The last Quest 2 update before the Meta Quest 3 launch is underwhelming

Meta is rolling out update v57 to your Meta Quest Pro and Oculus Quest 2. This last patch before the Meta Quest 3 launch event later this month is underwhelming compared to previous ones, but it fixes a few snags that should make the Quest 3 feel super–smooth and intuitive on its release.

The biggest change coming in this update is to avatar customization, though Meta is only adding a few tweaks. After updating to v57 you’ll have greater control over your avatar’s skin tone, hair and eyebrow color, and the makeup they’re wearing. These changes should make it easier for your virtual representation to better match your IRL look and style. 

Meta’s avatars aren’t just used in its own suite of VR apps like its Horizon Worlds metaverse; they’re also used by a whole bunch of third-party experiences like ForeVR Bowl – a game this writer is a champion in. These new customization options will allow you to bring a more accurate representation of yourself to a wider range of VR activities – and these changes might encourage more devs to support Meta avatars in their software.

A large floating menu fills the screen. It shows a Meta avatar wearing a pop star outfit on the right, next to a massive range of color customization options for their hair and makeup.

(Image credit: Meta)

Another change is the ability to finally explore more of your Horizon Home – the VR space you first land into when you boot up your headset. Previously you’ve only been able to jump between preset hotspots in the VR space. While this fixed approach is accessible to new VR users, Meta admits that this restriction becomes more and more jarring as you explore other virtual reality experiences and get used to a high degree of freedom that isn’t present in your Horizon Home. 

With update v57, Meta is unlocking free-form locomotion, so you can teleport (almost) anywhere in the space. Just push the joystick forward on either controller and an arch will appear that shows you where you’ll travel to – release the joystick when the arch is white and you’ll teleport, but you won’t move if the arch is red.

Lastly, Meta is adding the ability to unsend image messages in VR and in the Meta Quest mobile app – at least for users in Australia, Canada, Iceland, New Zealand, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the US. To unsend a message you just have to hover over the image in VR (or tap on it in the Quest mobile app) and select Unsend to correct any mistakes you may have made by sending the wrong image to the wrong person. The only trace of the old message will be a notification that something was unsent, which the recipient will see instead of the image.

A conversation appears on a floating screen in a VR recreation of a home with chairs and rocky decorations. The user has highlighted an image and is hovering their cursor over the Unsend buton.

(Image credit: Meta)

More to come? 

This v57 update is a tad disappointing compared to some previous Quest updates that have brought direct touch for hand-tracking, vastly improved video settings, and major CPU and GPU performance upgrades. But with the Meta Quest 3 just around the corner, it makes a bit of sense. 

For one, Meta may be saving some big platform changes for an update that releases after the Quest 3 has launched, helping the new headset to feel fresh and exciting from both a hardware and software perspective.

Alternatively, by getting these minor annoyances fixed ahead of the Quest 3 announcement, Meta is leaving the Quest OS in a good spot for a few months while it works on developing any user-requested features that come in after launch.

Most Quest updates typically drop monthly, but the first Quest update after the Quest Pro launch (v47) was released roughly two months after the previous one. That’s likely due to Meta adding features like mixed reality capture and background audio playback that the Quest Pro community was clamoring for very vocally. But these kinds of reactive updates likely take a bit more time to develop, because Meta can’t start working on fixes until users tell it what they want changed.

The Meta Quest Pro on its charging pad on a desk, in front of a window with the curtain closed

The Meta Quest Pro got a major update two months after launch (Image credit: Meta)

Meta may be anticipating a similar update schedule for the Quest 3, and so it wants to get rid of some smaller snags now, so that it has the time and capacity to work on more major features that users request.

We won’t know exactly what Meta is up to until the Quest 3 release, however. To find out more about the new headset as soon as it’s announced, be sure to check back with us for our Meta Connect 2023 coverage when the event takes place on September 27.

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The Meta Quest 3 feature I was most excited about might come at a price

The Meta Quest 3 launch event is less than a month away, and excitement for the new VR headset is reaching boiling point. But if this leak is correct, the feature I was most excited about might require a pricey add-on.

Ahead of the Oculus Quest 2  successor’s reveal the online retailer has seemingly posted prices for several Quest 3 accessories. This includes a carrying case for €79.99 (around $ 86 / £68 / AU$ 134), an Elite Strap with Battery for €149.99 ($ 161 / £128 / AU$ 252), and a Silicone Face Interface for €49.99 ($ 54 / £42 / AU$ 84). These were spotted by u/Fredricko on Reddit, but the store pages have since been hidden. 

