Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced that his company’s highly anticipated Quest 3 VR/XR headset is on the way and will cost $499.
The Quest 3 is 40% thinner than Quest 2, Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post, and will be compatible with its predecessor’s entire library. Meta will give more details on the Quest 3 at its Connect conference in September, Zuckerberg added. The release should come shortly after that event.
Quest 3 customers will also get a faster processor, better graphics, and a pass-through video experience that’s much improved. The pass-through video—that is, the view of the world outside the headset produced by world-facing cameras—will likely be more like that of the $999 Meta Quest Pro, meaning it’ll be in color, if still a bit grainy. This still makes a big difference for augmented reality experiences where graphical content is superimposed on the real world. The Quest 3 does not have the eye or face-tracking features that the Quest Pro has.
Zuckerberg made the announcement just a few days before Apple is expected to announce its own mixed reality headset during its WWDC developer event.
The Quest 3 is likely to compete for a different type of customer, however. The Apple headset is expected to cost more than $2,000 and as much as $3,000. If the mixed reality experience in the new headset lives up to the price, and Apple’s reputation for cool UX, the company could capture (or perhaps create) the upper end of the mixed reality device market.
“We expect this could lead to the creation of a dynamic much like the smartphone industry, where Apple dominates at the premium end of the market and Android is the leader at lower price points,” says CCS Insight analyst Leo Gebbie. “However, Apple will still need to launch a more accessible device in time, as an ultra-premium device is likely to remain a tough sell at a time when consumer budgets are squeezed.”
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