The latest Meta Quest 3 update brings mixed reality improvements

Update v64 is here for your Meta Quest 3 and other Quest hardware, and it adds a big quality-of-life improvement for fans of mixed reality: better passthrough.

According to Meta’s official blog, the update has made the Quest 3’s passthrough “higher-fidelity than before”, resulting in your headset being better at adjusting color, exposure, contrast, and dynamic range to best suit your real-world environment. 

These updates should make it easier to read text on screens, and to use the headset in darker rooms.

We’ve tested the improved feature out, and it does seem easier to read text on real-world screens, and Meta’s claim that it’s less grainy in low light seems to ring true as well. That said, in general the passthrough doesn’t seem massively improved – so while it is better, don’t go in expecting ultra-crisp, Apple Vision Pro-levels of mixed-reality passthrough quality. 

The experimental menu on the Meta Quest 3 showing the new External Mic Support feature toggle

(Image credit: Meta)

Can you hear me now?

Beyond upgraded passthrough, update v64 brings with it a few additional refinements to your VR headset’s software.

The first is that your Quest device can now support an external microphone – with the feature appearing in the experimental settings menu. Once you’ve toggled it on you’ll be able to plug in an external microphone via the USB-C port to capture audio for VR content creation or in-game chat instead of using the Quest 3’s built-in mic.

Following its addition last month for Oculus Quest 2 users, Meta Quest 3 users can now use their headsets lying down too. 

What’s more, Continuous Casting has been added. Previously, if you removed your headset while casting to your phone the session would end, and Meta admitted that more often than not users would rather keep it running rather than have to restart every time they wanted to take their headset off (say to take a drink or talk to someone).  So now if you remove your headset while casting the session won’t be cut short – just make sure that you stop casting manually using your phone when you’re done.

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Windows 11 is getting long-requested improvements to windowed gaming

If you prefer to play certain games in a window, rather than full screen on your PC, then you might want to check out the latest Windows 11 Insider update.

The Windows Insider Dev update of build 22545 and above – which allows you to sign up to features in testing that are not ready for a final release – is showcasing a feature called 'Optimizations for windowed games'. Enabling this in Settings will allegedly improve latency, and showcase Auto HDR and Variable Refresh Rates (VRR) for the games that support these two features.

There are some games that should be played in full-screen mode, especially if you've bought an expensive monitor to showcase God of War or Sonic Adventure. But windowed games make it easier to multitask between emails, social media, and watching video side-by-side.

Improvements to this only prove further that Microsoft is looking at all aspects of Windows 11 in this upcoming feature update to make this OS its best yet. Seeing Microsoft focus on something like windowed gaming would have been completely unimaginable back in the days of Windows Vista.


Analysis: windowed gaming gets its due

If you're running build 22545 and above, you can go to Settings > System > Display > Graphics > Default Graphics Settings to turn this feature on.

But you can also enable this for certain games by going to Settings > System > Display > Graphics and selecting which games you want to benefit from this feature.

It's another welcome move by Microsoft to look at aspects of the operating system that's been left by the wayside. There are plenty of users out there with one monitor, where they like to easily switch between a game and a web browser, or have them side by side.

Especially for games that work well for a keyboard and not a controller, you can seamlessly switch windows using Alt+Tab to jump back and forth between the game and whatever else you have open.

However, this also looks to be laying the groundwork for better compatibility for games that you can buy on a storefront, such as Steam, Epic Games, and Microsoft's own Xbox app. Having better ways to play a game in windowed mode is only a positive move by the company, and if this display type is getting attention, it makes us wonder what else Microsoft is focusing on for Windows 11 in the coming months and years.

Via WindowsLatest

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