The one that’s most disappointing to me is seeing the Meta Quest 3 Charging Dock for €149.99 ($ 161 / £128 / AU$ 252). 

Thanks to a different Meta Quest 3 leak (courtesy of a US Federal Communication Agency filing) it looked like the new gadget would be getting a charging dock – my favorite Meta Quest Pro feature. Thanks to this peripheral I’ve never gone to wear my Quest Pro and found it’s out of charge – something I can’t say about my Quest 2. The dock also makes it easy to keep the headset and controllers powered up without needing to use multiple power outlets for charging – an issue with headsets such as the HTC Vive XR Elite, which requires three outlets for charging instead of one.

The Meta Quest 3 and its controllers are sat in a white plastic dock in an official looking image

The leaked Quest 3 dock. (Image credit: Meta)

Most importantly, this dock was included in the price of the Meta Quest Pro – which was $ 1,500 / £1,500 / AU$ 2,450 at launch and is now $ 999.99 / £999.99 / AU$ 1,729.99.  According to Meta, the cheapest Meta Quest 3 will be $ 499 / £499 / AU$ 829 / €499  so I was already a little worried that the dock wouldn’t come with the cheaper headset – forcing us to pay a little extra for its advantages. What I didn’t expect, however, was that the dock might be roughly a third of the price of the new machine, as this leak has suggested.

While these leaks come from a semi-official source – a Reddit user claims UnboundXR has said the prices are from Meta directly  – it’s still worth taking the information with a pinch of salt. They could be best-guess placeholder prices while the store builds the product pages ahead of the Quest 3 launch later this year. What’s more, the peripherals UnboudXR listed might still come packaged with the headset with the listings here merely being for replacement parts. We won’t know how pricey the add-ons really are until the headset launches at Meta Connect 2023.

Out with the old

If the price of these XR peripherals has got you down, I’m sorry to say the bad news doesn’t stop there. According to separate leaks, the Quest 3 may not be compatible with your Quest 2 accessories – forcing you to pay for all-new add-ons if you want them.

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This is with respect to the headset strap; @ZGFTECH on X (formerly Twitter) posted a picture seemingly showing a side-by-side of the Quest 3 strap and the Quest 2 Elite strap with the two having pretty different designs – suggesting the old strap will be incompatible with the new hardware. I’m still holding out hope however that my Quest Pro charging dock will be compatible with the Quest 3, though given the new dock’s wildly different design, I’m not holding my breath.

Admittedly this shouldn’t be entirely unexpected – it’s not unheard of for tech peripherals to be exclusive to specific devices. But it’s something to keep in mind if you’re looking to upgrade to Meta's latest VR hardware.

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Meta Quest 3 may have the ability to turn any table into your personal VR keyboard

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently took to Instagram to preview a potential virtual keyboard feature for Quest headsets.

Posted on his official account, the short clip shows Zuckerberg and Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth typing away on a VR keyboard while wearing a Quest 2 headset. The device was able to accurately track their finger movements and display what they were writing on screen without requiring any extra peripherals. According to Zuckerberg, he was able to achieve 100 wpm (words per minute) while Bosworth hit 120 wpm. To put that into perspective, the average typing speed of an adult is 40 wpm so it does perform well.

If development bears fruit, it could solve a longstanding problem with virtual reality. 

Typing in VR is a slow process. You’re forced to enter inputs one at a time since floating VR keyboards can't match the speed of a physical device. Sure, you can purchase one of the best physical keyboards out there to get the speed that you want. But then you’re forcing yourself to carry around an extra peripheral alongside the VR headset just to get the user experience you want. Things can get cumbersome.

A work in progress

There is still work to be done over at Meta’s Reality Labs research unit where this tech was developed. 

News site UploadVR points out in their report the headset requires “fiducial markers” to work properly. Fiducial markers are those black and white squares you see in the Instagram video. They assist the hardware in calibrating itself so it knows where to place the virtual keyboard. The end goal here would be to one day not need those squares for help so the VR helmet can project the keeb on any flat-enough surface.

Personally, we worry about typing feel. This technology already exists with laser keyboards that can project the keys onto a flat surface. The problem with these projections is typing feels terrible because you’re just mashing your fingers into a table, and we fear Meta’s feature will essentially be the same thing. This may be fine for the occasional email, but we can’t imagine using a VR keyboard for an entire day’s work. 

