Meta has unveiled its newest virtual reality headset -- the Meta Quest 3 -- days before Apple is set to showcase its “Reality Pro” headset at its June WWDC event.
Meta claims that the Quest 3 is “the first mainstream headset with high-res color mixed reality.” Starting at $499 a month, the Quest 3 is about one-fifth of the price of Apple’s “Reality Pro,” which is estimated to cost upwards of $3,000.
As described in a favorable review by technology reporter Mark Gurman earlier this week, the Meta Quest 3 is 40% lighter and thinner than the Quest 2, has redesigned controllers, is compatible with Quest 2's full gaming library, and includes a next-generation Qualcomm chipset, allowing for a faster and more seamless user experience.
The headset also has several external cameras intended to translate the live video feed of the real world, which will likely enhance what is also known as “passthrough”––something Gurman called “the heart of mixed reality.”
“High-fidelity color Passthrough, innovative machine learning, and spatial understanding let you interact with virtual content and the physical world simultaneously, creating limitless possibilities to explore,” Meta said in a recent release.
The Quest 3 will be released to the public at some point this coming fall. In an Instagram post, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote that more information will be provided at the company Connect conference on September 27.
Lastly, the tech giant is also reducing the prices of its Quest 2 headsets starting June 4, while also providing Quest 2 and Quest Pro with a software update for smoother gameplay, richer content and increased pixel density.