MR hard and Meta wants to have something “good enough” that people don’t totally discount the Quest 3 when comparing to whatever Apple eventually releases. As long as Meta has stats to post on the MR part of the side-by-sides (that amount to more than just “improved passthrough”) people will be forced to justify spending four times as much on an Apple or other MR capable device instead of just saying “it’s the only option”.

          Whether MR becomes the next HDR or the next 3D TV is up for grabs, but right now it’s solidly one company’s marketing against another, and not a substantive feature for consumers.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            Meta was pushing MR long before Apple announced the Vision Pro, when there were only rumors that they were working on an AR HMD, as Tim Cook never hid his dislike of VR. My main issue with MR has always been that they present it as a sort of AR light, even though it cannot really interact with the environment and apps get no access to the cameras that would allow for any object interaction.

            I agree that it is mostly a marketing term that Meta will milk as much as possible to defuse Apple’s “spatial computing”. But it originated from everybody expecting that XR would only become attractive to the mass market with the release of AR glasses that only seemed to be a couple of years away. The option to now counter AVP with “but we already have MR at home” is just a useful side effect, Meta has actually been working towards AR pretty much since they bought Oculus.

            MR is one step in that direction that got its own marketing name, as they couldn’t call it AR yet, because it can’t do most of the things that would make AR useful, and “VR with passthrough” just doesn’t sound cool enough as a new main feature to sell headsets. Since everybody is still going for AR, and AR can do pretty much everything MR can do, the features of MR will most likely survive under another name. It will just take longer than anticipated to get there.

          • ApocalypseShadow

            You say they were pushing mixed reality. But they made no content. They upgraded tracking of the hands. But no games came out from internal teams to take advantage of it. No augmented reality games.

            Just like they, supposedly, pushed room scale experiences with that first demo of people shooting each other behind objects in a team based shooter. It never came out. And Facebook never made any room scale games. Commercials that showed gamers standing in place. And YouTube influencers are shown standing in place playing Beat Saber. But wireless is supposed to be wonderful and freeing. It is. But they haven’t shown the benefit from internal software. Even Pro was released and had no software to back it up.

            That’s their biggest problem. They spend a lot of money enhancing the tech. But gamers are still waiting on the content. It took something like the Demeo game to show any real pass through innovation. But there’s not a whole lot after that. And they aren’t first party.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            I never said they were any good at pushing anything. I’m actually flabbergasted on a regular basis by their ability to utterly fuck things up, with the prime example being Horizon Worlds, their n-th attempt at social VR. Meta/Facebook is the largest social network in the world, they bought Oculus a decade ago with the goal to establish social VR as a new platform, and they spend billions on it every year. How is it even possible that this is the result?

            John Carmack’s “the metaverse is a honeypot trap for architecture astronauts” from OC21 still stands, where he criticized that too man

          • alxslr

            That quote from John Carmack is so good that will be immortalized in history books.
            Meta Reality Labs is really good on hardware but usability and UX are not in their core culture, and that is killing them, or al least is making very dificult for them to thrive. I don’t know if it’s Zuck’s fault, Boz’s, or whose, but I really think someone should be replaced for that if they really want the company to acquire its objectives. They don’t even have been capable of creating a fully functional OS in almost 10 years for what was supposed to be “the next computing platform”. Only a poor interface above Android to open apps, buy games and browse non appealing content pushed into user’s face. For instance, there is no standard fully featured cloud system that allows real cross-platform interaction, something essential in today’s computing. In many UX/Software issues they really give the impression that there is noone in charge of the ship.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            The fact that their hardware is great and the software is not is something I cannot understand. Meta has always been a software company, and the hardware they developed before entering VR was mostly optimized server technology for their data centers. They of course outsource the production to (mostly) Goertek, who have a lot of experience and their own, huge XR research and development, and all their hardware products still leave a lot of room for optimization, esp. regarding ergonomics. But that is usually due to trying to keep costs low, not fundamentally messing up the design of a feature.

            But their core competence is getting people to engage with their platforms by analyzing the hell out of every piece of data they can lay their fingers on, and then give the users not necessarily what they want, but what makes them click even more posts and like/dislike buttons. So it is baffling that the same isn’t (successfully) applied to VR. They should have heaps of data on what users regularly do, how they navigate the UI and how long it takes them to get somewhere. They know typical session duration and behavior not only for Horizon Worlds, but also for VRChat and RecRoom, and could interfere a lot of information about 3rd party app usage even without spying on the apps via the SDK, just by watching changes in power consumption, tracking data etc. And yet what’s implemented often feels like someone came up with the idea during a meeting, but they never really tested if or how well it works, neither before nor after release. [I’m sure they do a lot of VR usage data analysis, but somehow don’t see the results in their designs.]

            Google is famous for A/B testing, giving millions of users variants with tiny differences and then measuring which triggers more engagement. This is how they ended up with a very empty start page and text ads, as they figured out that people will leave if (on average) the response takes even fractions of a second too long. Such an approach alone should improve the UX over time, even if usability is not in their core culture or a priority for the management. How can a data obsessed company like Meta release end user facing software that is not at all streamlined to reduce friction and increase engagement, and instead make their users seriously question Meta’s priorities?

          • alxslr

            Yes, that’s why I began saying “Meta Reality Labs” and not “Meta”. But a few points here:
            First, maybe what works for Facebook’s service goals (clicks and ads in the direction intended by de company to maximize ad revenue) does not work for a VR OS, where probably a more “original Google” aproach would have work. So maybe they are making the tests but wrong short term oriented goals and POVs get in the way. Or as they don’t have a clear ide of how the next computing platform should/will exactly be, they just not have clear goals and are just randomly testing things, (and forgetting users in the way, which should always be their compass).
            Second, personally I used to make use of Facebook as a social network many years ago. Then I got tired and stopped using it. So the last times I’ve had to enter (for instance to see Meta Connect this week), I was shocked how less user oriented I felt it was, how annoying, low quality looking, unoptimized and lagging. I even could not see Connect live, since video stopped each 15 seconds (I’ve gon a decent fiber connection). So I wached it later in Yolutube. Maybe they are losing their UX grip in all the company.

          • alxslr

            This is from Carmack, today on X

            “I remain unconvinced that mixed reality applications are any kind of an engine for increasing headset sales. High quality pass through is great, but I just don’t see applications built around integrating rendering with your real world environment as any kind of a killer app. I consider it interesting and challenging technology looking for a justification.

            The power of VR is to replace your environment with something much better, not to hang a virtual screen in your real environment. In all the highly produced videos demonstrating the MR future, the environments are always stylish, clean, and spacious. That is not representative of the real world user base.

            There is certainly some value in the efforts, but I have always thought there was much more low hanging fruit to be grabbed first.”

