- The Meta Quest 3, which will be released on October 10, 2023, will be 40% thinner and feature a new Snapdragon processor, redesigned controllers, and full color passthrough with natural depth perception.
- Despite the upgrades, reasons to avoid the Meta Quest 3 include a price cut on the Meta Quest 2, cross-compatible game selection, and competition from current and upcoming VR headsets.
- Alternatives to the Meta Quest 3 include the Meta Quest 2, Valve Index, and Sony VR 2.
While people are getting excited about Apple’s new mixed-reality headset, Meta is preparing their headset for an update. While tempting, you may want to avoid a Meta Quest 3 despite the upgrade and some of the exciting new features. Competing headsets are one reason, but you’ll also want to consider areas like game selection and pricing as well.
What Is the Meta Quest 3?
The Meta Quest 3, is set to debut on October 10, 2023.
It’s said to be 40% thinner than its predecessor, though it is only 6 grams lighter. You will, however, see a significant upgrade under the hood. A new Snapdragon processor, the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2, will double the power while redesigned controllers provide more feedback. Everything will feel more fluid, but the company has also put a strong emphasis on AR with the Meta Quest 3.
While still a VR headset, you’re going to hear the term “mixed-reality” more often with the Meta Quest 3. That’s due in part to the Apple Vision Pro which is going to make the phrase popular, but also thanks to new features. In addition to its VR capabilities, this headset will have a full color passthrough feature with natural depth perception.
Reasons to Avoid a Meta Quest 3
It’s hard to argue against the new Meta Quest 3 becoming an instant hit when it arrives in the fall. It’s a best-selling headset for a reason, and the company looks to have improved it in several significant areas. However, is it the best VR headset for you? That’s easy to answer once you understand more about the competition and the technology itself. With that in mind, here are four reasons to avoid a Meta Quest 3.
The main reason to avoid a Meta Quest 3 is the price cut on the Meta Quest 2. When the company announced its new headset, they also told consumers they can expect a permanent price cut on the older headset.
Meta Quest 3 is priced at $499 for the base model, but you can purchase the 128GB version of the Meta Quest 2 for $299. Even with the older specifications, that’s a deep discount. It should open the doors to a lot of consumers who felt the Quest 2 was priced too high initially. The company dropped the price on the 256GB version as well.
While we don’t expect to see the Meta Quest Pro with a similar discount for a while, it’s hard to ignore a 50% price cut on the Meta Quest 2. Especially when you factor in the next best reason to avoid a Meta Quest 3 headset.
VR Game Selection
It took a while for Meta to build up their library of titles, but currently, they claim to have more than 500 games to play. A quick look through the Oculus shop shows a wealth of titles across dozens of genres. That includes hit classics like Beat Saber, along with top-tier titles like Among Us and Iron Man VR.
Meta has promised even more new games are on the way, and you can expect plenty to arrive through their online shop before the Meta Quest 3 is released on October 10, 2023. While the game selection is solid on the platform, the games are also cross-compatible between headsets.
That means anything you can play on the Meta Quest 3 will work on the Meta Quest 2. You may notice a performance difference between newer titles and ones designed specifically for the new headset’s hardware. Outside of that, their entire current catalog was designed with the Meta Quest 2 in mind, so you shouldn’t have to worry about Quest 3 exclusives for some time.
Current VR Headsets
Another factor tied to game selection comes into play when you begin to look at VR headsets from competitors. While there are platform-exclusive titles as you find with consoles, you’ll be surprised by how many games are playable on multiple headsets.
You may also be shocked at how well games perform on headsets with more power than the Meta Quest 2. There were a number of reasons to avoid that headset early on, including better VR and mixed-reality systems. That includes the aforementioned Meta Quest Pro, which is faster, has better resolution, and has a high-definition color passthrough camera.
That headset is impressive, but so is the Valve Index 2, which has begun to slip in price due to its age. There are also VR headsets like the HTC Vive to consider. Their headset comes in several different lines, from older models to the recently announced Vive XR Elite mixed reality headset.
There are dozens of VR headsets available now that allow you to play most of the same titles. When you consider the possibility of high demand for the Meta Quest 3, it may not be worth the wait.
Upcoming VR Headsets
The last area on our list of reasons to avoid a Meta Quest 3 is also related to competing headsets, but not the ones currently on the market. For every company that’s had a successful VR headset launch, you can expect a sequel to follow.
