The predicted next version of the Oculus Quest, the Meta Quest 3, could bring one of the best VR gaming experiences for gamers to date, but when can we expect it to release?
We're here with everything we know so far, covering the latest news, rumours, and leaks on what to expect and importantly, when we may be able to get our hands on it.
Let's dive in.
Meta Quest 3 Release Date Speculation
Now that we know Project Cambria was the Meta Quest Pro and not the Meta Quest 3, we're now left wondering exactly what's happening with the follow-up to the popular Oculus Quest 2.
According to a report from The Information, Meta has an internal roadmap with intentions to release four new VR headsets by the end of 2024. If this is accurate, the Quest 3 could be expected to launch sometime next year.
In October, CNET reported that we could see the Meta Quest as early as late 2023. This was reportedly based on a Meta earnings call.
This is supported by Brad Lynch, XR hardware analyst, who is said to have heard that developmental kits of the Meta Quest 3 are slated to be distributed in 2023 for 3rd party partners.
As to when exactly they'll be made available to the general public, though, remains unclear, and, of course, all this information is just speculation at this stage. Take these rumours with a pinch of salt until more official information is revealed.
How Much Could The Meta Quest 3 Be?
At this stage, it's hard to say, but we can predict it'll lean more towards the $300 mark based on the Oculus Quest 2, which is currently around £299 / $299 for the 128GB model.
Read More: Oculus Quest 2 Vs PSVR: How do they compare?
If the next version of the device improves upon the previous, then we imagine many gamers out there will certainly be tempted, and let's face it, the Quest 2 is still one of the best VR headsets around.
Not to mention that the Meta Quest Pro comes in at well over $1000, which around double the price of a PS5...
What Could The Meta Quest 3 Spec Sheet Look Like?
Of course, as nothing is confirmed with regard to the Meta Quest 3, even right down to its potential existence, it is rather difficult to know what the spec sheets of the unreleased headset will look like.
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A recent reveal to Youtuber SadlyItsBradley, appears to show CAD images of the Meta Quest 3. The rear image seems to suggest pancake lenses and an IPD sensor. Noticeably absent is a lack of eye or face-tracking, but these images are not confirmed so we will have to wait to find out if they were accurate.
However, it is possible to make some educated guesses given previous patterns of development and current features that the Quest 2 has.
A Tweet from Brad Lynch has noted the Quest 3 is likely to utilise uOLED panels which is a more recent iteration of OLED tech. It would be the first mass-market device to do so if this is the case.
To manufacture these panels, Lynch has noted that Meta has apparently partnered with Changxin Technology, who reportedly also made the Quest 2 displays.
In addition, it would make sense for these panels to have a higher resolution than the Quest 2's LCDs. For comparison, PSVR 2 utilises 4K panels with a 2040x2000 resolution, and it may be the case Meta's new panels use something similar.
Recent rumours suggest the Meta Quest 3 could use a single LC display with a resolution of 4,128x2,208, which equates to 2,064x2,208 pixels per eye. This information is said to have been extracted from the code by a data miner though, so take it with a pinch of salt for now.
That said, the OLED panels are likely to make the Quest 3 smaller and more compact than its predecessor, although it's fair to say the Quest 2 already looks pretty sleek as is, especially when compared to the HTC Vive Pro 2, for instance, and also when compared to the Valve Index.
Read More: Best Oculus Quest 2 Accessories
Speaking of a more compact design, Sony recently unveiled the design for PSVR 2 with a sleek, orb-like design that is lighter and better-looking than its predecessor, as well as featuring adjustable lenses.
It would make sense for Quest 3 to also feature adjustable lenses, given Sony is adding them to PSVR 2 and also because the Quest 2 already features them, so could offer a handy ergonomic boost too.
In addition, the Quest 3 will also need to pack a punch in terms of its pixels-per-inch number to remain competitive with upcoming headsets, especially if a tweet from Ross Young surrounding PSVR 2's PPI is to be believed.
He has stated that PSVR 2's PPI measure will be more than double the original PSVR's with a density of 800 PPI as opposed to the original PSVR's 386.
It wouldn't be surprising if the Quest 3 was able to utilise a 120Hz refresh rate at launch, given that it is becoming more commonplace, but with the potential to be beefed up with future updates to 144Hz or even higher for even smoother output.
Read More: Does A High Refresh Rate Matter?
Meta may choose to utilise light-field display tech on the Quest 3, as pioneered by Creal, which would both help to bring a 240Hz refresh rate to the device, but could also help to improve distance perception, which would blur the lines between virtual and actual reality.
In terms of processor, it would make sense for the Quest 3 to utilise an updated version of the Quest 2's SOC, the Snapdragon XR2, or whatever Qualcomm decide is its successor, assumed to be the XR3, although this may not be the case.
At their Snapdragon Tech Summit in November/December, Qualcomm unveiled the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 mobile processor, which they previously stated was 35% faster than the current chip in the Quest 2.
It may make sense therefore for the Quest 3 to use this updated hardware with even more power, or await the Snapdragon XR3, which is expected to release in 2023.
However, a more recent leak from analyst Brad Lynch has suggested that the Quest 3 won't use the successor to the Snapdragon XR2 as Meta is more open to developing their own silicon instead which will have a beefy GPU for proper VR loads.
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If this does occur, it could be the case that the Quest 3 isn't tied by the performance of a Qualcomm chipset which means that Meta could tailor its SOC for their VR headset which in turn could provide a more immersive and therefore smoother VR gaming experience.