          • MeowMix

            Carmack also alluded at last year’s Unscripted talk that the new XR2GEN2 is too expensive, and a consumer Pancake lens based headset is unnecessary. He wants Meta to focus on the $200 market

          • Anonymous

            Carmack is a smart person and knows tech, and how to build tech. However he definitely is not a visionary like Steve Jobs.
            Remember when he was the biggest advocate for 3DoF VR? Look where it lead.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            At least Sony agrees that a consumer pancake lens based headset was unnecessary, and instead went to improve the much cheaper and more energy efficient Fresnel lenses, which allowed them to use one of the OLED displays so many have been demanding. And its quite interesting to see that the initial criticism about Sony still using Fresnel has mostly died down, and people instead complain about the mura on the PSVR 2 OLED screen.

            Everybody is currently obsessed with pancake lenses, even though very few have actually tried them. They no doubt provide a huge benefit over first gen Fresnel to which they are compared, getting rid of the much hated god rays and offering better edge to edge clarity. How important the latter will actually turn out to be remains to be seen, as the FFR widely used to improve performance only works so well because we spend most of the time looking straight forward instead of at the edges, as this is how our eyes actually achieve their best performance, with the name giving fovea area of the retina covering less than a 6° FoV at the center.

            What did Sony do to improve their Fresnel lenses? I haven’t seen a detailed analysis of the lenses, but a patent they published hints that they basically applied thin rings of black paint on the lenses that cover up the sharp edges of the single lens grooves responsible for the dreaded god rays. This is probably along the lines of what Carmack meant with low hanging fruits: instead of changing the complete optical system to a new lens types that now also requires a lot more power due to a lot of the light being lost between the multiple reflections and refractions, you can improve the most annoying parts of the previous tech by making some clever and cheap changes.

            That may not give you all the same benefits, but keeps the prices of the lenses very low. Fresnel lenses are basically stamped into plastic sheets, so they cost a few cents to produce and are very light. And I wouldn’t be astonished if the rumored 2024 USD 200 HMD from Meta would mostly be a Quest 2 with many components like the Fresnel lenses kept, but improved to remove their main issues, and others replaced by newer or simpler parts providing a comparable performance at lower production costs. The only thing I’d expect to really change is for it to get color passthrough by swapping some of the tracking cameras from lowres b/w to e.g. 720p or 1080p color. This wouldn’t provide the same quality as on Quest 3, but still be a huge gain over what the Quest 2 offered, and be very cheap to do. Low hanging fruits.

          • Charles Bosse

            I mostly agree, though I think Microsoft really brought the phrase to the forefront before meta had their hands in Oculus at all, and that Meta was clearly trying to get some MR or XR or AR but Apple forced their hand before it was really ready to be a selling point. Also, Apple at least initially looked like they might have the only XR worth something, if they could innovate there like they did on the iPhone, which… well we’ll see.

    • MeowMix

      I find it ironic that long time VR users are calling a new medium a ‘gimmick’; do better. You sound like the gamers back in 2016 calling the new medium of VR a gimmick

      • Jonathan Winters III

        Hear hear!

  • Cl

    Pre-ordered 512gb version, deluxe battery strap, active controller strap and carrying case for ~$950. Excited to see if I use this or my beyond more when that arrives.

    • ViRGiN

      Welcome to the true high-end club!

    • Totius

      I’ll probably gonna do the same, but these accessories.. man.. so expensive

      • Cl

        Yea, I was surprised it came out to so much. Not really worth it unless you don’t feel like waiting for the 3rd party stuff.

    • Arno van Wingerde

      I preordered the 512 version, but the accessories: never! BoboVR delivers an elite strap for which they make a Quest3 adapter. I think it is also both more comfortable and cheaper than Meta’s stuff.

  • Nevets

    I keep contriving reasons why GTA SA is still a thing. Previously I thought that it was being saved for Connect and if it wasn’t announced today then it’s definitely dead. Now I’m saying that it’s being held back during the Q2 run-off period, and once they start releasing Q3 exclusives in 2024, it’ll be their system seller.

    • Octogod

      My guess is it was being ported by Grove Street Games using the Remastered base, given their Android experience.

      Then the GTA Remaster imploded, meaning they needed to spend years cleaning that up. My guess is that 2k/Rockstar decided it would be better to get out of the contract.

      But damn, if a part of me doesn’t want to believe we’ll see this in 2024!

      • NL_VR

        No its/was the studio who made La noire vr

      • MeowMix

        No need to guess; it was confirmed a while back (even by this site) that the GTA:SA port is being done by Video Games Deluxe (the studio that did LA Noire VR).

    • MeowMix

      Ppl thought Assassin’s Creed VR was canned. It was announced in 2020 and only resurfaced in 2023.
      GTA was announced in 2021, so lets give it the same timeline as AC-VR. IF we don’t hear anything next year then we can be worried.

      ‘But AC-VR was built from the ground up ! GTA should be quicker !’ Maybe/maybe not. AC-VR was built as a AAA game, with 5 studios working on it, and supposedly cost Meta a pretty penny. Whereas GTA is being worked on by a smaller studio (Video Games Deluxe). Smaller studios take take; for example it took Armature Studios a little over 2 years to port RE4VR to Quest2.

    • Arno van Wingerde

      My guess that they want to bundle it with the Quest5. In 2027, but it will be really nice.

  • jbob4mall

    I think meta wants to separate their hardware showcase and their gaming showcase. Not a good idea in this instance though.

    • ViRGiN

      not exactly, since quest 2 is still being sold.

  • Totius

    I really hope that somebody can explain me why it is ok to stream flat games with Xbox game pass, but it’s not ok to stream pc vr games. I mean, that would have been THE killer app. It seems that the wireless capabilities of the new chip are good enough, and Geforce Now proved that you can stream, with almost zero latency, many games with gorgeous graphics, pushed by a 4080.

    • ViRGiN

      There is bigger tolerance for flat games than immersive VR. There were rumors in the past about Meta experimenting with PCVR from the cloud..

      … but there is actually no point. Pretty much everything relevant is running natively. PCVR doesn’t really have good games. And for simulators you would want to connect wheel/flight sticks etc which there isn’t really a straight away to do so. Plus it can’t be possibly available in every region, and the biggest one, USA seems to have the most spotty connection on the planet. Then it’s also economics. The cloud servers aren’t running your typical rtx4090, I’d guess running vr games with all it’s bells and whistles would require dedicated solution.

      • Totius

        Virgin, have you ever tried RDR2 or cyberpunk mods? With a very powerful PC? I am pretty sure you would change your mind

        • ViRGiN

          Change my mind about what?
          I know old flat games looks better than anything native PCVR. Making these games costed serious money.
          However playing these games with vr headset while there is no real vr support is just dumb and not immersive.

