Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman has commented on the upcoming Meta Quest 3 mixed reality headset in his latest Power On newsletter. According to Gurman, the Quest 3, codenamed Eureka, will be “far lighter and thinner” than the Quest 2. Many of the features mentioned are similar to Apple’s mixed reality headset called “Reality Pro“, including hand tracking and pass-through video.
However, some rumors say the alleged Apple headset could cost as much as $3,000. According to Gurman, Meta hasn’t agreed on a price for the Quest 3 yet. But it will probably be more expensive than the $400 Quest 2, which could become cheaper with the introduction of the successor. Also, the Quest 3 will definitely be a lot cheaper than the Quest Pro, which launched last fall for $1,499.99. However, the Quest Pro never met sales expectations and already went down to a price of 999.99 US dollars in March.
In February, Meta VR manager Mark Rabkin told his staff that the Quest 3 will be more expensive than its predecessor and that “We have to prove to people that all this power, all these new features are worth it.” He said Meta has sold 20 million Quest headsets to date. He also previewed the lighter design, explaining that “The main north star for the team was from the moment you put on this headset, the mixed reality has to make it feel better, easier, more natural. […] You can walk effortlessly through your house knowing you can see perfectly well. You can put anchors and things on your desktop. You can take your coffee. You can stay in there much longer.”
Meta Quest 3 without eye tracking
The report also confirms some other upgrades, like a second-gen Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 chipset. But the report also talked about what the Quest 3 will be missing, namely eye-tracking. This means that games cannot take advantage of foveated rendering. This feature of Sony’s PSVR 2 adapts to the player’s line of sight, allowing the system to concentrate gpu power in those areas.
The Quest 2’s design improvements include more sensors in three pill-shaped areas. These contain four cameras, two of which are color cameras for pass-through video. The Quest 3 also features an improved system for adjusting the interpupillary distance of the lenses. The distance between the eyes can be adjusted with a rotating wheel. You don’t have to detach the headset and manually move the display.
A depth sensor in the center of the device could improve AR performance compared to the Quest Pro’s camera-only approach. Redesigned controllers do without the rings of the Quest 2. Controllers’ position could be tracked via depth sensors instead of cameras like the Quest Pro, which would save costs. In fact, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, said in a Protocol interview that the Quest Pro would already get a depth sensor. However, the function did not make it into the final version in the end.
Gurman called the Meta Quest 3’s pass-through video “almost lifelike”. It sounds like the improvements there are mostly due to the way the headset’s cameras handle light and colour. Because the display resolution has not changed noticeably, despite some rumors in this direction.