Meta Quest 3 looks like serious budget competition for Apple's Vision Pro

Meta Quest 3
(Image credit: Meta)

Meta Quest 3 is expected to be released before the end of 2023, beating Apple's Vision Pro to the market. And while it isn't aimed at professional use like Apple's upcoming mixed-reality headset, it does introduce some similar design tweaks. And it will cost less than a quarter of the price.

Meta hasn't yet announced a definitive release date, but it says the Meta Quest 3 will be available "this fall" starting from $499.99. It looks set to build on the 2020 Oculus Quest 2 with a slimmer, lighter design and other improvements. Here's everything we know so far (see our pick of the best VR headsets for art and gaming for current options).

Meta Quest 3: design and features

Meta Quest 2 alongside Meta Quest 3 seen from above

Meta Quest 2 (left) beside Meta Quest 3 (right) (Image credit: Meta)

Recent images and hands-on reports confirm that the Meta Quest 3 will be significantly lighter and thinner than the Quest 2, with a 40% slimmer profile. This should make it more comfortable to use for longer periods. The strap design has also been changed, with the strap dividing in two towards the back instead of the single strap across the top of the headset.

Meanwhile, Meta says that a new Snapdragon chip offers twice the graphics performance of the Quest 2. In terms of features, it adds some of those promised by the Apple Vision Pro, including hand-tracking and pass-through video capabilities. 

There are three new sensor areas on the front that hold four cameras and a depth sensor. Meanwhile, the Touch Plus controllers have TruTouch haptics without the rings that the Quest 2 controllers have for positional tracking. 

In a hands-on report, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said the pass-through video was “almost lifelike,” and the headset had made improvements in how the cameras deal with light and colour. Quest 2 games will work on the device.

Meta Quest 3 release date

Meta says that the Meta Quest 3 will be released in autumn 2023. The Meta Connect 2023 event has been scheduled for 27 September and we expect more details including a definite release date to be announced then. Our best guess is that the headset will be released in October or November. 

It's possible that the event will see the announcement of new software and possibly new hardware too, but a Meta Quest Pro 2 does not seem to be coming anytime soon.

Meta Quest 3 price

Meta Quest 3

The Meta Quest 3 and Touch Plus Controllers (Image credit: Meta)

Meta has announced that the starting price of the Meta Quest 3 will be $499.99 / £499.99 for a 128GB edition. At least one other configuration with more storage space will be available at a price that's not yet been confirmed.

It's a bit of a price bump from the Quest 2, which was $200 cheaper on release. Nonetheless, it's a third of the Quest Pro's launch price of $1,499.99 (although the Quest Pro got a price cut to $999.99 / £949.99 in March) and less than a quarter of the rumoured $3,000 that Apple is expected to charge for the Vision Pro.

The Quest 2 will still be available, now back at its original price of $299.99 / £299.99 for the 128GB version following a price hike last year. The price of the 256GB version has been reduced to $349.99 / £349.99 (see below for the best current prices in your region, and also see our pick of the best VR apps).

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Joseph Foley

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news and features, updates buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment for creatives, from monitors to accessories and office supplies. A writer and translator, he also works as a project manager at London and Buenos Aires-based design, production and branding agency Hermana Creatives, where he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing photography, video content, graphic design and collaterals for the hospitality sector. He enjoys photography, particularly nature photography, wellness and he dances Argentine tango.