          Nobody cared when gta5 vr mod came out. It’s not as hot as you think.

          • Totius

            About how cool it is. It is very far from dumb. From your answer I guess you have not tried it yet, but I strongly recommend it if you get a chance. I played the VR mod of GTAV a loooot! Hard to explain how much fantastic it was. it’s too bad what happened between LukeRoss end Rockstar

          • ViRGiN

            From your answer it’s clear you’re fuking fascinated by it and don’t take no for an answer.
            It’s fuking boring. Get over it.
            It’s not VR unless it’s fully fleshed out VR controls game. You are spending way too much time on flat2vr discord.

          • LMAO

            Ignorant troll alert!

          • ViRGiN

            Enemy AC130 approaching alert!!!

          • kakek

            It’s not vr until it’s fully fleshed out VR controls
            1 / plenty VR mods have those fully fleshed out motion control.
            2 / Some native VR quest games don’t have them. Like plateformers ( Ven and hte game wit hte squirel )

            VR mods are pretty much the only thing that gave me the experience I expected from VR at the start.

            Mobile VR is what karting is to race driving : a poor imitation, that find more success than the real thing because most people can’t handle or afford it.

          • ViRGiN

            Plenty of mods? I think you’re talking about DrBeef ports, not mods. Mods are all vorpx clones or 6dof mouses with zero “fully fleshed out” motion control. If those impressed you, yeah, you’re not into VR, but VR cosplaying.

          • kakek

            I think you’re confusing it with luke ross’s mods.

            Resident evil 2/ 3 / 4 / 7 /8
            Outer wilds
            Far cry
            Portal 2
            Subnautica below zero
            Deep rock galactic
            Risk or rain 2

            And I’m probably forgetting a few.

            All have real setereo 3D, 6DOF head tracking, 6DOF motion control at the very least for aiming if it’s a FPS. ( Those all are, the mods makes resident evil 2 / 3 into FPS )
            Wich is what I need to feel immersed.

            “Nor into VR but VR cosplaying” … I don’t even know what that means. I’m into feeling like I’m actually in the game world. Wich is what VR provide. It’s a cumulation of various elements.

            Wether motion controls are REQUIRED for that immersion to work is debatable. For me it depends on the type of game. FPS obviously need it. I mean, I’d still take head aiming over flat gaming if nothing else is available, but I agree it would not be true VR. But still not “cosplaying as VR”. RAther, half VR.
            And I won’t play in headset without at least true stereo rendering and 6DOF head tracking.

            But there’s also some games where motion control are not really usefull. Space sim for instance. Racing games. Plateformers, TPS …

            They are still worth paying in VR, and motion controls don’t really matter. I mean, there’s a few native VR games that decided to not have motion controls. Ven VR, end space, lucky’s tale, Grid VR …

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      Because you’d cut off Meta’s revenue stream when not buying apps from their store. They sort of had to tolerate streaming from a local PC, otherwise they couldn’t have terminated their Rift product line, pointing to the Quest as a replacement. But they tried to make it as cumbersome as possible, for a long time prohibiting wireless streaming to make sure that you’d need to visit their app store for a proper, untethered experience.

      The number of Quest standalone users also outweighs those with a powerful VR PC by more than 5:1, limiting the financial damage, but allowing a VR streaming service like Geforce Now/PlutoSphere could change that. Streaming flat Xbox games isn’t really the same or a competition, that’s mostly using the Quest as a TV replacement, something that might actually bring in a few new users.

      Of course streaming from a remote cloud PC will become ok the very moment Meta can provide such a streaming service themselves, thereby reintroducing themselves into the cash flow.

      • Totius

        It definitely makes a lot of sense, but why not to make an agreement with nvidia and make a very expensive Pass, like for 50 dollars rather than the 20 of Geforce Now, so that everybody win? Of course you still have to buy the games. It’s a bit sad because the tech is already here.

        • ViRGiN

          It’s not in Meta interested. And in another post you actually meant PCVR mods for games like cyberpunk. Yeah, no. Nobody cares about that. And if you really want to stream from cloud, you can rent a PC in the cloud from multiple companies. A full blown Windows machine.

          • Totius

            Nobody cares? How do you know it?

          • kakek

            Because SteamVR max number of players is generally very low.
            Wich implies that the number of players and the sales are low as well, wich mean that nobody is interrested in it, wich means that they aren’t interested in VR mods either.

            Except “nobody” is not 100% true. Luke ross managed to make a living from VR mods, with a few thousand patreons. Le VR modding discord also has a few thousand members.

            Still, it’s a very niche market.

          • Totius

            Well I believe you are confusing the cause with the consequence. But I agree with you that in general nobody cares about VR, if you mean that numbers are little compared with other things like gaming or TV series.

          • kakek

            I was kinda mimicking ViRGIN, I really like VR mods and PCVR in general.
            But there was no cause or consequence in my post. Just constatation.
            Cause or consequence would have been talking about usage friction, graphics, price, trying to understand why PCVR “failed”, at least commercially.

            I didn’t do that, I just took raw numbers. ( the few we have ) and extrapolated a bit from them.

        • Christian Schildwaechter

          You can already have that for USD 50 with PlutoSphere or a ShadowPC with VirtualDesktop, it just is more hassle, as you have to e.g. sideload the PlutoSphere client instead of installing it from the Quest store or App Lab. And I think the convenience is the main reason why Meta doesn’t want any competitors to offer such a service before they can offer it themselves.

          I have a paid Geforce Now subscription and use it with several devices like laptops or Steam Deck, even though I could just switch on my VR PC and stream from there, even to remote locations with some setup. But the price has been low enough to keep me subscribed for several years for a product that I don’t necessarily need. I also have a YouTube premium subscription, because ads waste my time, but I still want content creators to be payed, so ad blockers are not an option. These monthly subscriptions don’t put a huge dent into my budget, but over time, they still generate quite a lot of money, which is why everybody is pushing subscriptions onto users, incl. Meta with Supernatural and Quest+.

          Geforce Now is growing fast, but most of the accounts will be on the free tier, and Nvidia aggressively tries to get users to go for the 4K top tier at twice the price of the standard level. We don’t know if they are profitable or if they lose money due to providing most of the service for free to first grow the user base, with the hope to later convert them to paying customers. Freemium models can work with large (non-paying) user bases, if even a small portion of them can be converted to paying users. A USD 50 VR subscription probably wouldn’t be interesting to Nvidia, as there would be a very limited number of potential users to begin with. And the price would be way above what most people are willing to pay for convenience, reducing it further to a small group of hardcore enthusiasts with very limited growth potential, not really worth the technical and administrative effort to set it up and provide help. And the resulting revenue stream would be too low for Meta to consider it worthwhile

          Nvidia would most likely want replicate their Geforce Now model instead: offer the basic service for free with a session time limit and a queue to start a new session, which can lead to several hours of waiting time. Their whole sales argument for the basic paid subscription is that you can play for 6h instead of 1h, and, more importantly, that there will basically no waiting time to start another session, even at rush hour when all the kids home from school. You pay for the convenience, not for the actually free service.

