New leaks suggest Meta wants VR enthusiasts to be 'fired up about' this year's Quest 3 VR headset
The Verge claims to have obtained new information about the Quest 3, among other forthcoming Meta devices. To recap, Facebook launched the Quest 2 in September 2020 for US$299 with 64 GB of storage, with a 256 GB edition for US$399. Last year, Meta dropped the 64 GB version for a 128 GB SKU that costs US$399, with the 256 GB edition bumped to US$499. Supposedly, amplified production costs forced Meta to push price increases onto the consumer.
With that in mind, The Verge alleges that Meta wants to encourage people to pay 'a bit more' for the Quest 3 than the Quest 2. The website has not revealed any alleged pricing, but the Quest 2's current pricing will inevitably push the Quest 3 to nearer to, if not more than, US$600. Reputedly, Mark Rabkin, Vice President of VR at Meta, informed employees:
We have to get enthusiasts fired up about it [Quest 3]...We have to prove to people that all this power, all these new features are worth it.
To that end, Brad Lynch reported in January that the Quest 3 will use an LCD panel with a 2,064 x 2,208-pixel resolution per eye and a 120 Hz refresh rate. For reference, the Quest 2 supports the same peak refresh rate but delivers 1,832 x 1,920 pixels per eye with 18 PPD average pixel densities. Lynch adds that JDI will supply Quest 3 panels initially, with BOE picking up the slack as Meta increases production volumes.
While display improvements appear minor, The Verge reports that the Quest 3 will be twice as powerful as the Quest 2. Additionally, the Quest 3 will be half the thickness of the Quest 2, which measures 191.5 x 102 x 142.5 mm, excluding its head strap. Like the Quest Pro, the Quest 3 will be a mixed reality (MR) focused headset, with front-facing cameras likely enabling full-colour pass-through. In that vein, Meta hopes that 'Smart Guardian' technology will allow people to walk around their houses with the headset still on or work at their desks with it.
Currently, Meta is targeting a 2023 release for the Quest 3, with Engineering verification test (EVT) units tested internally in December 2022. In January, Lynch asserted that Quest 3 dev kits would reach third-party developers in Q2 2023. Hence, an autumn 2023 release at the earliest would appear more likely at this stage.