After waiting for Facebook's Meta Connect 2023 keynote to kick off 30 minutes later than planned – technical issues, perhaps, it was unclear – Meta's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, took to the stage (a real one, not virtual – shocker!) to talk all things Meta and, of course, the company's next stage mixed reality headset: the Meta Quest 3.
Quest 3 has hardly been a secret, as Meta revealed it was coming in late 2022, while in June of this year we were treated to a teaser of more information. Even pricing had been revealed in advance, but was tweaked to lower levels ahead of the keynote – it's £479.99 in the UK; $499.99 in the US (for the entry 128GB storage version), and AUD$799.99 in Australia – to make it an even more appealing mixed reality proposition.
"Quest 3 is the most powerful headset that we've ever shipped, and it allows you to blend the physical and virtual worlds together," says Zuckerberg upon revealing the headset – which requires no wires, no battery pack (a playful stab at Apple's Vision Pro there).
The mixed reality headset features a passthrough camera so you can see the world and objects around you when requested, meaning the integration between the physical and virtual worlds overlap – and with a depth sensor also built-in, the headset can scan the world around you in real-time to allow for physical interaction between the two.
Meta Quest 3 is 40% thinner than the Quest 2 model which it updates, and is said to be "a lot more comfortable". It's also a lot more powerful, thanks to Qualcomm's XR2 Gen 2 processor under the hood – which is powerful enough to run Assassin's Creed Nexus natively on the headset itself – positioning it in among the best VR headsets crowd.
Content expands well beyond that, too, with Xbox Cloud Gaming also confirmed as coming to Quest from December of this year. That'll open the gateway for many people who want to play their games on a virtual giant screen right before their eyes. Exactly what the quality of Meta Quest 3 will be like isn't know yet, but with "new pancake lenses" for a sharper image edge to edge, here's hoping it's top notch.
The Meta Quest 3 will go on sale from 10 October 2023. It's available to pre-order today, whether you prefer the £479.99 on Amazon.co.uk (or $499.99 on BestBuy and AU$799.99 on Amazon AU) or many of your other favourite retailers. The 512GB model is priced at £619.99 / $649.99 / AU$1,049.99 – which features a six-month Meta Quest+ trial and copy of Asgard's Wrath 2 included.