          Meta would most certainly not want Nvidia to provide a free service that would allow Quest users to play PCVR games for an hour with some initial waiting time, as this would mean people would buy games available on both Quest and Steam from Valve instead for often less money, and run them at higher quality. They might want to offer such a service themselves, because currently app sales and software revenue per Quest user are way lower than on consoles, so making USD 100/year from a subscription would be very attractive.

          But getting users to switch from an existing service is quite hard when both provide basically the same, you either need exclusive content or offer much lower prices. So it not in Meta’s interest to let any VR streaming provider establish themselves before their own offer, or even worse, have multiple providers engage in a price race to the bottom to gain market share, ending in free tiers like with Geforce Now.

          So for now they tolerate the remote VR streaming via ShadowPC and VirtualDesktop or PlutoSphere, knowing well that these are way too much hassle for most to be acceptable for a convenience feature, limiting it to some enthusiasts. Keeping clients for VR streaming out of their app stores is enough to make sure that once their own streaming service starts, they can be sure that they will be able to make a better/more convenient offer than the competitors, as they can integrate it seamlessly into their UI. They most likely would have to allow others to offer similar services at that moment, or get into serious trouble (again) with the FTC.

          Considering all that, the money they could make today from allowing others to provide cloud VR streaming services is just not worth the drawbacks. Interestingly a year ago Meta had announced a cooperation with Microsoft that included rendering VR in their Azure cloud and streaming to a Quest, though this was mostly about an API allowing to render computationally expensive parts of an app, not streaming full games/apps, and may have suffered the same fate of the Quest Pro it was announced for/with. It still would have broken their EULA, so there was hope back then that Meta would allow VR streaming soon.

          • Totius

            Hi Christian,

            Thank you so much for your time and comprehensive answer, I really appreciate it! I find myself in agreement with much of what you’re saying. For instance, I also have YouTube Premium, and I would never go back; it has been a game-changer for me. I had never heard about PlutoSphere or ShadowPC, so thank you for bringing them to my attention. I took a quick glance at Pluto, and it seems to accomplish half of what I’m looking for, allowing you to play PC VR games. However, I am primarily interested in VR mods of AAA PC games, and for that, ShadowPC might actually be helpful. Have you had the chance to try any of these services?

            I plan to wait until Black Friday before deciding to invest in a new laptop with a 4080 (a desktop is not an option as I travel a lot). Please note that I already have a decent rig, and I would be upgrading almost exclusively to play VR mods with high detail at a reasonable frame rate. I can’t express enough how much I enjoyed GTA5 and Mafia, but unfortunately, my current setup is not sufficient for newer games.

            So, the situation is that on one hand, it seems like a no-brainer to update to a new PC, but on the other hand, I have a strong belief in cloud gaming. I tried Xbox Premium when I bought my tablet, and it was great, but it didn’t support 4K and I noticed quite a bit of lag in some games. Now, I have premium GeForce Now, and the premium is really necessary for 4K. Plus, I can barely notice any lag! I see great potential in the merging of two technologies, VR and cloud gaming!

            Do you have any advice? Also, if there is a way I can contact you privately, so as not to annoy others who are not interested in this conversation, please let me know.

            Thank you once again for your insight!

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            TL;DR: Try it.

            I’m using my real name, so it’s not difficult to find and contact me (with a high probability of a very late or no answer), but I prefer to keep these discussions public, and assume that VR cloud streaming is of interest to others too. I already annoy a lot of people with regular novel sized comments (like this one), so hopefully they’ll just skip what they don’t care about.

            I’ve neither tried PlutoSphere nor ShadowPC, as I am usually very close to a rather powerful PC and no longer have to travel all the time due to my job. I considered ShadowPC for some time, as it provides more flexibility, but in the end decided that the extra hassle wasn’t worth it. ShadowPC comes in two tiers with ~GTX 1080 performance for USD 30 or ~RTX 4070 performance for USD 50, and you will most likely need to also get a package to increase storage to at least 512GB, so you’d end up with about USD 432/672 per year, which is a lot for occasional use.

            I only know one person that has been using a ShadowPC for years. He owns a Mac Mini, connected to a giant screen and a Logitech Wheel, and uses ShadowPC to play a lot of F1 202X and stream it on twitch. I was impressed that this works at all, as AFAIK there are no MacOS driver for the Logitech racing wheel, but the ShadowPC client allows USB forwarding, so the wheel gets virtually attached to the PC in the cloud, using the Windows drivers installed there. That setup has been working flawlessly for years, and for him this was a way cheaper and cleaner solution than getting a gaming PC, well worth the subscription price. Others have reported successfully using ShadowPC with VR for years, but I’d suggest to check the ShadowPC subreddit or other specific forum for details, tips and actual experience on this edge case.

            What solution to pick depends on a lot of factors, the most important being how much you are willing to pay, where you will use it and how much you care about convenience. I like GeforceNow, but for me there are occasional network stutters that would be very irritating in VR. I use Windows only if I have to and do most of my tasks on MacOS, Linux and WSL. Nowadays I only use notebooks without Windows and lighter than 1.5kg/3lbs, with batteries lasting for many hours, so I’d upgrade my stationary mini tower and either stick to Quest apps on the road or go for the DIY option described below. So my preferences would make me pick a solution that wouldn’t work at all for you.

            A gaming laptop with an RTX 4080 puts you in the USD 2000+ class, and if all you need that upgrade for is VR mods on the road, as your current laptop can already handle everything else, I assume that price is not the main issue. USD 2000 could get you a ShadowPC with similar performance for three years. As you already seem to travel with a gaming laptop, you wouldn’t gain all that much from the ShadowPC, as you’d still haul around a rather heavy machine, and would have to rely on the network connection being fast and stable wherever you travel. Not a problem if you just regularly have to be at another office/flat in another town, but it could be quite an issue if your travel involves a lot of hotels.

            VR cloud streaming services will be most useful for people with cheap, mobile headsets (traveling with just the HMD and their phone), as they don’t need to invest a lot for a VR capable PC or move around with a heavy device. For someone with a desktop VR PC, it can add mobility. You are sort of in the group with the worst cost/benefit ratio, already carrying gaming laptops, so all you’d gain is some safety from hardware failures with automatic hardware upgrades, probably a bit of convenience for not having to care about power and the knowledge that you are using bleeding edge tech for quite a hefty price. Whether that is worth it you have do decide for yourself.

