Meta Quest 3 Revealed: Coming This Fall Starting at $499

Promising Thin & Light Standalone Mixed Reality

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Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the company’s next XR headset today, Quest 3. The mixed reality headset is launching this fall for the starting price of $499.

Only a few hours before the big Quest Gaming Showcase scheduled for later today, Zuckerberg showed the first look at Meta Quest 3, a standalone headset that he calls “[t]he first mainstream headset with high-res color mixed reality.”

The headset is said to be 40% thinner and “more comfortable,” the Meta chief wrote today in a Facebook post.

Image courtesy Meta

Note: the company’s “40% thinner” figure is when the foam facial interface is removed.

“Better displays and resolution. Next gen Qualcomm chipset with 2x the graphics performance. Our most powerful headset yet.”

Notably, Meta is saying Quest 3 is coming with what the “highest resolution display yet” along with the inclusion of pancake optics, the latter of which is used to slim down any headset’s profile by a considerable amount over traditional Fresnel lenses, like those seen in Quest 2.

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Quest 3 packs in dual 4MP RGB color cameras, a depth sensor for a more accurate representation of your play space, and “10x more pixels in Passthrough compared to Quest 2,” Meta says.

Another big change from Quest 2 (or Quest Pro for that matter) is the newly named ‘Touch Plus’ controllers, which Meta says were completely redesigned with a more streamlined and ergonomic form factor.

Image courtesy Meta

“Thanks to our advances in tracking technology, we’ve dropped the outer tracking rings so the controllers feel like a more natural extension of your hands and take up less space. We also included TruTouch haptics that first debuted in Touch Pro to help you feel the action like never before. You can even upgrade to our fully self-tracked Meta Quest Touch Pro Controllers for a premium experience,” the company says in a blog post.

Quest 3 is slated to arrive at some point this fall, starting at $499 for a 128GB variant of the headset; the company says a variant with an additional storage option is coming too. Notably, like the company’s most recent enthusiast-grade headset, Quest Pro, Quest 3 will be compatible with the entire Quest 2 library of games.

It appears a more extensive reveal is scheduled for the company’s Connect developer conference, slated to take place on September 27th. In the meantime, you can signup here for email updates.

Check out the reveal trailer below:

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Till Eulenspiegel

    With the faster processor, Quest 3 just made the Quest Pro obsolete in less than a year. Who is planning the road map in this company?

    Q3 will only sell if people are into AR – which is lacking in Q2. I believe they will be pushing AR hard this year.

    • Cody Jacques

      “Who is planning the road map in this company”

      Who indeed.
      Honestly, I think this companies upper management is staffed by people who have never been gamers or even use VR. They’re being lead by a bunch of people who don’t understand their own product, they’re unfocused and can’t identify who their targeted audience should be.

      • Till Eulenspiegel

        They are indecisive. The decisions seem to be made by too many people in the management. It’s the same in big corporations or governments where there are too many decision makers.

      • Only trolls hide comments

        How can you say they don’t understand the market they completely dominate?

    • grrr

      Q3 will sell very well just like q2 has been. Pro wasnt released as a replacement for q2. Read up on it.

  • xyzs

    40 percent slimmer? I struggle to see these 40 percents. Lenses to front shell, it’s more like 15 percent slimmer…
    The white frame redesign is thiner but it only to put the extra thickness on the facepad.

    I don’t like when marketing obviously scam consumers with twisted figures.

    Anyway, looks like a solid update, even if it’s far far far away from what was promised years ago for the 2023 era.

    • Cody Jacques

      You seem to have missed the note below the image:
      “Note: the company’s “40% thinner” figure is when the foam facial interface is removed.”

      I don’t see the use of it being “thinner” if the center of mass still sits the far away from your face.

  • Daniel Dobson

    With this at $500 and the Quest 2 at $300, I can see the VR market growing larger.

    I like the stereoscopic cameras a lot, and depth sensor, for the type of development I want to do. I think realistically all headsets will offer some form of passthrough in the future, but not necessarily at this high a quality level.

    • I can see Quest 2 being lowered to $199 ….

