The Metaverse is dead, long live the Metaverse. Earlier this week, Mark Zuckerberg announced the Meta Quest 3 on his Instagram. Alongside his announcement, Meta came in with a full article with more details about the new headset, pricing, and what it means for the Meta Quest 2’s future. So, let’s dig in and break it down.
Zuck dropped the news just days before the anticipated announcement of Apple’s headset. It’s theorized that Apple’s big foray into virtual reality could cost as much as $3,000. Yea, there are three zeroes in that number. There’s really no comparison, honestly. But, that’s one way to steal Apple’s thunder.
The Meta Quest 3 will be starting at the slightly more affordable $499, meaning higher versions of storage may end up being about $100 more. While it’s also pricey, there’s good news coming for the Meta Quest 2.
The older model is getting a price drop on June 4th, back down to $299 for the 128GB model. They make it seem like they’re doing a favor for such a ridiculous price drop. But, that’s the original price of the same headset before they increased it by $100 last year. For those looking to get into virtual reality without giving up a kidney in the process, the Meta Quest 2 has been a mainstay since its debut in 2020.
They also stated that they will continue to support the Meta Quest 2 and that a firmware update is incoming to the Quest 2 and Quest Pro that would make it quite a bit faster and perform better.
So, what does Meta Quest 3 give us?
For those looking to see if it’s worth grabbing the new, more powerful headset, you’re in luck. According to Meta’s article on their website, the Meta Quest 3 will feature “higher resolution, stronger performance, breakthrough Meta Reality technology, and a slimmer, more comfortable headset”.
The Quest 3 will offer a next-gen Snapdragon chipset from Qualcomm. This headset will be first-to-market for this specific chipset and offers over double the power as the Quest 2’s GPU.
It will also offer a pretty seamless experience between virtual and actual reality, taking a more “augmented reality” approach to the surroundings of the user. They use a couple examples, such as playing the virtual board game Demeo at your kitchen table or decorating your actual living room with virtual art.
One thing that virtual reality companies have to constantly do is make the headsets more comfortable to wear. Gone are the days of the Virtual Boy or big clunky headsets that weigh you down. Meta has learned from previous iterations for a “40% slimmer optic profile”. They also redesigned the Touch Plus controllers for a more comfortable and ergonomic feel.
Hand tracking is immediately supported, as well, with a feature called Direct Touch. Or you can grab the Meta Quest Touch Pro controllers, if you want the all-around, highest end experience.
Meta also assured the fanbase that the Quest 3 will launch with full compatibility to the entire Quest 2 catalog. That’s over 500 VR games and apps, currently. The number will likely be even higher by the time of launch.
Speaking of launch, we don’t know the launch date for it yet. But, we will know more during the Meta Connect event on September 27.
Just after the Meta Quest 3 announcement, they dropped the Meta Quest Gaming Showcase. The over an hour-long video spends about 10 minutes of trailers before the event. Then, it has another 40-minutes with the host, Ruth Bram, showing off new announcements for games. And finally, it wraps up the event for the last 20-minutes doing interviews with various developers of some games presented in the video.
Right off the bat, the first trailer shown in the video is No More Rainbows, a game that is already out, a game bent on subverting your thoughts about good and evil and looks incredibly fun. It’s available on all current Meta Quest headsets and will be compatible on the Quest 3. We may have to pick this one up now.
Once the show began, we were shown a couple classic, nostalgic titles. Samba de Amigo is getting the VR treatment. Based on the name not being numbered, it seems to be a bit of a reboot to the series, not that it mattered to any lore or anything. Honestly, this series has always been well-liked as a maraca rhythm game. It’ll make for a great VR title. This one is available for pre-order now for Fall 2023.
The 7th Guest VR is another classic title coming to the Meta Quest arsenal. As a reimagining of the 1993 classic puzzle game in a spooky mansion, The 7th Guest VR uses full motion capture for the actors in the game and looks like a solid remake of the CD-ROM era game. You can wishlist it now on the Meta Quest store.
Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord puts players in the shoes of a Ghostbuster dealing with a mad scientist looking to unleash chaos. You work under the San Francisco HQ for the Ghostbusters and can team up with friends or work solo. Bustin’ in VR makes me feel good. It’s up for wishlisting on the Meta Quest store.
There was just an absolute ton of games that they showed off during the event. Some other favorites of ours were Arizona Sunshine 2, UNDERDOGS, and Bulletstorm VR. They also announced that Assassin’s Creed Nexus VR is coming this year. But, we have to wait until the Ubisoft Forward event on June 12th to learn more.
Finally, Meta showed off what they consider one of their flagship AAA titles for the Quest, Asgard’s Wrath 2. Taking place after the first game, it pits you, yet again, against Loki. This time, you find yourself in Ancient Egypt, among other settings. Although you face off against monsters and gods, the game seems very Assassin’s Creed or Dishonored at first glance. You can pre-order it now. If you do, they give you the first Asgard’s Wrath on PC VR for free. You also get a “Meta Quest home environment”, and an “exclusive Asgard’s Wrath 2 character bundle to use in POPULATION: ONE”.
If you’re into virtual reality and tech, you probably also know about this past week’s Computex 2023 event in Taipei. They showed off a ton of new hardware for computers, gaming, and beyond.