Meta Quest 3 compared to Apple "Reality" and Quest 2 headsets in new hands-on leak
The "Meta Quest 3" is projected to encounter resistance to its general virtual/augmented reality (VR/AR) market dominance from the first-gen "Apple Reality" headset later in 2023. In the meantime, it exists as a pre-production prototype that is available to a select few for testing - Bloomberg's Mark Gurman included, apparently.
Accordingly, the Quest 3 now has a preliminary first-look post - albeit in written form only. The tech contributor notes that its new "gray" chassis will be powered by the Snapdragon XR2 - a custom version of the platform, according to Meta.
The third-gen headset is now said to be "lighter and thinner", with a reinforced first-party strap, compared to the Quest 2. Nevertheless, both headsets may be similar in terms of hardware control and I/O placement - except for a new and potentially more convenient external "wheel" to adjust one's interpupillary distance (IPD) on the fly.
Then again, the 3 may be more geared towards mixed reality (MR) as opposed to VR/AR, with a front panel adorned with triple "vertical pill-shaped sensor areas", as opposed to the "bland" facade of its predecessor.
2 of these "pills" house "dual RGB cameras" (which, again, would be an upgrade over the Quest 2), while the remaining (presumably central) cut-out is apparently for a depth sensor. They support "video pass-through" and "environment meshing" (or the accurate - and newly automatic - integration of surroundings such as walls) for MR experience-building respectively.
Somewhat surprisingly, Gurman asserts that the Quest 3's "actual clarity and VR displays" seem to have no tangible generational improvement; in addition, the first-gen "Reality" is projected to boast even more cameras - about 12, in fact.
In addition, Apple's headset is tipped to have the edge in terms of advanced head- and eye-tracking features such as "eye-tracked foveated rendering", thanks to the total absence of such specs in the Quest 3.
In addition, the upcoming Meta headset is now linked to new controllers without the cameras they might need for increased spatial awareness, although they do drop the top-mounted rings of the previous generation.
Despite all this, the Quest 3 is now thought to cost even more than the 2's current ~US$400 price-point at launch. Nevertheless, the Apple alternative is thought to be as much as 5 times more expensive at launch - unfortunately, this new "hands-on" also concludes that it might also be 5 times as "compelling" as an MR device.