      • Daniel Dobson

        I would like that, but I suspect that a rumoured ‘Quest 3 Lite’ will emerge next year (without controllers) to replace the Quest 2 at a sub $500 price point.

        As well as removing the controllers, there may be scope to remove the ‘pancake lenses, hard drive size, depth sensor, color cameras, while maintaining broad compatibility with Quest 3.

  • Cl

    I bet the new controllers don’t track as well. If they did, what’s the point of the self tracked ones?

    So if you get this plus the pro controllers, it comes out to $800. Just 200 less than the pro.

    So it kind of feels like a side grade to pro with compromises… lose eye and face tracking, possibly comfort. Gain faster chip and passthrough. For 200 less than pro. Hmm

    I feel like they could have done better. Should have waited on the pro release and put the new chip and passthrough in it for $1000.

    Also, why did they put the battery in the front?

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      I’d assume very few users will buy the Pro controllers that would add 60% on top of the price of a USD 499 Quest 3. Not even if the Touch Plus controllers turn out to provide worse tracking than the Quest 2 controllers in some areas due to the Quest 3 no longer having four tracking cameras in the corners of the HMD and possibly no longer being able to use IR based tracking. I’d even doubt that the majority of new users will go for the Quest 3, when it will be 67% more expensive for mostly more speed and color passthrough compared to the Quest 2 still sold in parallel.

      And obviously the USD 999 price for the Quest Pro was never what Meta intended, the market reaction forced them to go there to prevent a total disaster, and I’m not sure it even helped a lot. So I’d say the Quest 3 is less of a side grade to the Quest Pro they pretty much stopped talking about, and more what people expected the Pro to be: an enthusiast device at a higher, but not ridiculous price point that offers more power and some useful extra features compared to the Quest 2 base model, but otherwise provides mostly the same experience with somewhat higher quality settings and doesn’t actually replace the standard model.

      More like a mid-generation console Pro upgrade, with the base model getting a price reduction, keeping it the version selling most units by far, and also remaining the performance target for developers for the whole generation. So the real successor to the Quest 2 would be a Quest 4 that could bring new features like true AR support with actually useful eye tracking that allows for software that simply wouldn’t work on a Quest 1/2/3.

      • Cody Jacques

        The Quest Pro in my opinion was a flop. I agree, they should have delayed the Pro to include the faster chipset, improved passthrough, and most importantly an ultra high resolution so it could be marketed as a desktop multi-monitor replacement. As far as I can tell the Quest Pro doesn’t target any market particularly well.

        I think the Quest 3 should have eye tracking, Primally for foveated rendering. It’s likely it will be offered as an add-on that replaces the massive facial foam interface. We’ll have to wait and see how the controllers turn out.

        • philingreat

          I disagree with the eye tracking. On a mobile headset, you barely can benefit performance wise and the cost it ads is definitely not worth it.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            Eye tracking has many uses besides performance gains through ETFR, and only the motion estimation required for ETFR comes with a hefty performance penalty that makes it mostly useless on current mobile headsets. The problem here is that you don’t need to know where the user currently looks, but where s/he will look at in the frame you are rendering next, as otherwise they may may look at a rather blurry image. Eye movement is extremely fast and somewhat erratic due to the nifty tricks our brain uses for 3D vision, making prediction very difficult/expensive.

            But if all you need to know is what the user is currently looking at to select/highlight an item, to guide them with visual clues or to know where they actually wanted to throw that ball and tweak the flight curve accordingly, the whole process is reduced to recognizing the current position of both pupils within a few frames, which is trivial compared to all the other real time tracking even a Quest 1 can do.

            Integrating eye tracking would allow for new, richer interactions in VR, so it might be worth it even without ETFR performance gains. Adding it should cost Meta (significantly) less than USD 10 in hardware and USD 20 in licenses (details in my answer to Andrew above), but this would still be up to 6% of the retail price of the Quest 3 or 10% of the Quest 2, plus some added weight and complexity. So combined with most of the install base not being able to use it and everybody mostly asking for ETFR to improve performance, they apparently decided against it. Whether this was the right decision depends on your point of view, there are good arguments both for and against integration into the Quest 3, but “definitely not worth it” isn’t true.

