A hands-on look at the Meta Quest 3 reveals a huge range of improvements to the Meta mixed reality headset, as detailed in Mark Gurmans Switch newsletter for Bloomberg this morning. Gurman says the Quest 3, now codenamed Eureka, is “much lighter and thinner” than the original Quest 2, which bodes well for its comfort during extended use.
In February, Meta VR director Mark Rabkin told employees that the Quest 3 would be more expensive than its predecessor and that “we need to prove to people that all this power, all these new features are worth it.” He said Meta had sold 20 million Quest headsets to date.
He also previewed the lighter design, explaining: “The main north star for the team has been from the moment you put this headset on, the mixed reality should make it feel better, easier, more natural… You can effortlessly around your house knowing that you can see really well. You can put anchors and things on your desktop. You can take your coffee. You can stay there much longer.”
The report confirms some of the other big improvements we expected, such as a second-generation Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 chip, resulting in much better performance overall.
The report also talked about what the Quest 3 will not have eye tracking. That means games can’t use foveated rendering, a feature present in Sony’s PSVR 2 that adapts based on what a player is looking at and allows the system to focus processing power on the graphics in those places and back elsewhere to pull.
Design upgrades to the Quest 2 include more sensors in three pill-shaped areas that contain four cameras, two of which are color cameras for pass-through video. It also features an improved system for adjusting the eye relief of the lenses – the distance between your eyes – with a wheel you can turn while wearing it instead of taking off the headset and moving the screen manually .
A depth sensor in the center of the device could improve AR performance compared to the Quest Pro’s camera approach. Redesigned controllers omit the rings of the Quest 2, but the depth sensor can help keep costs down by tracking the position of the controller without cameras like the Quest Pro’s controllers. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg actually said the Quest Pro would get a depth sensor in a Protocol interviewbut the function did not make it to the final version.
Gurman called the pass-through video “almost lifelike,” a good sign after my colleague Adi Robertson called the AR mode “cloudy in low light, washed out or flickering in bright light, and sometimes luridly saturated in between” in her review of the video . Find Pro.
It sounds like improvements there are mainly due to the way the headset’s cameras handle light and colour, as Gurman didn’t think it looked noticeably sharper, despite rumors of a higher resolution screen.