VR peripherals

It's important to mention Meta is holding a two-day Connect virtual event from September 27 to 28. It's been confirmed the Quest 3 headset will make its debut at Connect, and perhaps a beta test for the VR keyboard will be announced then. An official launch date seems unlikely. As stated earlier, there's still work to be done.

We’re also curious to know if the company will finally show off its wristband device at the event.

If you’re not aware, Meta has been working on a wristband gadget that can read the electrical signals in a person’s arm to register inputs. The latest trailer for this gadget shows it can be used for simple gestures like twitching your finger to control a video game avatar. However, back in 2021, an earlier prototype displayed the ability to function as a virtual keyboard by using the same electrical signals. It’s unknown at this time if Meta scrapped the wristband feature in favor of the headset keyboard or if it’s still in the works.

Be sure to check out TechRadar’s list of the best wireless keyboards if you’re looking for a keeb to pair up with your Quest headset. 


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Meta Quest 3 firmware leak reveals big depth mapping upgrade

All the signs are that Meta is going to fully unveil the Meta Quest 3, and give us an on sale date, at its special event on September 27. Until then, we're learning more about the device through leaks – such as the latest one that reveals its depth mapping capabilities.

In a clip dug out of the Meta Quest 3 firmware and posted to Reddit (via user Samulia and UploadVR), we see a short animation visualizing how the depth mapping is going to work. In short, it looks pretty advanced, and way ahead of the Oculus Quest 2.

We see a detailed mesh covering all of the objects in the room, and there seems to be some kind of object identification going on here as well – the couch is labeled with a couch icon, for example, so the Meta Quest 3 clearly knows what it is.

The player avatar is then shown chasing a digital character around the room, as it jumps on and behind furniture. This is an example of mixed reality occlusion, where digital elements appear to be in the same world as physical elements, and it hints at some of the experiences that will be possible on the new headset.

Meta Quest 3 room mapping visualization found in the firmware. from r/OculusQuest

A room with a view

On the current Oculus Quest 2, you're required to manually map out a free space inside a room. You can also mark out rectangular cuboids for pieces of furniture and walls, but it takes a while – and these maps aren't fully used by developers anyway.

This looks like a much more slick and comprehensive solution, and it matches up with another clip revealed in June. Meta has made noises about the Meta Quest 3 “intelligently understanding” what's inside a room, but that's all that's been made official so far.

The depth mapping and the way that mapping is used would appear to even go beyond the latest Meta Quest Pro headset. That device does have some automatic room mapping capabilities, but it doesn't have a dedicated depth sensor inside it.

Meta has another of its Connect showcases scheduled for September 27, and all should be revealed by then. While you're waiting, you can check out the latest teaser trailer for the device, and everything we know about it so far.

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Meta Quest 3 video leak shows off thinner design and new controllers

The Meta Quest 3 (aka the Oculus Quest 3) is now official, but isn't due to go on sale until September or October time. If you're keen for an earlier look at the virtual reality headset before then, an unboxing video has made its way online.

This comes from @ZGFTECH on X/Twitter (via Android Authority), and we get a full look at the new device and the controllers that come with it. Meta has already published promo images of the headset, but it's interesting to see it in someone's hands.

As revealed by Meta chief Mark Zuckerberg, the Meta Quest 3 is some 40% thinner than the Oculus Quest 2 that came before it. From this video it looks like the Quest 2's silicone face pad and cloth strap have been carried over to the new piece of hardware.

You may recall that the Quest 2 originally shipped with foam padding, before Meta responded to complaints of skin irritation by replacing the foam with silicone. That lesson now appears to have been learned with this new device and the Meta Quest Pro.

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Take control

The controllers that come with the Meta Quest 3 look a lot like the ones supplied with the Meta Quest Pro, though these don't have built-in cameras. The ring design of the Oculus Quest 2 has been ditched, with integrated sensors and predictive AI taking over tracking duties, according to Meta.

As for the outer packaging, it's not particularly inspiring, featuring just the name of the device on the top. Presumably something a bit more eye-catching will be put together before the headset actually goes on sale.

It's not clear where the headset has been sourced from, but the device has clearly been in testing for a while. This is becoming something of a running theme too, because the Meta Quest Pro was leaked in similar fashion after being left behind in a hotel room.

We should get all the details about the Meta Quest 3, including the date when we'll actually be able to buy it, on September 27 at the Meta Connect event. TechRadar will of course bring you all the news from the show, and any further leaks that may emerge between then and now.

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You know what my Oculus Quest 2 setup needs? More weird controller attachments

When I think of controller attachments, I instantly imagine the crappy Wii remote add-ons I had as a kid. 

