After months of rumors and speculation, the Meta Quest 3 VR headset was unofficially unveiled today with a $499 price tag and an expected release this fall.
Specifications on the new unit haven't been shared yet, but Meta said the Quest 3 will be "40% thinner and more comfortable" than previous units, with "better displays and resolution," and "2x the graphics performance." It will also be fully backwards-compatible with the Meta Quest 2 headset, so any games that work on Quest 2 will work on Quest 3.
"Quest 3 combines our highest resolution display yet and pancake optics to make sure content looks better than ever," Meta said in a blog post. "To power those extra pixels, this will be the first headset to feature a next-generation Snapdragon chipset developed in collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies."
The Quest 3 also supports "Meta Reality" technology, which Meta said surpasses current mixed reality technology "by intelligently understanding and responding to objects in your physical space and allowing you to navigate that space in natural, intuitive ways that were nearly impossible before."
And while it was not included in the official announcement, executive editor Tyler Wilde also made this important observation:
Hey, he's not wrong.
Meta also revealed the new Quest 3 Touch Plus controllers today, which eliminate the outer tracking rings of earlier controllers so they "feel like a more natural extension of your hands and take up less space," Meta said. The Quest 3 headset will also support hand tracking "out of the box," meaning you'll be able to use your hands to interact with virtual objects even if you don't have controllers.
With the new Quest 3 headset now officially on the horizon, Meta is also reducing the price of the Quest 2: Effective June 4, the 128GB unit will be reduced to $299, while the 256GB version will drop to $349. It makes sense, given the proximity of new and better hardware, but I only give Meta half a point for the change: The price reduction comes just seven months after Meta increased the price of the Quest 2 headset by the same amount.
We'll presumably get a more detailed look at the Quest 3 headset a little later today during the Meta Quest Gaming Showcase, which is set to begin at 10 am PT/1 pm ET.