  • Leisure Suit Barry

    Higher resolution and better lenses than PSVR2 while also cheaper despite having all the processing, storage and audio on board. Just shows how bad Sony dropped the ball with PSVR2

    • Ben Hobson

      PSVR2 + PS5 can render scenes that a mobile chip can’t process. Not a big deal if you already own a high end PC, but a good value if you don’t. Sony just needs to drop some first party VR hits, which will take a while.

      • Leisure Suit Barry

        The PS5 is doing the processing, there is no reason for the PSVR2 to be the price it is apart from greed

        • Andrew Jakobs

          Uhm, stuff like eyetracking cost a lot. The PSVR2 isn’t sold with much, if any, profit.

          • Leisure Suit Barry

            Eye tracking costs nowhere near as much as a SOC, hard drive, battery and built in audio

          • Andrew Jakobs

            At the moment the cost for the eyetracking is still about $100.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            Source? The only reasoning for high cost for eye tracking hardware I have seen so far is that previously available eye tracking modules were that expensive. Which completely ignores the low unit numbers, high margin professional market these were targeting. The resulting unit price calculation doesn’t apply at all to mass produced consumer electronics allowing to distribute the high development costs over millions of units and providing further cost reductions for the already cheap hardware component through economies of scale.

            So if possible please provide a source for actual eye tracking build costs, ideally at large scale rather than small runs of a few thousands, or at least explain how you arrived at the “about USD 100” number.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            TL;DR: Still not true, you can assemble your own open source Quest/Index eye tracking module with VRChat support for less than USD 25, and it would be way cheaper for Sony.

            No, eye tracking hardware doesn’t cost a lot. Licensing the software from Tobii, who have been working on it for 20 years and sit on a lot of patents may cost a lot, but the hardware consists of a few IR LEDs and cheap cameras. People just assume that it has to be expensive, because Tobii sold eye tracking modules for Vive headsets for USD 249, but these are tiny niche products for a tiny professional market, not mass produced consumer electronics.

            As people still seem to be unable to fathom that eye tracking may actually be cheap after having been told for months by multiple sources, I recommend looking at the parts list of the EyeTrackVR project on GitHub. They are building an open source eye tracking solution that supports VRChat via OSC with mounts currently existing for Quest 1/2, Index, Vive Pro 2 and Samsung Odyssey. The parts are very easy to obtain, and the firmware for eye tracking already works, even though the project comes with a lot of warnings about being in progress and that you could damage your eyes if you mess it up.

            They use two ESP32 SoC that are usually found in things like smart lightbulbs and available for around USD 4, mostly because they are readily available, cheap, come with Wifi and Bluetooth support and have a camera interface. They then add two 160° OV2640 nIR cameras that are used in thousands of simple imaging projects with Arduinos or Raspberry Pis and also sell for around USD 4, with a similar resolution to those used in the Quest Pro or PSVR 2.

            The rest are simple components like USB power connectors, cables etc. The IR LEDs they recommend will cost you USD 0.59 total, and that only because you have to order a minimum of 20, even though you only need four. Shipping will be the highest cost, and Sony would pay significantly less than USD 0.03 for each.

            All in all the hardware should be less than USD 25, and it is only that much because you have to order very small amounts already mounted on PCBs and include two fully functional, tiny computers fast enough for running web servers or doing image processing just to read the cameras and send the data to a Quest/PC. The price for the same components integrated into a mass produced consumer headset would be significantly less than USD 10, and there wouldn’t even be a need for the two ESP32 there.

            The real cost for EyeTrackVR is the time it takes to build one yourself, and of course you need soldering equipment, a 3D printer and the knowledge how to create electronics yourself. And all it does is tell where you are currently looking at, so your avatar will be able to make eye contact or you can select items by gaze. With some luck some company in China will see a product opportunity here and start selling assembled EyeTrackVR modules for USD 20.

            The really tricky part for using eye tracking with dynamic foveated rendering to increase performance is the motion prediction. Tricky mostly due to how weird our eyes work, resulting in high computational demands on PC and making it barely useful on the Quest Pro, but this is a software problem, meaning there will be a lot of upfront development costs to get it working in a usable way, which Sony/Tobii seems to have managed. The hardware side is both simple and cheap.