            I also believe that VR cloud streaming is the future, but in my future you only need a small and light headset like the HTC Flow that folds into your pocket and still get to use the full power of a high end gaming PC for hours pretty much anywhere. And we are not quite there yet. Therefore I myself will continue to rely on a powerful desktop machine for the foreseeable future, and since I already have one, this only requires a limited investment for occasional component updates. If I’d regularly need access to such a machine on the road, I would most likely not use ShadowPC, but configure my systems to allow me to start and control my existing PC remotely, and then use VirtualDesktop’s features to connect my Quest to my remote PC from anywhere with decent network speeds. This would require some router configuration, allowing remote login to a Raspberry Pi and enabling it to start the PC at basically zero cost and only a one time configuration, compared to having to also having to rent and manage the ShadowPC and having to somehow synchronize configurations.

            My advice is not to buy a new laptop, even if what I wrote above sounds like it. My advice is to try ShadowPC for a month, see how well it works for you and then decide. You still have two months till Black Friday. ShadowPC has no longterm contracts, you can cancel it after a month, with the only extra cost another USD 10 setup fee if you want to us it again later. I guess that the laptop upgrade would cause the least problems and provide the best value, esp. if you then sell your current one. But as I keep paying for my Geforce Now subscription, even though I don’t need it, just for the convenience, I recognize that the “you never have to care about the hardware” of ShadowPC could be just what you are looking for. There is no way to decide what’s “best” without first knowing/trying if/how well it works for you or at all.

          • Totius

            Thank you Christian, that was a lot of interesting information. I believe I am going to follow your algorithm and.. I believe that I will buy a new laptop.

            Here comes another crucial question.. going for the 4070 or the 4080? (4090, at least the laptop version, seems too much expensive for the cost). The 4070 is considerably less powerful. The test I have seen on internet suggest that the 4080, even if almost 500 euro more expensive, has better FPS/euro ratio. On the other hand 1) 4080 is exactly when the gaming laptop starts to look like a gaming laptop, that is taller in the back and with a pretty enormous power brick; 2) as we have discussed before we have just entered this year into the era of cloud gaming with no lag; 3) AI is going much faster than hardware, with DLSS and frame generation and very likely with some new surprise. I guess that 4070 will receive some good software updates making most of the laptops carrying them decent also in the next three years (and by that time I believe cloud gaming will be mainstream).
            Any suggestion here?

            Finally, I have just ordered a Quest 3, with 512Gb, but after the price drop and the insane video of Zuckerberg and Fridman, I am doubting myself (again). Would have quest pro been a better choice?

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            I am sort of the wrong person to answer these questions, so my response will be a mix of “I don’t know” and “it depends”.

            I’m currently team AMD due to better driver support for non Windows operating systems, and basically picked the card to be okay-ish in VR, as I have never been someone hunting for ultra settings or high frame rates. I still think that Google Cardboard was a great idea, so I am very easy to please. And while I am aware that Nvidia is by far the better choice for VR, I pretty much only read the GPU review sections talking about CUDA performance and power requirements, I don’t even bother looking at gaming benchmarks. Without looking it up, I couldn’t tell how big the performance gap between the mobile and desktop RX 40×0 variants is, so commenting on whether the improved performance of the 4080 is worth the extra money and weight would be just uneducated guessing. It doesn’t even make sense to add the obligatory “it depends” here, as even if you would clarify your specific needs and use cases, I still wouldn’t know which of the GPUs would best serve them. There are others way more qualified to answer this with actual performance benchmarks and comparisons in VR games.

            The Quest 3 question is sort of easier, though this is very much an “it depends” with a strong tendency towards one option. I’d say that for pretty much anybody, the Quest 3 will be the better deal, due to lower price, better specs and performance, and much longer support.I’d only recommend the Quest Pro for developers that want to work with eye tracking, some people using it with PCVR and maybe also benefiting from eye and face tracking, aka PCVR VRChat users, or someone who find the Quest 2 and all its aftermarket headstraps unbearable, but really enjoys the Quest Pro halo strap removing most of the pressure on the face, and even allowing to use the HMD without the facepad.

            Meta has will drop the Quest Pro production once the components they already have will run out, and it seems to have sold in minuscule number, less than 100K. So it’s very unlikely that it will see a lot of support or new features beyond those that the Quest 2 will also get, and very few developers will bother to support the extra features of the Pro. Buying it only makes sense if you already know that it has feature that you really need, that works for you in its current form, and that will not be available on the Quest 3. And even then I’d probably suggest to try to hack together a similar solution based on Quest 3, like a DIY floating HMD adapter for one of the available 3rd party headstraps, and adding the open source EyeTrackVR based on very cheap (< USD 20) ESP32-CAM modules, which will very likely get a lot more support than eye tracking on Quest Pro. Leaving mostly the PCVR streamers not caring about Quest apps, so also not really benefiting from more performance, and since you are one of them, you have to decide if the extra comfort and tracking options are worth it to you.

            I'd suggest ignoring the Fridman interview. While their photorealistic Pixel Codec Avatars are very impressive, this is still very much a research project that won't come to user in a usable form anytime soon. Meta's hardware and research is always impressive, but the user experience is something else. Zuckerberg himself said that they still need to find a way to make the avatar generation a lot easier, as both Zuckerberg and Fridman had to run through an elaborate scanning process spanning several hours in a lab. Compare that to Apple, where you create a not quite as realistic, but leagues better than cartoony Horizon avatar by simply taking off the AVP and move it around your head with its cameras pointing in your way. And if you have recent high end iPhone, you'll probably be able to use that instead, something Zuckerberg said they hope to be able in the future. Basing your buying decision on a WOW demonstrating that is very unrelated to what you yourself want to do with the headset, and most likely will not be available to you for years, is not a good idea. Unless what you really want to do with the headset is using Horizon Worlds and Workroom and are just waiting for them to start looking better.

            And again, you can get eye tracking for Quest 2 and soon Quest 3 (and even Quest 1) that works in e.g. VRChat for about USD 25 plus some 3D printing and assembly. For the PCVR you can also add a USD 129 HTC Vive Facial Tracker to match the full extra set of Quest Pro sensors, while still getting the benefits of the very use depth sensor of the Quest 3. So my recommendation would most likely be to stick with your Quest 3 preorder, but since I'm just guessing what your preferences are, it will again end in "you'll have to decide for yourself based on your needs and priorities". Only here just giving both a try first would be much more expensive than one months of ShadowPC.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      But you can already play steamvr games through streaming in the Q2 and Q3, so what are you talking about?

