Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, is betting heavily on VR – and that means lots of new VR tech is coming our way. We're expecting to see its new high-end headset codenamed Project Cambria, most likely called the Meta Quest Pro, later this month, but a new leak indicates that work is well advanced on the next generation of the Oculus Quest 2 (pictured above), the most consumer-friendly model. The Meta Quest 3 appears to be on track for an early 2023 release, which puts it up against Sony's PSVR 2.
The leak comes via Brad Lynch, who has a reasonably good track record, and appears to be CAD renders of the upcoming headset alongside details of the headset's specifications.
What do these images tell us about the Meta Quest 3?
If they're genuine, then the most obvious takeaway is that the headset isn't visually much different from the current model. However, there doesn't appear to be eye tracking – a key feature of other headsets including Project Cambria and PSVR 2 – and the strap, which isn't the most comfortable one we've tried, appears to be unchanged.
One thing the CAD files can't show us is the detailed specification – so we don't know what resolution the screens will have, how much memory the headset will have and most importantly, how much it's going to cost. We're expecting a price hike over the Oculus Quest 2 – Meta has said as much, and recently increased the price of the Quest 2 to $400/£400/AU$630 for the cheapest model – and that could be a problem, because the low price of the Quest 2 was a significant factor in its success.
It'll be interesting to see how the Meta Quest 3 compares to PSVR 2, which is looking very impressive so far: Sony's headset is much more attractive than the current, ageing PlayStation VR and already has a stellar line-up of games to play. To an extent, the Quest 2 had the market to itself when it launched in 2020: the PlayStation VR was already four years old by that point, and felt positively ancient by comparison. But this time Meta and Sony are going head to head with brand new hardware. I suspect that means it's going to be a much tougher battle this time around.