- The Meta Quest 3 is a mixed-reality headset that offers a solid look at the future of virtual reality.
- Touch Plus controllers for the Meta Quest 3 are highly praised for their convenience and adaptability for both gaming and productivity features.
- The Meta Quest 3 features a powerful Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 processor, providing improved graphics and faster loading times.
In the world of virtual reality, at least until the Apple Vision Pro, the Meta Quest 3 is the next big thing. Arguably better than the Meta Quest 2 in every way, the Meta Quest 3 has certainly grabbed the attention of VR fans everywhere. For now, it’s safe to say the Meta Quest 3 is a solid look at the future of where this growing community is heading.
However, instead of focusing solely on virtual reality, the Meta Quest 3 is actually more of a mixed-reality headset. The big question is why you would want the Meta Quest 3, especially with the Apple Vision Pro arriving in 2024. Well, the first reason is cost as the Quest 3 costs about 7 times less than Apple’s upcoming product. This might be the reason consumers need to give Meta’s newest VR product strong consideration when their next VR purchase comes around.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at the best reasons to buy a Meta Quest 3 today.
What is the Meta Quest 3?
Released to the world on October 10, 2023, the Meta Quest 3 is approximately 40% thinner than Meta Quest 2. Developed by Meta Platforms, the headset is undoubtedly taking inspiration from the Quest Pro. Both the thinner design and additional sensors creating a mixed-reality environment were made possible by Quest Pro advances.
Using a pair of LCD displays with a per-eye resolution of 2064 x 2208, the Quest 3 well outpaces the resolution of the Quest 2. A first look at the headset shows three pill-looking sensors and camera designs that help identify a user’s surroundings.
Powered by a Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 processor, Meta claims Quest 3 produces twice as much graphic power as Quest 2. We also can’t forget the Touch Plus hand controllers take inspiration from the Quest Pro and have their own sensors that are complemented by those in the Quest 3 headset.
Best Reasons to Buy a Meta Quest 3
#1: Touch Plus Controllers
One of the biggest recipients of praise with the Meta Quest 3 has been the Touch Plus controllers. Quest 2 owners who are familiar with the controllers will give thanks the plastic rings are now gone. Even with their absence, the controller otherwise remains the same. The biggest highlight of the Quest 3 controller is that they are super easy for someone to learn. Navigating menu systems with a controller is a real highlight as everything feels super seamless.
The button layout, in particular, has been carefully thought out to be as convenient for the user as possible. Both the buttons and triggers have been placed in a way that makes them very easy to reach. Whether it’s interacting with an object (in the game) or performing some kind of action within an app, you won’t need to worry about a lengthy learning curve. Better yet, the controllers are easily adaptable for both gaming and productivity features. It’s this dual combination that helps make the Quest 3 a giant in the space right now.
#2: Powerful Processor
One of the upgrades from the Meta Quest 2 is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 processor. The big takeaway here is that the Quest 3 operates twice as fast as its predecessor. You can credit processor improvements with the increased resolution in each eye. You can also credit XR2 Gen 2 with improving graphics throughout every downloadable application. Not only does this include productivity apps, but games as well. As games are one of the biggest Quest 3 use cases, processor improvements are definitely welcome.
As an added bonus, the XR2 Gen 2 helps bring about this mixed-reality future with the Meta Quest 3. This helps drive better camera support and crisper menus. Even shadow rendering is vastly improved between the two generations of headsets.
What is also notable is that the same processor appears in both model sizes of the Meta Quest 3. This is good news for anyone who may want the smaller storage allotment and focus more on productivity features. As games tend to take up more room, buyers of the lower storage tier don’t have to sacrifice any performance.
#3: Surround Sound
One of the first things Meta touted with the Quest 3 over the Quest 2 was the sound quality. Meta goes as far as to say the Quest 3 offers a 40% louder audio range than its predecessor. This is good news for future Quest 3 owners. Any improved audio experience is going to come through no matter what task you are performing on the Quest 3.
In fact, this boosted audio experience makes a strong case that the Quest 3 can double as a home theater.
Better yet, playing a game backed up by a strong soundtrack will give you even more bass. Put all sound improvements together and feel more immersed in gaming. These improvements really make a difference between Meta Quest generations. The integrated speakers blast sound into your ears to make you feel as if audio is coming from every direction. Plus, nobody around you is the wiser as the audio is pumped directly into your ears.