      • Totius

        I am talking to stream from the cloud, this is what is about this Xbox thing, not from my pc.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          But meta is working on it, I remember reading about a beta for vr streaming. But as others already said, you can do it already with certain pc-cloud services.

    • Arno van Wingerde

      Absolutely, it is like buying a state of the art OLED tv and getting a streaming service for old B/W movies, or a beautiful game monitor where you can use Meta’s games, but of course in 2D… Christian; I think you are right in that it cuts into Meta”s revenue, but this offer is utterly weird and even somewhat insulting. I hear that some people are using the Quest2 to watch TV, I used it for Avatar, but my OLED TV runs rings around the Quest 2/3/(4?/5?) for watching TV….

  • Totius

    Yeah, that’s insane

  • Octogod

    The best review I’ve read. Thank you.

    Mixed reality on Quest 3 still feels like it’s in the demo stage. There’s only so many times you can see ‘thing popping out of a portal on the wall’ and be impressed.[…] To that end it feels like a bit of a distraction for the platform’s developers who are collectively still getting a handle on exactly what works well in VR. Throwing mixed reality into the mix (pun intended) threatens to slow that progress as Meta encourages developers to focus on this newly improved (but mostly unproven) capability of the headset, making them rethink how their immersive apps should work from the ground up.

    Well said.

    AR has many unique advantages, but it’s major disadvantage (right now) is that we’re limited to indoor settings.

    If you buy a VR or console game you expect many unique levels to engage with. But AR, by its definition, will allow for one map: your home. So the experience must live within our space, which will lead to more zoomed out and isometric content.

    It’s telling that while AR has been in beta for more than a year, while the Pro launched last year, that there isn’t a single killer app. Most apps that use AR are actually some of the lowest rated in the store.

    I’m hopeful, but I think AR is included simply to be a viable low cost alternate to the Apple Reality Pro ecosystem. If so, we’re bound to not see these apps for quite some time.

  • Thanks for the good review, Ben! I totally agree with you, Meta failed completely to explain what mixed reality is useful for… I don’t think people will be interested in it

    • ViRGiN

      It’s as interesting as AR is.
      It basically doesn’t exist yet.
      It kinda started with Quest 2 in form of bw grainy devkit.
      Now with actual product in developers hands, seeing themselves that this can be a real feature, it will open the doors for more productions.
      They are proving this can be done, can be done well, and at fraction of the price.
      Even AVP missed anything significant, outside of seemingly integrated main OS.
      There is no “true” content, but now it can finally be made.
      Moving forward, this will be a default feature for (Meta) standalone headsets.

      I think it’s fair enough to consider it no different than Quest 1 release, which was an evidence that 6DOF, wireless, standalone VR is possible.

    • Are you gonna get one?

    • MeowMix

      We need to remember that Oculus/Facebook/Meta have a history of letting devs ‘figure it out’. Remember the early Rift days ? When Oculus had ‘recommended developer guidelines’ (free locomotion being a big no-no) and the likes such as Jason Rubin later admitted they were wrong because they didn’t know what would work for a new medium. I see them doing the same with MR; they’re not pushing a specific path for MR, but are willing to fund developers who have ideas.

      Thus, MR is still an unknown medium. In the meantime as Ben pointed out, the greatly improved Passthrough is very welcomed. To those new to VR, the HQ Passthrough is a needed feature, it’ll seem like a obvious feature. Giving my headset to non-techie ppl in my family, they’re actually SURPRISED there isn’t already a HQ Passthrough feature. Trying to explain how to use a VR headset while they’re in it, but they can’t see or acknowledge you ? forget about it

      Us VR enthusiasts often dismiss the complaints from normies of VR being too isolating; well it is. The HQ Pasthrough helps fix that issue. Hopefully the Quest3 userbase grows large enough that MR content ALSO becomes a thing. I’m personally more interested in the general computing potential of MR, and the ability to do stuff in real-life while playing casual MR games like Demeo (watch TV, eat/drink, talk to ppl in the same room).

  • Cless

    Yeah… that Walking Dead video comparison is incredibly disingenuous (albeit true to what the comparison will be for users), between Q2 vs Q3 hardware wise.

    As a gamedev I am seeing easily through it quite a bit.
    The game is just optimized for Q3 and leaving Q2 as an afterthought.

    For example, Q3 is using dynamic shadows, which makes the game look considerably better and that is thanks to the extra power the Q3 has, yes.

    The thing is, for the Q2 they are just turning them off and that’s it, which makes it look ASS. A Q2 optimized game though, would have baked those lights and would look WAY closer to the Q3 one, just slightly blurrier and without the dynamic shadows.

    Plus, they put that weird desaturating fog that makes things look incredibly washed out.

    The Q3 definitely needed more power… because just a x2 isn’t even close to cutting it.

  • silvaring

    Thanks, I didn’t realize.

  • Shem

    Still waiting for my virtual office with a high resolution passthrough camera pointing at my keyboard while everything else is virtual (e.g. multiple screens).

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      Meta actually implemented a very nifty trick to make this work even on the Quest 2 without high resolution cameras.

      The Quest 2 can recognize and track a couple of Apple and Logitech keyboards and pass their images into VR. Due to the very low resolution of the tracking cameras, the letters on the keys are pretty much an unreadable, blurry mess. But they actually know the label on each key and the exact position, so they overlay a rendered image of the proper letter on a separate layer intended for text, UI etc. that will not be blurred by any post processing and therefore display the letters as sharp as the display technically allows.

      They are called AR keyboard labels, hover slightly above the actual keys, and were first introduced with Horizon Workrooms 1.1 in late 2021, so what you have been waiting for has basically been available for two years. And if the keyboard is all you are interested in, you don’t even need passthrough as all, as the Quest will gladly render an exact replica of a tracked keyboard in VR at the correct location.

      The real problem is that the display resolution is still way too low for it to emulate even a 1080p monitor at arms length distance, so your virtual multiscreen office would be pretty much restricted to a couple of monitors at 640*480 VGA resolution, which may limit its usefulness. That resolution is of course plenty if you intend to use this for running multiple instances of Emacs, which by definition can do anything any reasonable human would ever want to do with a computer, and has been happy to do that on any 80*25 character display for almost half a century.

  • Nevets

    This is true…

  • Lars Skinhøj

    Thanks for a great article as always Ben. Love your “Matrix” reference:) – And it is indeed exiting times!! – in VR :) Do you know if it will be possible on Q3 to charge the HMD with USB-c link-cable while using PC-VR? – I hear you can’t do that w. Q2? – Also the trouble w connecting audio and batterypack/strap at the same time?…

    • Ben Lang

      Eyyyy somebody noticed lol.