          • Andrew Jakobs

            Problem is, because of the patents, companies cannot just do it on the cheap, they have to license the technology.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            What exactly is “cheap”, USD 0.50, USD 5 or USD 50? Sony couldn’t do it it for USD 0.50 or USD 5, but it is definitely less than USD 50.

            Everything is covered in patents, Qualcomm blackmails half the mobile phone industry, Immersion sues everybody that includes rumble motors anywhere, yet we still get cheap smartphones and cloned controllers. So to make this a relevant argument, you have to include how much the patent fees are and what “companies cannot just do it on the cheap” actually means in numbers. Your “stuff like eyetracking cost a lot” actually turned out to be less than USD 10 for hardware, so be careful with just assuming that license fees will be a lot more.

            Obviously we don’t know how much Tobii charges Sony for allowing to use their patents, for using a version of Tobii’s tracking software and for helping them with integrating it into the PSVR 2. But we can make some guesses about the upper limit. The first would be that it will be significantly less than the USD 250 that Tobii charges for the completely assembled Vive HMD eye tracking modules, as these include hardware manufacturing, service and a margin that will be multiple times the cost of the hardware.

            A better approach is looking at Tobii’s stock market value of USD 361mn in early 2022, when they announced that they were partnering with Sony for the PSVR 2 eye tracking. Sony could license the technology or instead just buy Tobii, who had posted a yearly loss of about USD 15mn every year since 2018 which was expected to continue until at least 2023. They obviously wouldn’t pay more for licenses than it would cost to buy the company.

            If we assume that Sony expected to sell less PSVR 2 than PSVR, so around 6mn units, buying the whole company would be cheaper than paying more than USD 60 in licenses, and it would come with free licenses for all future Sony products, all the technology, all the engineers and knowledge and the rights to charge a lot of other companies for using Tobii’s patents. If Sony expected to sell 9mn PSVR 2, USD 40 in licenses per headset would be more expensive than outright buying Tobii.

            So I am very sure that whatever Sony pays Tobii is significantly less than USD 30 per PSVR 2 sold, and it would be even less if they just needed the rights to use the patents and developed the software themselves without Tobii’s support, like Meta did with the Quest Pro. Consequently I’d assume that if Meta couldn’t find a way to work around Tobii patents and has to pay them a license fee for each Quest Pro, it will be less than USD 20, most likely a lot less.

            So now we are at max of USD 40 for Sony for eye tracking hardware, Tobii software, consulting and patent fees to integrate Tobii technology into the PSVR 2, with only about 25% for the hardware. Again, this is not the actual cost, but a cost ceiling above which buying Tobii would have been a lot more economical, meaning the actual cost should be significantly lower.

      • Foreign Devil

        So far we don’t know how optimized the Quest 3 is for connecting to a PC. That and resolution will be big factors for me. I”m not interested mobile powered VR games.

      • shadow9d9

        It is so weak that the first party titles are 60 hz reprojected with blur…

  • Pab

    I´d be interested about improvements in PCVR captabilities.

    • Foreign Devil

      me too. And only worth it if the display resolution is significantly better (not talking about passthrough resolution)

      • shadow9d9

        Nope. It is all about pancake clarity across the frame. Not chasing useless resolution that would only serve to make quest 3 games play worse.

        • Ewan

          Native Quest games wouldn’t be forced to use the full resolution, but it would be a great upgrade for less demanding games or (as suggested above) PCVR, where there’s more performance available.

          • Only trolls hide comments

            Why would Meta optimize it for PCVR?

      • Pab

        Do you think so? But the Quest 2 resolution is pretty decent. The issue is with the compression data from the PC.

        • Foreign Devil

          When I can comfortably read text on on my PC monitors through the HMD. . I’ll consider it good enough for productivity. It’s not there yet. Even if I’m wired into the USB C . . there should be minimal compression in that case.

          • Pab

            Compression should be huge through USB-C

          • grrr

            Yes it is, try the pro.

