Meta will try to compete with Apply using its much-cheaper Quest 3 VR headset ready for shipping next month.
Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ: META) officially announced the Quest 3 headset on Wednesday at the company’s Connect conference. Interested buyers can preorder and wait for shipping, which begins on Tuesday, October 10.
The new Quest 3 will start at $499, which is $200 more than the previous Quest. However, Meta’s new device comes with a much stronger Qualcomm chip. Meta also says the Quest 3 will have a “passthrough” feature and better screens. The passthrough feature allows the user to quickly see the real world instead of the immersive visuals experienced via the Quest 3’s screens. To enter passthrough mode and see the outside world, the user can double-tap any part of the headset.
The external cameras on the Quest 3 can show the user a live video of everything happening outside the headset. In addition to the camera, the Quest 3 can scan immediate surroundings to prevent a collision by warning users about objects in the environment.
With Meta’s Quest headsets, the company is competing with Apple’s forthcoming Vision Pro. Fortunately, Meta is already gaining ground as the Quest 2 was officially the best-selling VR headset of 2022. Meta sold 10 million units last year.
Some Features of the Meta Quest 3 Headset
Another advantage for Meta is the price point. Apple’s Vision Pro headset, expected to go on sale next year, starts at $3,499, more than 600% more expensive than the Quest 3.
At the Meta Connect conference, Zuckerberg also announced that Xbox Cloud Gaming will be available on the headset. Other features include 110-degree field of view, six months of Quest+ VR subscription, 128GB of storage, and 8GB of RAM. In addition, Meta says that users can get a battery life of 2 hours and 12 minutes.
The Quest 3 uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chip. The chip’s extra power helps to power the Quest 3’s display screen at a resolution of 2,064 x 2,208 for each eye.
Other Announcements at Connect
Meta’s Head of Developer Relations Melissa Brown announced at the event that the headset will “soon” support Headspace. Described as a “virtual playground for your mind”, Headspace is a virtual space where people can meet and wind down.
In addition to the Quest 3, Meta launched the Ray-Ban Smart Glasses, no longer called “Stories”. The new Smart Glasses will start at $299 and go on sale on October 17, a week after Quest 3 does. The Smart Glasses serve two main purposes, including audio and camera.
For audio, the device operates a personal audio system that ensures only the user can hear music. In addition, Meta introduced 4 more mics on the headset, making a total of 5. The Ray-Ban Stories had one mic, which quickly proved inadequate in loud environments.
The new Smart Glasses’ other purpose – its camera function – allows users to take 1080p videos and 12-megapixel photos. The device has 32GB of storage, allowing users to save about 100 videos and about 500 photos. Unfortunately, users cannot record any video longer than 30 seconds.