      It’s possible to charge Q2 with USB-C link cable, but it depends how much power your USB-C port can supply, and how much power the Quest 2 is draining. I’m checking with sources to see if Quest 3 can charge any faster than Q2.

      • Christian Schildwaechter

        I naively assumed that reading the article would trigger visuals of gooey movie SFX for everyone, but now thinking about the Quest sales always peaking during the holiday season, at least the median age of Quest owners may put their date of birth after the release of the movie, so they may have seen it less than ten times or not at all.

        But times and rules have changed. With the new color choices for Quest 3, you can now take the blue pill and stay in Wonderland, or take the red pill and also stay in Wonderland.

  • Totius

    I don’t get the point. You still have to spend an insane amount of money for a very powerful PC, right?

  • david vincent

    Not even a word about the lack of Display Port, Ben ?
    …the Quest 3 could have been a great PCVR headset, another wasted opportunity…

  • Mike

    I decided to get away from meta for good. i have a rtx 4080 so I felt that the hp reverb g2 v2 was a better headset for me for the money. the controller tracking is decent. not super great but not really bad either and I can always upgrade to index controllers down the road. meta offers me nothing as a pcvr user I can’t already get cheaper and better.

    • shadow9d9

      Pancake lens clarity is light years beyond the reverb. And wireless pcvr is the future.

      • Mike

        the main issue with pancake lenses is that they obscure a lot of the light passing through them. this is why Sony didn’t put them in the psvr2. Sony wanted to provide an hdr headset but that’s not currently possible with pancake lenses. pancake lenses also have their own issues, the bigscreen beyond has pancake lenses and people are complaining that it has too much glare and also that it’s too dimpanckake lenses are not the magic bullet you may think they are. i think we need to stick to aspheric lenses personally.

  • shadow9d9

    It is thriving. 20 million quests broke all previous records by a factor of 4.

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      Only about 40% of the Quest sold were still in use when compared to the monthly active user numbers about a year ago. And if all you look at is how many were distributed, Google Cardboard still easily beats it with more than 50mn of those estimated to have been mostly given out for free, though the retention rate for those is more like 0.40%, and most likely actually significantly lower.

      I’m not denying though that the Quest 2 is the most successful VR HMD so far by a large margin, only that sales numbers without naming how many are actually in use would be a valid argument for VR being not only alive, but also thriving. By that measure Cardboard would be more successful than PS5, and Cardboard is clearly dead with some zombie remains.

  • ahhh, yet another account to block…

  • kakek

    WEALTHY nerd.

  • Dave

    Yeah I get this CaryMGVR. As I’m jumping back into mainstream VR, I’m hoping there’s a bit more diversity in the store. I think it will be ok but at least with a 13900K and RTX 4090, PCVR should also be amazing in this headset.

    • Arno van Wingerde

      It will be better than Quest2. From the first previews it seems that the washed out colors will stay with us, quite a bit behinde PSVR2, even though that has plenty of other issues.

  • John Crafton

    Any clue how this will measure up, graphically, to the current PSVR2 implementations of games belonging to both systems? For example, Red Matter 2 on PSVR2 uses foveated rendering to aid in the presentation, and looks much better than on Quest 2. TWD:S&S also features a generational leap. From the videos, it’s difficult to tell if the Quest 3 will match.

    I expect we’ll have to wait for actual comparisons, but what is your overall sense of things?

    • Arno van Wingerde

      Well the demo of Red Matter 2 looked certainly good, also hope for upgraded Star Wars games and in death;unchained.

      • John Crafton

        I’m mostly concerned with games available on both systems, most of which are obviously going to be games developed for Quest and ported to PSVR2 as the Quest is the primary market for such games.

        I’d love to see how those upgrades hold up. RM2 is specifically suited for such VR optimizations, and the developer is quite talented at making that happen. Many of the other games don’t seem to be in the same position.

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      The PS5 has about 12x the rendering performance of the Quest 2, so it will most likely still have around 6x the rendering power as the Quest 3 at a similar resolution, and it can use ETFR to improve performance even more. Red Matter 2 looks great mostly because the game design is very clever in avoiding all the things the Quest is bad at, and uses a lot of baked lights to get a very similar look to a much more performant console game doing the same lighting in real time. So it is not a very good game to compare look and performance, it basically doesn’t utilize the available power on PSVR 2.

      The PSVR2 will shine in complex, dynamically rendered games, which are simply impossible to realize on a mobile SoC at this time. It’s real unique selling point will be that, thanks to VR specific performance improvements, regular AAA console releases can now add a VR mode without having to drastically reduce the visual quality or requiring to do a lot of the expensive optimizations usually needed for the higher resolution, frame rates and stereoscopic display in VR.

      It is unlikely that the Quest 3 will see a lot of AAA releases due to the VR market in general being too small, and the lower price Quest 2 making up most of the actively used headsets, while there is a decent chance that PSVR2 will get a larger number of hybrid games, thanks to Sony making those feasible with a lot of optimizations reducing the developers work. So not only will it have better graphics, it will actually have a lot more games that even make use of better graphics.

      • John Crafton

        On your last point, I have doubts. The PSVR2 has few hybrid games and fewer AAA games, with exactly two first-party games. There has only been one more AAA hybrid game announced (Resident Evil 4) and no first-party games announced after the Ghostbusters game.

        The optimizations are not being used by the majority of developers for the PSVR2 space. It’s mostly a dumping ground of Quest 2 and original PSVR ports with little in the way of optimizations. Some seem to be using post-release funds to eventually optimize their games as a part of their release strategy, which is concerning.

        Because of the astounding lack of upgrades or optimization for most PSVR2 ports of Quest 2 titles, I was hoping to see how the Quest 3 optimizations were appearing in comparison.

        I’m less interested in a theoretical, on-paper list of differences and more interested in the final difference between the actual games seen on both devices. When a game appears on Quest 3 (optimized) and PSVR2 at the same time, how do they compare?

        • Christian Schildwaechter

          For a number of reasons, it is way too early to tell, as in years too early.

          Development on RE8 was started in August 2016, about five years before launch, and that is now a normal development time for AAA titles. This means that Konami must have been in the loop for PSVR2 for years, not that astonishing considering that RE7 also included VR support on release, just three months after the launch of PSVR1.

          The first time we heard about Sony pushing for hybrid design was in leaks from a Sony developer summit in August 2021. So outside of a limited number of partners like Konami, it was only two years ago that many developers became aware of what Sony would do to allow them to add VR modes to their regular game projects, with only a moderate extra development effort.