Between new headsets from companies that are just getting into the space, like Apple, and models due for a refresh, there will be no shortage of new VR headsets over the next two to three years. The recent announcement of the Apple Vision Pro mixed reality headset has a lot to do with that.
You can expect more consumers to become interested in VR and AR thanks to Apple, which means there will be an increased interest in the space from manufacturers. Meta could release several versions of the Meta Quest 3. You also have to take into account new headsets from lesser-known names like Bigscreen Beyond and Pimax.
Alternatives to a Meta Quest 3
Now that you understand why it might not be a great idea to invest in the Meta Quest 3, it’s time to take a look at the best alternatives to Meta’s upcoming VR headset.
Meta Quest 2
The Meta Quest 2 recently received another price cut, which makes it an attractive choice for consumers who want to get involved with Meta’s ecosystem.
One of the draws of the Meta Quest 2 is its self-contained nature. You don’t need to worry about tripping over cords, as the set is essentially ready to roll out of the box. You don’t need a smartphone or PC to use this VR headset. While it is three years old, the hardware is still more than capable of bringing consumers a memorable experience.
As for those tech specs, the Meta Quest 2, features 3D positional audio along with hand tracking through their unique controllers. The Guardian boundary system keeps gamers safe during strenuous adventures. The resolution on this headset is 1,920 x 1,832 for each eye. The system gets its power from a Snapdragon XR2 chip. The base model has 128GB of storage, but there’s a 256GB variant for gamers that need more space.
This headset has been a hot seller since it rolled out and it is still selling well today, despite the competition. It’s the most accessible VR headset for the general masses, made even more attractive thanks to the discount ahead of the Meta Quest 3.
The Meta Quest 2 is the best choice for gamers on a budget and those interested in getting their few wet in VR. When you’re ready to take the next step, you’ll want to consider Valve. The Valve Index sports a premium price tag but provides one of the most immersive virtual reality experiences around.
Valve’s headset has a resolution of 1,600 x 1,400 per eye with dual LCD displays. It has canted lenses and allows you to dial in the perfect distance for your eyes. At 130 degrees, the field of view is better than the Meta Quest 2. While the optics are top-notch, the Valve Index controllers are amazing — both impressive and immersive.
Whether you’re trying to pick up an ammo clip, throwing a ball, or waving to a friend, you’ll be impressed by the design and precision of these controllers. From capacitive touch sensors to pressure sensors, Valve set a high bar with the Index controllers. The game selection is outstanding as well, with titles from Google’s Tilt Brush to No Man’s Sky and FIFA 23.
The Valve Index is one of the more expensive VR systems, but it requires users to stay tethered to a PC. That will rule it out for some, however, if you have the space and want the best VR experience, you can get it from the Valve Index.
Sony PlayStation VR2
Microsoft has teased AR and VR headsets for years, but if you want to enter virtual worlds from a console, Sony is the best choice. The company has produced content for its VR system since 2016 and the VR2 has proved just as popular as their original headset.
Sony fans knew they would get a new headset for use with the PlayStation 5. Well, the company did not disappoint. Their new headset has improved resolution at 2,040 x 2,000 per eye. By comparison, the original headset is 1,080 x 960. Both are OLED displays, but the new model can handle HDR content. That makes a huge difference in content, and so does the new six-camera array on this headset.
Tracking has also improved on the new headset. The break-out box was axed from the system to streamline the experience. The controllers have also seen a significant upgrade and are more in line with controllers from Valve and Meta. You’ll get pass-through on this system, but you may not use it much thanks to the fantastic selection of games.
Sony’s lineup of VR titles hits a little differently than other systems, and there are plenty of exclusives to go along with fan-favorite VR titles. Early reviews of the PS VR2 have been positive, and while it’s not for everyone, the only real drawback for PlayStation owners is the price.
If you’re already involved with virtual reality or have been intrigued by the concept, 2023 is shaping up to be an exciting year. We have no doubt the Meta Quest 3 will sell well and be a popular item around the holidays. There are some fantastic alternatives, however, depending on your budget and needs.
|Alternatives to a Meta Quest 3|
|Meta Quest 2|
|Reasons to Avoid Meta Quest 3|
|VR Game Selection|
|Current VR Headsets|
|Upcoming VR Headsets|
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