Quest 3: Meta launches mixed-reality headset priced from $499

The company will start shipping the new device from October 10

Meta chief executive Mark Zuckerberg addresses the Connect conference in Menlo Park, California. AP
Powered by automated translation

Meta Platforms has released Quest 3, its latest virtual and mixed-reality headset, which is geared towards a higher-end market, at the Meta Connect conference.

Originally announced in June, the new device will start at $499.99 for the 128GB version and $649.99 for those who want a larger storage capacity at 512GB, Meta announced at the conference in Menlo Park, California, on Wednesday.

The new device is much cheaper than the introductory price of its predecessor Quest Pro, which was launched in October last year at $1,500.

But the company reduced its price to $1,000 in March to make the device more accessible.

Meta said customers can start placing orders for Quest 3 immediately and shipping will start on October 10.

“Quest 3 is the most powerful VR headset yet … it allows you to blend physical and digital worlds together,” Mark Zuckerberg, founder and chief executive of Meta, said while releasing the new headset.

“We are focused on building the future of human connections. We are doing this because we believe in the strength of our cohesive relationships between physical and the digital worlds.”

Mr Zuckerberg said Meta aimed to democratise the technology.

“We not only focus on ground-breaking technology but also on making it more affordable and accessible … we are building our technology responsibly and thoughtfully and will continue improving it with more users’ feedback,” he said.

Meta stock closes 0.41 per cent lower at $297.74 a share on Wednesday.

Meta Quest 3 features mixed-reality technology that enables various immersive experiences, such as playing a virtual piano on your dining table or watching a football game from the comfort of your living room.

The new device offers an almost 30 per cent improvement in visual resolution, 40 per cent louder audio range, and 10 times more pixels than Quest 2.

Sharpness also has a 25 per cent boost, with fewer stray and scattered light remnants, Meta said.

Quest 3 comes with 40 per cent slimmer optic profile compared to Quest 2, without compromising the depth of visual immersion.

A thinner design gives it a more balanced weight distribution than Quest 2, for maximum user comfort.

For users who are willing to wear Quest 3 over glasses and want to change it to fit their hairstyle and face shape, the new headset comes with a soft adjustable strap design.

Launched in 2020, the Quest 2 headset disrupted the industry as more users opted for it in search of indoor entertainment options during coronavirus lockdowns.

In June this year, the company lowered its starting price to $299.99 to attract more customers.

Augmented-reality and VR seamlessly blend digital elements into the real world, elevating how users perceive and interact with their environment.

While AR enriches the real world with digital overlays, VR takes users on immersive journeys to computer-generated realms.

These experiences are enabled through VR headsets, equipped with display screens, motion sensors and audio systems, all working in concert to deliver interactive user experiences.

The global AR and VR headsets market is expected to reach $142.5 billion by 2032, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 35.6 per cent from $6.8 billion last year, says market researcher Precedence Research in Ottawa.

North America is expected to hold the largest market share in the global market. In the US, the AR headset market revenue is expected to hit $1.88 billion this year from $1.84 billion last year, Statista said.

Meta bought VR start-up Oculus for more than $2 billion in 2014 to strengthen its position in the industry.

Quest 3 can automatically map users’ space and understand important elements such as walls, furniture and other objects, so they can interact with the virtual world.

Its lens distance adjustment wheel gives users more precise positioning and smooth distance adjustment options, so they can customise the distance between the lenses to enhance their fit and picture clarity.

Meta said more than 100 new and upgraded apps and games are coming to Quest 3 by the end of the year.

“Because Quest 3 is backwards-compatible with Quest 2, you get access to the world’s best library of over 500 immersive games and experiences on day one, so there’s something for everyone to discover,” it said.

Xbox cloud gaming will also come to Meta Quest in December, allowing users to play Halo Infinite, Minecraft Legends, Forza Horizon 5, and hundreds of other high-quality Xbox games.

Updated: September 28, 2023, 10:40 AM