Image: Meta Quest 3 render created by Marcus Kane
Meta’s Quest 3 will be lighter and slimmer with controllers that look the same as those bundled with the Quest Pro but may lack precision tracking.
Mark Gurman, the premier source for Apple product information, just got a hands-on preview of Meta’s Quest 3 in prototype form. According to Gurman, “The device, codenamed Eureka, feels far lighter and thinner than the existing Quest 2 from 2020. The strap to place it on your head seems a bit stronger, and it uses fabric on the sides instead of the Quest 2’s plastic .”
Quest 3’s slim and light design
Gurman’s description of the Meta Quest 3 confirms the accuracy of Brad Lynch’s information. Lynch posted CAD renders of the Quest 3 in 2022, showing three pill-shaped sensors on the front, a match for the Quest 3 prototype detailed in Gurman’s hands-on.
Based on Lynch’s data and Gurman’s hands-on, the Quest 3 will likely have pancake lensesmaking the headset much slimmer and lighter than the Quest 2.
Pancake lenses are usually associated with much-improved image clarity. However, Gurman stated, “the actual clarity and VR displays within the Quest 3 feel similar to those in the Quest 2 — despite the resolution being rumored to be slightly higher.”
The Bloomberg reporter isn’t known for VR headset coverage, so this might be a lack of familiarity with the issues related to the Quest 2’s Fresnel lenses. If the Quest 3 has pancake lenses similar to the Quest Pro, the image quality should be sharper at the edges and eliminate god rays.
Quest 3 Controllers
According to Gurman, the Quest 3’s controllers lack the Quest 2’s large tracking rings and look similar to the Touch Pro controllers included with the Quest Pro, but in a gray color to match the Quest 3 headset.
The Touch Pro controllers are significantly more accurate than the Quest 2 controllers, each containing tracking cameras and processors. This independent tracking allows the headset to identify the position and angle of each controller with 6DoF, even when held behind the back.
However, Gurman said the new Quest 3 controllers did not contain cameras. He speculated, “the new remotes may have a difficult time determining where they are in spacewhich could hinder some games,” adding, “Meta is looking to offset that with various other tracking improvements.”
Quest 3’s mixed reality upgrade
Gurman felt the most significant upgrade to the Quest 3 was its improved mixed reality capabilities, exceeding even the Quest Pro. While it won’t be a match for Apple’s XR headset, which is expected to be announced next week, Gurman was impressed by the quality of the Quest 3’s XR view and its new depth sensor.
While still unknown, the price of Meta’s Quest 3 will be a fraction of the cost of Apple’s XR headset and should be much more popular. The Quest 3 will start with a massive library of games and apps, a significant advantage Apple hopes to compensate for with iPad app compatibility.
According to Gurman, Meta will launch the Quest 3 in October.
Buy Quest 2, Quest Pro & Prescription Lenses
You can read all about the Meta Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro in the linked reviews.
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