The Meta Quest 3 seems to have followed its predecessor’s lead. An unauthorized unboxing video of the anticipated VR headset was anonymously uploaded on Reddit. This leak comes on the heels of a similar incident last year when a hotel worker released an unsanctioned unboxing of the Quest Pro. Meta’s series of headsets now seemingly come with a tradition of premature unveiling.
Whilst this is undoubtedly disappointing for the development team, and I’d much prefer if there were no leaks prior to the official launch, it nonetheless provides a lot of information for VR enthusiasts to absorb in the run-up to launch and helps to build excitement for what should be a huge launch.
Design And Packaging Insights
The Quest 3’s packaging, based on the footage, resonates with the style of the Quest 2. However, it’s the size that makes the difference: the packaging is considerably smaller. This downsizing is attributed to the headset’s leaner design and the absence of rings on the new Touch Plus controllers.
Within the box, only the headset, controllers, and a petite box (possibly with AA batteries and informational leaflets) are in sight. This subtly hints that the recently FCC-approved charging dock might be marketed as a separate accessory.
Features and Specifications
Although Meta unveiled the Quest 3 earlier this summer, they’ve been tight-lipped about certain specifications like exact resolution, refresh rate, and RAM. However, they’ve shared that:
- The visor boasts a 40% reduction in thickness due to the inclusion of pancake lenses.
- Its GPU prowess has doubled.
- Dual color cameras and a depth sensor are integrated for a mixed-reality experience with scene understanding.
Moreover, the video also hinted at a potential feature: an instructional white cardboard attached to the headset seems to show the capability to adjust the lens distance from the eyes, a feature termed “eye relief adjustment.” This would be a welcome departure from Quest 2, which required a “glasses spacer” for those wearing glasses.
Quest 3 Build Quality
One aspect of the Quest 3 leak video that stands out is how good the build quality and design of the Quest 3 appear to be. Although this is only a video, I think the design of the Quest 3 looks considerably better than the Quest 2, and the materials and build quality seem to be excellent.
I’ll know for sure once I get my hands on a Quest 3 on launch day, but this video definitely reassures me that Quest 3 is a step in the right direction for Meta.
Quest 3 Headstrap
One feature that isn’t a surprise, but is disappointing, is that Meta is sticking with a basic, material head strap for the Quest 3. While this keeps the cost of the headset down, it leads to the headset putting pressure on the front of the face over time, leading to discomfort, and instability when playing high-tempo games.
If the Quest 3 headstrap is anything like the one that ships with Quest 2, a lot of people are going to find it to be an annoyance to use for long sessions in VR. Almost everyone I know who owns and uses a Quest 2 has upgraded to a more robust head strap to improve comfort and stability while wearing the headset.
It is believed that the Quest 3 will weigh approximately the same as the Quest 2, meaning it is likely that users will also find the Quest 3 headstrap to be less than ideal. It is definitely worth keeping this in mind if you are thinking about purchasing the Quest 3, as you should really factor in the cost of an upgraded headstrap, making the value proposition a little worse than it originally appears.
Lens Depth Adjustment
I’m very pleased to see what looks like a lens depth adjustment on the Quest 3, to accommodate those who wear glasses when using their VR headsets. Being able to manually make this adjustment is very welcome as it allows those who wear glasses to increase the spacing from their eyes to the lens, to accommodate their glasses, preventing scratching the headset lenses.
Pricing And Launch Date
The base model of the Quest 3, with 128GB storage, is priced at $500. While the exact launch date remains a mystery, we are confident that Meta will reveal it during its yearly Connect conference, scheduled for September 27th this year.
The Broader Picture
This latest leak not only underscores the anticipation for Meta’s upcoming VR headset but also brings to light the competitive landscape. With Meta’s announcement of the Quest 3 just days before Apple introduced the Vision Pro, the race for VR dominance is clearly heating up.
Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s CEO, previously lauded the Quest 3 as the “first mainstream headset with high-res color mixed reality.” With the headset’s impending fall release, only time will tell if it lives up to its promise.
My Take On The Quest 3
Meta’s current Quest 2 headset dominates the market for consumer VR headsets, but now that it is three years old, the time has come for an upgrade that will take a big step forward at a reasonable price. The Quest 3 will offer significantly upgraded visuals, and double the processing power in a more compact package, whilst still offering great value for money.
With the quantity and quality of games on Meta’s platform growing, I think Meta is going to have another big hit on their hands, and I truly hope that the launch provides another big boost to the consumer VR industry.
Personally, although I have quite a number of VR headsets, the Quest 2 is the one I use most often. I’ll be picking up a Quest 3 headset on day one and look forward to sharing all my thoughts about it over the next few months.
Eyes are now on the Connect conference this September, where further insights into Meta’s strategies, as well as the games designed to leverage the Quest 3’s mixed reality capabilities, are eagerly awaited.
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