          That last part is key to justify even bothering about the few percents of the user base also interested in VR. Developers will have to make the decision for or against a hybrid approach early on, as ensuring that movement, mechanics, environments etc. are functional and compelling in both the flat and VR version requires to adapt the game design. But with multiyear project times, it will take several years to see the results. Many projects will have already been too far in development to adapt in 2021, so it could take until 2025 or 2026 to really see how many developers Sony convinced to go hybrid.

          Limiting the PSVR2 hardware to a resolution similar to that of much weaker mobile HMDs, and relying heavily on reprojection for high framerates despite the extra performance through ETFR seemed odd at first, but this is what allows to render current gen 4K AAA titles in VR. By releasing GT7, RE8 and the RE4 remake with extremely positive reactions from VR users, Sony has now demonstrated that the hybrid approach and their tools actually work and can offer a very rich experience. This proof of concept should convince more developers, many of which might have still been reluctant after the 2021 summit due to previous experiences with VR. But most projects started right now will only come to market after 2026.

          Not sure how many PSVR2 owners bough RE8, but “all of them” is probably a good approximation. VR has now become an extra selling point that developers can use to differentiate their games, ideally leading to more sales. But hybrid design is a long term strategy, as in “multi console generations strategic shift”, and I think a very good one. The problem is that this makes the current and near future PSVR2 catalogue look rather disappointing, with very few AAA titles, only HCotM as a VR exclusive, and lots of PCVR and Quest ports, while many expected a “typical” console launch with a larger number of high profile games available shortly after.

          Do I know how many hybrid AAA titles are in development? No. I guess a few, but still only a small fraction of all projects that will grow steadily over the next few years. I cannot provide any evidence that what I described will happen, and even if I am right, the actual games needed to see the final differences between PSVR 2 and Quest 3 will still not release anytime soon.

          It just makes a lot of sense and aligns very well with Sony’s hardware and software choices in their HMD design, and all their statements about hybrid game design. Previous attempts to motivate developers to create games AAA exclusively for VR have pretty much failed due to small user numbers. And Valve’s hopes that providing HL:A as an example for how much more immersive well designed VR games can be , didn’t trigger a new wave of investments either, for the same financial reasons. So I am willing to give PSVR2 several years before declaring it a failure, or Meta the winner, as Sony’s hybrid approach now looks like pretty much the only feasible way to finally get more AAA VR development, other than Meta just shoving millions towards established developers for a few showcase projects.

  • MeowMix

    Hey Ben !
    Great writeup and initial impressions; looking forward to your full review down the road.

    I do have a question regarding the Elite Battery Strap accessory. When used in conjunction with the official charging dock, will the dock also charge the official battery strap ?

    • Ben Lang

      Good question; not 100% sure about this yet but I’ll do my best to find out.

  • Which guy: one day you’re Eric Clapton, the next you’re a dope-addled zero.
    Pastor Wilson says NO sex-sex until marriage.
    And even THEN, only to grow a family.

  • Cless

    Man, pronunciation is super hard! And people here in Japan have an even harder time usually.

    At least I don’t curse like a pirate anymore. It was “fucking this” “fucking that” 24/7 not that long ago, TV shows taught me terrible English lol

  • Richard R Garabedian

    the quest 2 never lived up to its potential. we got a price bump with no almost no games that warranted the upgrade…and now they are going to double down?? why? there is no game market for this kind of upgrade…maybe if they had 2 or 3 versions of different prices it could work. But I fear this 1 move will destroy the vr gaming community

  • Christian Schildwaechter

    My CUDA interest is actually about non-gaming applications. While DLSS 3 with AI support (and now FSR 3 without) are very impressive and could solve a lot of performance issues in VR, support in games is still so limited that relying on it doesn’t seem like an option. And frame generation will probably need a couple more rounds of optimization and polishing to become consistently comfortable to use in VR. This may again be different for you, with the main reason for upgrading being the ability to run VR mods, which will mostly be available for newer games that have much a higher chance of DLSS support than the average PCVR title has.

    The lack of potential communication partners with the needed hardware is again something where Meta just draws a blank, while Apple was again very nifty, and instead of coming up with a separate avatar communication system for AVP, made it compatible with their existing Facetime and iMessage services with 2bn monthly active users. AVP users will just appear as their near-realistic avatars on phone screens, while they themselves can arrange the floating head images of others in the room for their own virtual conference room experience. Since a lot of iPhones have depth sensors on the front, their users can already communicate as Memoji avatars with proper face and eye tracking. And according to rumors, Apple will extend the iPhone iMessage client with a lot of AR features, including the option to create a near-photorealistic avatar.

    So AVP users may soon end up in similar setups like the Fridman interview, with not-quite-so-life-like avatars with proper eye and mouth movement that are actually just people looking at their iPhone somewhere. In hindsight that is obviously a pretty brilliant strategy to both populate their “social VR”, and at the same time sell their AVP as sort of a luxury upgrade for heavy iMessage and Facetime users, again raising the question why the largest social network in the world that even forced Quest 2 users to use their Facebook accounts for VR couldn’t leverage their network of billions of people. Instead they ended up with a cartoony social VR space (now also available on mobile phones) that has less users than the decades old Second Life, and are only showing the amazingly advanced tech they actually developed in occasional videos or interviews.

    • Totius

      Yeah.. but as you said old games are easier to push than newer and the new ones will always get some help from deep learning and AI in general.
      About realistic avatars, you have said everything, but the tech demo with Fridman was a beautiful preview of what we will see in the next few years. Also, social competition with Apple will only make things even more exciting

  • Lucidfeuer

    You failed to mention the FOV° and I never share or circulate anything that fails to mention this crucial aspect. But I’ll be glad to get one next year, I know I won’t be using it and we’ll give it away because the lack of weight reduction despite the reduced size, the absolutely horrendous headstrap and more importantly the lack of meaningful upgrade even with MR (doubt it’s great) means it’ll take the dust.

    Now we need a comparison with the Pico 4 which released before and is on par with the specs. It will sell less than the Quest 2 though more than the Quest 1 because the whole market is shrinking for many reasons and Meta is partly responsible, but we’ll see how it fares alongside the Pico 4.

    • Lucidfeuer

      In fact if anybody has a comparison sheet between the Pico 4 and Quest 3…

    • ViRGiN

      We get it, you wait for Valve Dickhard.

      • Lucidfeuer

        Unlike you, I don’t shill for any companies, neither should you.

        • ViRGiN

          Your whole profile is nothing but shitting at Meta. It’s clear you’re extremely disappointed that valve doesn’t care about your only hobby you ever had – vr.

          • Lucidfeuer

            ‘Kay kid

          • ViRGiN

            Mmmm wassup doc?

  • CrusaderCaracal



    they need to add windows 11 start up for quest 3 since it has snapdragon x2 it can run windows 11 then launch pc vr games with just headset and not pluging in at all for pc vr experience with no limitations