It’s been a hell of a year for the folks at Meta, with the whole rebrand and more, but we’re here to give you the lowdown on the upcoming Meta Quest 3.
With the Meta Quest 2 having been proven pretty popular, with record-breaking sales over the last holiday period, it makes sense to iterate on a good thing and further improve the accessible VR headset.
To be clear, the official name has switched over to the Meta Quest, but a ton of people still call it Oculus. It seems like a shame to ditch the iconic logo and naming, but hey. Mark Zuckerberg has a bigger brain than all of us combined.
The obvious successor to the Meta Quest 2, the Meta Quest 3 is in the works, and with reputable sources coming out of the woodwork and telling us that Meta wants their own custom silicon ready for launch, the headset is poised to make use of the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR3, a custom SoC that we’ve seen in previous generations in the Oculus Quest 2. The catch? It might not come out as soon as you might like.
READ MORE: PSVR 2 release date and specs
According to VR / XR expert Brad Lynch, we might not be seeing the Meta Quest 3 until at least 2023, however, a surprise launch to coincide with the 2022 holiday season.
This would be an especially shrude move, time notwithstanding, as the Meta Quest 3 will no doubt be a highly sought-after Christmas gift, particularly if the price is as accessible as the current Meta Quest lineup.
This is because of the ramping up of production that needs to occur when the new SoC has been finalized, which is rumored to come with a beefy GPU to handle cutting-edge VR workloads while on the go.
However, if these plans fall through the cracks, it’s very likely that the chip that the Meta Quest 3 or Metra Quest 3 will be using is the XR3.
What is likely to be based on is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, but they may also be basing it on a newer generation of hardware they have in the worlds at Qualcomm and Meta, too.
While Meta has partnered with Qualcomm for the custom SoC, it could have easily partnered up with the likes of Samsung, who are in partnership with AMD for an RDNA 2-based GPU on the arm platform that we would have liked to have seen.
Regardless, Qualcomm is a reliable and consistent foundry, and the same cannot really be said for the struggles going on at Samsung at the moment.
The headset has apparently been in development for years, first mentioned by Mark Zuckerberg as far back as early 2021 in an earnings call. He stated to investors then:
“It’s not like software where we’re changing it every couple of weeks. We have product teams spun up now working on the next few generations of virtual reality and what Quest 3 and 4 are gonna look like.“
It’s also speculated that we could be seeing an announcement at Meta’s connect 2023 event, and released afterward. This would pip the Quest 3’s reveal for taking place in October 2023, which is still a while away.
But, that’s not all that’s in the works right now at Meta, they’re cooking up alternatives to the Quest, which is a headset that only occupies one corner of the VR market, they are also looking at the higher-end of the spectrum with the Meta Quest Pro, in addition to Project Cambria.
One of the most well-received aspects of the Meta Quest 2 was the controllers. However, they relied on wasteful, inefficient, and environmentally-unfriendly disposable batteries.
We’d like to see a more sustainable solution for this, preferably a user-replaceable battery pack rechargeable by USB Type-C. This would allow for fast charging, and allow replacement when the battery pack finally bites the dust.
The Meta Quest 3 is expected to run a custom SoC developed by Meta according to expert Brad Lynch. Though if these plans fall through we could instead see them relying on a solution from Qualcomm such as an XR3 chip, for example.
We expect that the Meta Quest 3 or Meta Quest 3 will retain all of the features that the two previous Quest headsets have, in addition to throwing in a couple of tricks of its own.
With the Quest 2 now having a 120Hz refresh rate, this appears to be a good sweet spot for the headset to hit in, though some solutions with 240Hz are being tested by certain display manufacturers, it might just be too much power for whatever SoC that meta is putting into the Quest 3. 240Hz is a lot of frames, so it will require an incredibly powerful GPU to run.
However, we’ve heard via the rumors from expert Brad Lynch, that the Meta Quest 3 may be using a uOLED display, which will be a huge upgrade over the current LCD panels present in the Quest 2.
uOLED is a more advanced form of OLED, which will make for better color reproduction, accuracy, and much more brightness, all the while being slightly more economical due to the way that an OLED panel works.
Additionally, Mark Zuckerberg has previously spoken about his desire to put eye-tracking and face tracking into their next headsets, so it’s likely that we will see this in some form with the Quest 3, whenever it might be announced.
“One of the things I’m really excited about for future versions is getting eye tracking and face tracking in because if you’re really excited about social presence you want to make sure the device has all the sensors to really kind of animate realistic avatars so you can communicate well.“
Meta Quest 3 resolution
Given the all-now HDR OLED screens that Rumor-Baron Lynch seems sure of, we could be expected a nice bump in resolution too. Especially as the Meta Quest will be going up against the PSVR 2.
The current Meta Quest 2 has 1832 x 1920 resolution per eye, which is fantastic, as anyone who’s tied one will tell you. But, these days, 8, 6, 12k resolutions are possible, so bumbling around the 1080P mark seems a little pedestrian for the Zucc.
We’re expecting something approaching 4K. Resolution is a particularly vital aspect of a VR headset, due to how close the screens are to your eyes. IF Meta want people to upgrade to the Meta Quest 3, they’d better bump the resolution up.
We expect the Meta Quest 3 to come with a price tag of $299 / £299 / €299. This is because we have a clear trend thanks to the lowest price point of previous devices, with both the original Quest and Quest 2 launching at this price point.
It’s clear that Meta wants to get as many people as possible through their doors, so with the hardware, they may be subsidizing the cost in order to get more people through the door to make VR development on the platform used for most people.
So, will Meta be rushing to subsidize headsets to get more users onto the platform when the Quest 3 arrives? Only time can answer that particular question.
We’ll be sure to update this page if we hear anything expressly different regarding the next-generation headset’s pricing.