#4: Better Ergonomics
When it comes to better ergonomics, most of the conversation with the Quest 3 starts with its slimmer profile. Meta was somehow able to create a 40% slimmer “optic profile” which leads to a much lighter experience. Somehow this is true when the Quest 2 weighs approximately 17.7 ounces against the Quest 3’s 18.2 ounces, it’s hard to imagine this being slimmer. Even though the heavier hardware is noted, Meta made magic happen and made the Meta Quest 3 much more comfortable to wear. This is exactly what potential buyers want to hear as more comfort equals less fatigue over time.
One of the main reasons for increased comfort is the strap design. Meta has reintroduced the strap that can accommodate head shapes of all sizes without feeling like it’s putting too much pressure on any one point of the head. Having the opportunity to adjust the facial interface so it’s closer to your face or more distant helps you create the most ideal field of view. When combined, all of these features create a solid ergonomic profile that helps the Meta Quest 3 rise above its predecessor.
#5: Wonderful Display
Perhaps the most important aspect of any virtual reality headset is its display. It’s with this in mind that Meta really stepped up between Quest 2 and Quest 3. Improving the resolution for each eye from 1832 x 1920 on the Quest 2 to 2064 x 2208 on the Quest 3 is a bigger improvement than many might think. While the Quest 3 lacks eye tracking, it makes up for this loss with other benefits.
When you factor in the increased processing power with the visual upgrades per eye, you rightfully expect a substantial improvement. Meta delivers in this regard and everything looks visually better overall. Even basic tasks like navigating around the menu interface look sharper overall.
#6: Gaming Benefits
Of course, games are one of the biggest areas you see improvements with the Quest 3. The updated pancake lenses tucked away in the Quest 3 help create a larger field of view. Whether it’s text in a game or playing through gaming titles, everything just feels like it’s much improved.
The 4K+ Infinite Display resolution plus the 104-degree horizontal and 96-degree vertical view give you a huge opportunity to expand your peripheral vision when you are in a virtual world. This is an experience home video game consoles cannot replicate and will likely be unable to do so well into the future.
Now, factor in faster loading times, smoother gameplay, visual improvements, and gaming on the Meta Quest 3 is better than ever.
#7: Mixed-Reality Has Arrived
Even though its price tag is outside of impulse territory, mixed reality is about to get a whole lot bigger. The upcoming release of the Apple Vision Pro is good news for every VR manufacturer. It’s already creating more conversation around the idea of mixed reality. For new Quest 3 users, mixed reality can be as basic as the headset scanning the walls of a room to create a play area.
Now, consider the Quest 3 taking this tech a step further and layering virtual reality graphics on top of the room’s layout. By doing so, Meta increases the hope that you will become increasingly interested in a mixed-reality future.
Additionally, stereoscopic depth perception helps you interact with any objects or characters that come to life around you. This is mostly true during gaming but also in other tasks. For example, the Quest 3 can help you feel like you are sitting courtside at an NBA game. Alternatively, fire up a productivity app that takes full advantage of the horizontal range. The extra visual space allows you to do so much more at once. It’s multitasking at the next level.
#8: Software Updates
There is no doubt the Quest virtual reality headset lineup has been a hot topic for Meta’s CEO. With this in mind, it should come as no surprise the company is delivering regular software updates. This is true for both bug fixes and feature improvements. Any potential buyer of the Quest 3 should feel comfortable knowing the company is committed to software updates. Bug fixes and optimizations are an important part of any product’s lifecycle. Meta has proven to be very focused on this space, which should give buyers forking out $500 real peace of mind.
#9: App Selection
While 500+ apps might seem small compared to the likes of app stores of Apple or Google, it’s a big number for Meta. Not only do you get two handpicked titles every month from Meta with the purchase of the 512GB Quest 3 variant, but buyers of both sizes can take full advantage of the complete app library.
Between meeting up with friends in Roblox, watching UFC fights live, to playing as a quarterback in QB1, the app variety is really strong.
Rest assured that even with 500 apps, you should never lack for something new to try or experience. There is also the benefit of apps regularly seeing sales or new apps arriving with notable discounts.
When it comes to the best virtual reality headset available today, the Meta Quest 3 makes a strong case. Between a reasonable price point, increased comfort, better performance, and sound, Meta has arguably produced its best virtual reality headset.
When you consider that Meta wants you to think of the Quest 3 as a mixed-reality headset more than a virtual reality one, the opportunities are plentiful. Add in a wonderful selection of apps and you might want to put the Meta Quest 3 under the tree yourself this holiday season.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Myriam B/Shutterstock.com.