The Meta Quest 3 has just been announced, a mixed reality headset that costs $499, a fraction of the cost of Apple's upcoming Vision Pro. Coming October 10th, it isn't solely a gaming device but looks set to be a breakthrough headset in the gaming sphere especially.
That's because Mark Zuckerberg himself has confirmed that it will be getting Xbox Cloud Gaming (not at launch but in December). This service will bring hundreds of games onto the VR scene for the first time. It won't necessarily mean that each title has fully enabled native VR controls but you will be able to project them onto a virtual screen, to play in private or without a TV with a 110-degree field of view. As someone who plays in a living room shared by housemates, that's something that you can't put a price on.
The Quest 3's hardware is also stepping up in a way that gamers will appreciate. With Qualcomm's Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chip under the hood, the GPU has doubled in power, helping games developed for Meta Quest look better than ever.
Xbox Cloud Gaming has some incredible titles on it too, such as Halo, Starfield and Forza. If you've got an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, it's completely free too. At a time when some dismiss VR games as pure gimmicks or one-off experiences, it's an extremely savvy move for Meta to bring games that we know and love already to the platform.
Of course, the big gamble is will cloud gaming itself take off. Google Stadia's premature end would say no, and it requires a faster more stable internet connection than many can manage. But to be honest, the premise of switching between hundreds of games seamlessly without downloads sounds so tempting.