        • KRAKEN

          No, its not about compression, I had Quest 2 and have HP reverb G2 that has tad higher resolution and display port connection, still looks like puke
          4K is the minimum for good clarity in VR
          You dont have to use the full resolution, you still win in higher pixel density, so the higher the resolution the better it is for everyone

          • Pab

            What is your GPU though. I have the Quest 1, the Quest 2, the Rift CV1, the Rift S, and the HP G2. Clarity improves drasticly in that order in any PC game I have (my favorite is the Rift S for a good balance between comfort and graphics). Quests are defintly the worst in both clarity (because of the compression) and in tracking (because of the higher latency, from the compression).

    • Andrew Jakobs

      It supports wifi7 so it should be able to have even better streaming.

      • Pab

        Are you sure, or is it just WIFI 6E? If so, do you see an improvement?

    • Fer Tigo

      No disconnecting Issues for Link would be the best improvement.

  • Felipe

    Guys which month is “this fall”? I’m thinking in presaling my quest 2…

    • Shy Guy

      Fall is September through November.

      • Christian Schildwaechter

        That’s the meteorological fall in the northern hemisphere. We usually look at the equinox on September 23 with equally long day and night as the beginning of the astronomical fall, lasting till December 22, meaning it ends just when people are buying Christmas presents. The Quest 2 was released on October 13th in 2020, so around that time would be a good guess.

        If Meta wanted to screw with us, they could refer to the southern hemisphere where the meteorological fall ended two days ago, with the next one starting 2024-03-01.

        • Shy Guy

          Indeed. I was of course referring to the seasons for Meta US marketing purposes, since Felipe wants to sell his Quest 2 not write an almanac.

          If they mean closer to Christmas they tend to say “Coming Holiday 2023” as they did for the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, which released in mid-November.

          I don’t think any countries in the southern hemisphere use the mostly North American term “Fall” to refer to the Autumn season.

          I agree that mid-October is most likely, right in the middle of the range I gave. Meta is probably leaving the exact date vague as they’re still finalising everything, and things might run later than planned.

  • gothicvillas

    I start thinking Meta is doing no good to vr as a whole. Yes they make games.. but man, look at them. 100% all abomination! Hardware is too weak. All games look the same, there was nothing to put my eye on. Sony show also was weak, didnt set the world on fire. Looks like this year will be boring for VR.

    • shadow9d9

      About 10 new announced games and asgard 3 looks incredible. Go back to skyrim and forced into vr praydog mods.

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      Well, the problem for virtual reality is actual reality, where mobile SoCs that can be used for standalone HMDs only increase speed by about 30% a year, where we have been depending on lithium based batteries for a long time now without huge capacity jumps, where better lenses like pancake come with a massive loss in efficiency, preventing e.g. using them with normal OLED displays. Add the fact that only a few million people worldwide seem to care about VR, and many less actively use it, so all the development costs would have to be shared among those. At the same time people (understandably) want low hardware prices, rapidly improving technology and large scale software production that could never generate a profit due to the small market.

      Of course it is always possible to push the envelope, and we will hopefully see what that means in a couple of day at Apple’s WWDC. I’m sure Meta would also like to introduce an actual AR HMD instead of having to hype up color passthrough as MR with questionable added value. But they would never get away with charging USD 3000 for it, while Apple gets away with charging a similar amount for a Macbook Pro SSD upgrade from 1TB to 8TB, while PC users can get 4TB NVME SSDs for USD 200.

      No doubt Sony and Meta could do better, and they make a low of questionable management decisions. Still most of the lack of huge evolutionary jumps isn’t due to them being the wrong company or even bad for VR, but instead because now having to develop new tech instead of just reusing mobile phone components is difficult, takes a long time and is rather hard to justify to shareholders when too few people care about VR, and those that do complain that they basically demand the features of the 3K HMD with a performance level currently simply not physically achievable without a large battery backpack at 20% of USD 3K at most.

      Currently no VR hardware company will make back even their development costs. So I’d argue that any company willing to continuously invest, even though they could make a lot more money somewhere else, is good for VR, even if each of them could still do better. Simply because the alternative would be no VR at all.

  • philingreat

    I was highly impressed with “Stranger Things” and “Asgards Wrath 2”, they look fantastic for a mobile headset.

  • CrusaderCaracal

    Cant wait

  • grrr

    Go buy a high end htc then.