At first, I loved them – I wouldn’t touch Wii Sports unless my controller looked like a tennis racket or golf club – but over time, I came to despise them. The cheap plastic constructions would always break after a few uses, and they objectively made playing games harder because they’d block the sensor on the end of the remote.

I’ve recently had the chance to try out the HelloReal Grip-to-putter with my Oculus Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro VR headsets, and it’s reopened my eyes to the immersion that accessories can bring to virtual reality – whether it’s gaming, working out, or just plain working.

My Grip-to-putter thoughts 

The HelloReal Grip-to-putter is a golf club controller attachment and the perfect companion for Walkabout Mini Golf – one of my favorite VR experiences

The HelloReal Grip-to-putter with an oculus quest 2 on one end and a colorful grip at the other

(Image credit: Future)

You slot your Quest 2 or Quest Pro controller into the open end where it sits snuggly – for additional assurance that your handset won’t fly off when you swing the club HelloReal has included instructions on securing it using the controller’s wrist straps. Once it’s in place you can boot up your favorite VR golfing app and enjoy swinging a club that feels much more like the real thing than your controller ever did.

The Grip-to-putter gets its name from the grip-to-putt feature in Walkabout Mini Golf. When this setting is switched on in the app’s menu your club’s end will vanish until you hold down the side grip button on the controller. This lets you get a few practice swings without the risk of accidentally hitting your virtual ball before you’re ready. 

HelloReal’s attachment includes a contraption that will hold down the controller’s grip button when you press the trigger that sits just above the padded end. While playing Walkabout with the putter took a little getting used to – because the mechanics are a bit different with the add-on – I found that it made the whole experience significantly more immersive.

Have to feel to believe 

As you can see from the images included above, the HelloReal putter looks nothing like a golf club beyond the fact it’s vaguely pole shaped. But it doesn’t matter what the add-on looks like, just what it feels like – and HelloReal has got the golf club feeling down to a tee. The padded grip and weight distribution of the putter are perfect. 

A closeup of the HelloReal Grip-to-putter with an Oculus Quest 2 attached and a black claw pressing down the grip button

(Image credit: Future)

Once I slipped my headset on, I fully believed I was holding a real golf club. And this got me thinking – I need more realistic feeling VR accessories to use at home.

Inspired by the Wii’s heyday, I can already imagine some of the VR gaming accessories I could get, such as attachments that mimic the feel of swords and axes or sporting-inspired add-ons for VR fishing and tennis.

For the VR fitness fans out there, wouldn’t it be great to get a weighted club attachment that makes your Supernatural workout a little tougher? Maybe someday, we could get a boxing glove-inspired accessory that brings Litesport VR and other boxing workouts to life.

While working in the metaverse, perhaps we could use blank slates and styluses that make us believe we’re writing on paper when taking virtual notes. OK, this add-on is a little bleak, but if metaverse working is inevitable, it might make it more enjoyable than I found it before – I much prefer traditional pen and paper to using a keyboard. It would also feel more real than the controller styluses Meta includes in the Quest Pro’s box, which enable you to write in VR, albeit clunkily. If you didn’t realize the styluses were in the box, it might be because they’re tiny and exceptionally easy to lose.

Cost and effect 

These sorts of realism-boosting accessories are already deployed by commercial VR experiences you can find in some malls and theme parks to great effect – but they do admittedly have a downside if you want to bring them home. Cost.

A VR playter running around on an Omni One VR treadmill

The Omni One VR treadmill is a next-level VR accessory (Image credit: Virtuix)

Different add-ons have different prices, with gadgets like the Omni One VR treadmill at the ‘ridiculous’ (over $ 2,500, around £2,000 / AU$ 3,900) end, and accessories like the Grip-to-putter at a more reasonable $ 58.99 (around £46 / AU$ 91). Admittedly, $ 58.99 still isn’t ‘cheap’, but if you plan to use your VR accessory a lot, you'll likely feel it offers solid bang for your buck. 

So if you are a VR power user – or even just pick it up once a week – and have been weighing up buying a few accessories for it, then I’d say go for it (provided they’re good quality). Burnt by the Wii, I’d been instantly dismissing every add-on as a gimmick, but after trying the HelloReal putter, I’ve been scouring the internet for other weird goodies I could pick up to improve my VR setup.

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The Meta Quest 3 might get my favorite Quest Pro feature

The Meta Quest 3 is reportedly getting a charging dock, as per a US regulatory filing, meaning it’s stealing yet another great feature from Meta’s best VR headset.

