Say hello to the second worst kept secret in VR. Meta today gave the world the first (official) glimpse of its latest headset, the Quest 3. The mixed reality hardware was shown off this morning ahead of showcase event featuring a slew of new gaming titles.
Priced at $499, the Quest 3 is $200 pricier than its 2020 predecessor, causing some analysts to balk at the headset. Timing is everything, of course. Odds are that price tag will look more appealing come Monday, when Apple is expected to reveal its Reality Pro – the MR system its been cooking for at least seven years, which is expected to run around $3,000.
In an Instagram post, Mark Zuckerberg called the headset, “The first mainstream headset with high-res color mixed reality. 40% thinner and more comfortable.” The CEO added that the product features the latest Qualcomm chipset, along with updates to graphics performance and its displays.
A video attached to the post also touts “full color passthrough” – a feature tied to the AR bit of the MR experience, using built in cameras to capture the world in front of the wearer, offering an experience akin to graphical images overlayed atop the real world. Passthrough has been a bit of a crapshoot with mixed reality devices. The experience tends to be lacking on cheaper ($499 being cheap in this relative equation) headsets.The Quest headset also has built in depth sensors for better real world tracking — though much of the hand tracking is accomplished here through revamped controllers with improved haptic feedback.
It’s easy to read much of the post as digs at Apple’s forthcoming headset. “Mainstream” is certainly a key word, anticipating a potential $2,500 price gap between the two systems.