It's also worth noting that this more powerful SOC may also indicate the Quest 3 will be a powerful headset in its own right and this could be backed up with improvements in areas such as refresh rate and displays, for instance.
As the Rift S and Oculus Go have been discontinued, it fills a void for the Quest 3 to fill alongside the Quest 2 when it does launch, and it would be nice to think that this new headset will be as powerful as the Rift S, if not more.
Controllers And Tracking
It could also make sense to see haptic feedback (the use of touch to communicate with the user), on the Quest 3's controllers, given that other manufacturers like Sony are featuring the technology within the PSVR 2 controllers, as well as on the headset itself.
Back in March 2021 in a lengthy interview with The Information, Mark Zuckerberg also indicated that he'd like to bring eye and face tracking to upcoming Quest headsets, which may include the Quest 3.
Read More: Does Oculus Quest 2 have hand tracking?
Whilst not completely related to Quest 3, a screenshot within the developer documentation for the Quest 2 has been spotted that reveals an unannounced 'Body Tracking Support' option.
This may pave the way for its inclusion on future headsets, in a Q&A, Meta Reality Lab's Vice President Andrew Bosworth stated that full body tracking is something the company is looking at, which could mean it's reserved for a device like the Quest 3.
Full-body tracking is definitely something we'd love to see in the future, that's for sure.
The Meta Quest 3 could look to also add in some key features that the Quest 2 didn't such as expandable storage which could come in the form of a micro-SD card slot on the side of the headset, so players can have more capacity to install more games.
It's getting to a stage where microSD cards are increasing in capacity and therefore, it could be possible to add upwards of 512GB or even a 1TB of storage, which would provide you with plenty of capacity to install a modicum of games and apps.
Read More: Will Meta Quest 3 Have Expandable Storage?
It may also be the case that the Quest 3 may have higher capacity models from the beginning with a 256GB base model and a 512GB upgraded model, as opposed to offering user-expandable storage.
With the PS5 offering expandable internal storage through the use of an M.2 SSD, we're hoping to see this become more widely available across other devices.
It would also make sense that the Meta Quest 3 may not need a PC to work, given the Quest 2 doesn't currently, so this would be an easy feature to port over to the latest generation, whenever it arrives.
Read More: Will Meta Quest 3 Work With PS5?
Having the ability to play Steam games would certainly open up the Quest 3 to a larger games library that is likely to include Blade & Sorcery that also comes with some great mods, alongside the likes of Hitman III, Pavlov VR, Roblox and Half-Life: Alyx, and in addition, would also allow you to install some of the best VR mods for PC games too.
Moreover, it would make sense for the Quest 3 to be able to connect up to have the existing Quest 2 games library available to download with the Oculus Store where you can play games such as Beat Saber, especially with a new OST pack on the way.
Read More: How to connect Oculus Quest 2 to a laptop
We're not sure if the Quest 3 will work with PS5, especially given the PSVR 2 is on its way, but given its apparent versatility, this feature, or lack thereof, may not be as sore of a miss as first anticipated.
In addition, it would also make sense for the Quest 3 to be able to connect to phones, like the Quest 2 can, for the sake of a convenient method of setup and also for the potential purpose of casting.
Moreover, whilst this isn't a feature Meta can control, it would be nice to see SideQuest connectivity included on the Quest 3 so you can sideload applications and have an even wider spread of games to choose from. It's from this that it becomes possible to play Minecraft on Quest 2, for instance, so having the feature can be handy.
Relation To Facebook And The Metaverse
The Quest 3 is likely to work within Facebook's 'metaverse' that they announced back at the 2021 Facebook Connect and will most likely play a key part in helping to shape the overall experience, and it may include the need to have a Meta account to do so.
Utilising the Quest 2 needs a Facebook account for setup and it would therefore make sense that accessing the metaverse will also require one.
The Oculus App is also likely to be retained, and given its user base has skyrocketed following the end of 2021 and the boom of Quest 2s being gifted at Christmas, it may make sense for the app to become even more powerful.
In addition, it may make sense for the Quest 3 to also have the ability to add multiple accounts so more people can enjoy VR gaming fun, especially as this is a current experimental feature on the Quest 2.
Supposedly it had been under development for a few years and featured north of 300 employees. How this will affect Quest 3 remains to be seen.
There is also the chance that the Quest 3 is likely to be one of the first devices to be a 'metaverse-ready' headset as it were and therefore could be compatible with games such as Horizon Worlds that offer up an early sketch of what the metaverse could look like.
After all, the game is beginning to get off the ground for Quest 2 with the milestone of 300,000 users recently passed, so it would make sense for it to possibly be a day one title for Quest 3, albeit with even more things to do.
Other Key Features
If the Meta Quest 3 wants to be an all-conquering headset, it could also make sense for it to right some of the wrongs of the Quest 2 by bringing rechargeable controllers to the party alongside Bluetooth support, and proper full-body tracking support.
As with some of the best accessories for Quest 2, we'll likely see more flooding in when the Meta Quest 3 is released.
This could be anything from an official charging dock to an enhanced premium strap, or potentially something even more exciting, including the possibility of making it work with some of the best VR gloves!
Meta unveiled their own VR glove prototype (via The Verge), so maybe those could even come as a first-party accessory, but of course, nothing's confirmed on that front.
We'll be back with you with all the latest news on everything Quest 3 soon.
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