Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, has unveiled its latest VR headset, the Meta Quest 3, which promises to deliver a mixed reality experience that blends the real and virtual worlds. The headset, which costs $500 and will be available on October 10, is a major upgrade from its predecessors, the Quest 2 and the Quest Pro.
What is mixed reality and how does it work on the Quest 3?
Mixed reality, or MR, is a term that describes the combination of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). VR immerses the user in a fully digital environment, while AR overlays digital elements on the real world. MR allows the user to interact with both the real and virtual worlds simultaneously, creating a seamless and immersive experience.
The Quest 3 achieves MR by using four front-facing cameras and a depth sensor that capture the user’s surroundings and display them on the headset’s screen. The headset also has eye-tracking technology that tracks the user’s gaze and adjusts the focus and depth of the virtual objects accordingly. The user can then manipulate the virtual objects with the improved Touch Plus controllers, which have haptic feedback and finger tracking.
The Quest 3 also supports Meta Reality, a platform that enables users to enjoy MR experiences that are tailored to their environment. For example, the user can play a virtual piano on their real-life coffee table, or throw a digital ball at the physical wall and watch it bounce off. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg demonstrated some of these features at the company’s virtual Meta Connect event on Wednesday.
What are the gaming features and capabilities of the Quest 3?
The Quest 3 is not only a MR headset, but also a VR gaming console that can run games and apps without the need for a PC or a smartphone. The headset has a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 processor, a higher-resolution display, and better graphics than the Quest 2. The headset also has a larger battery life and a 40% slimmer design.
The Quest 3 has access to the Meta Quest library, which features hundreds of VR games and apps, including popular titles like Beat Saber, Superhot VR, and Rec Room. The headset also supports Xbox cloud gaming, which allows users to play Xbox games like Halo and Minecraft on a large screen anywhere. Additionally, the headset can stream PC VR games via Meta Air Link, a wireless connection that eliminates the need for a cable.
The Quest 3 also has some exclusive games and apps that take advantage of its MR features. For instance, First Encounters is a game that lets users explore and interact with different planets and creatures in MR. Another example is Roblox, a popular online platform that allows users to create and play games in VR and MR.
How does the Quest 3 compare to other headsets in the market?
The Quest 3 is one of the most advanced and affordable MR headsets in the market, competing with other devices like the Apple Vision Pro, the HTC Vive Pro 2, and the Varjo XR-3. The Quest 3 has some advantages over these headsets, such as its standalone capability, its large content library, and its lower price. However, the Quest 3 also has some limitations, such as its lower field of view, its limited tracking area, and its dependence on Meta’s services and policies.
The Quest 3 is also part of Meta’s vision for the metaverse, a virtual space where users can socialize, work, and play in VR and MR. Meta is investing heavily in developing the metaverse, which it sees as the future of the internet. However, Meta also faces some challenges and criticisms, such as its privacy issues, its legal disputes, and its social impact.
The Quest 3 is a significant step forward for Meta and the VR and MR industry, offering a mixed reality game console for $500. The headset is expected to attract more users and developers to the metaverse, as well as to push the boundaries of VR and MR technology.