With this charging dock – which sounds exactly like the one that came with the Meta Quest Pro – you wouldn’t need to plug the headset into a USB-C charging cable. Instead, you’d just set it down on the base when you’re finished using it, and it’ll recharge via contact charging (metal pins on the base line up with contact points on the headset, and the charge is passed through this connection).

Interestingly, while the base will use contact charging for the headset, it will apparently use 2.5W wireless charging for the controllers (by smartphone standards this is low, but for much simpler controllers we expect charging will be speedy enough). This is a minor upgrade over the Quest Pro’s base, as wireless charging requires you to be a lot less precise with how you place the controllers on the base.

It’s because of this wireless charging change that we know about the base this far in advance of the Meta Quest 3's September 27 official announcement at Meta Connect 2023 – it was listed with the US Federal Communication Agency (FCC), which is tasked with certifying all products with electromagnetic emissions. If the base only used contact charging Meta wouldn’t need to get FCC certification for it, and it would have been kept under wraps for a little longer.

A must-have Quest 3 accessory

Charging docks are not all that exciting – I’d say the Quest Pro's was the most mundane upgrade that headset offered over its predecessors. At the same time, it’s also the best improvement by a country mile because of how much it improves the gadget’s usability.

The Meta Quest Pro on its charging pad on a desk, in front of a window with the curtain closed

The Quest Pro and its controllers on the charging dock (Image credit: Meta)

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve strapped on my Quest 2 only to discover that the battery is completely dry because I forgot to plug it in when I last stopped using it. In the roughly eight months I’ve had a Quest Pro I’ve never had the same issue, and that’s entirely thanks to the charging dock – when I’m done, I just put the headset back in its place and it instantly starts recharging.

The controller charging is handy too. Sure, the Quest 2 handset’s batteries need changing infrequently, but the less I have to think about whether I have AA batteries at the home the better. What’s more, the base is a significantly simpler solution for charging controllers than what other VR brands have used – when I was testing the HTC Vive XR Elite I found that it didn’t come with a helpful charging base, but with separate charging cables for each controller and the headset, necessitating the use of three plug sockets for charging instead of one.

The only question that remains is if the base will be included in the Quest 3’s box or sold as an add-on. Given Meta’s open desire to keep the Quest 3 relatively budget friendly with a streamlined suite of features we can see a world in which it sells the charging dock separately. Equally, $ 499 / £499 / AU$ 829 is a decent chunk of change, and we hope Meta wouldn’t nickel and dime us by forcing us to pay extra for charging accessories that improve the experience significantly.

We’ll just have to wait and see what it announces at Meta Connect 2023.

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Meta Connect 2023: 4 things we expect to see at the Meta Quest 3 launch event

Meta has named the date for Meta Connect 2023 – September 27 – and we know that the highlight of the company's annual hardware and software showcase will be the full unveiling of the Meta Quest 3 headset.

Meta Connect is something of a mixed bag, in which we’ll not only find out about the new products that Meta is releasing in the near future, such as the Quest 3, but also its plans for stuff we might not get our hands on for the best part of a decade, if not longer.

Here are four announcements and updates that we expect to see at Meta Connect 2023 – as well as one announcement that we think Meta won’t be making.

More Meta Quest 3 details 

This isn’t much of a prediction, as Meta has confirmed that it'll be officially unveiling the Quest 3 during Meta Connect 2023. 

Meta Quest 3 floating next to its two controllers, they're all facing towards us, and are clad in white plastic

(Image credit: Meta )

We already know a fair amount about the Quest 3 – it’s a standalone VR headset that will succeed the Quest 2, it’s Meta’s “most powerful headset” yet, and it will start at $ 499 / £499 / AU$ 829. But we don’t have many specific details about its specs, release date, and what different Quest 3 models will offer – Meta’s “starts at” pricing suggests that more expensive upgraded versions of the Quest 3 will be available, and while we expect they’ll just be different storage options (as was the case with the Quest 2), we’ll have to see what Meta unveils.

We also don’t know if Meta will show off any new software to take advantage of the Quest 3’s specs. It may announce new VR games and apps that will take advantage of the Quest 3's improved performance over its predecessors, as well as mixed reality software that will be able to use the Quest 3’s improved color passthrough (the Quest Pro’s color-passthrough was okay but very grainy, and according to people in the know the Quest 3’s passthrough is significantly better).

Microsoft Office on Quest 

Speaking of Quest 3 software announcements, we hope that Meta and Microsoft will finally announce when native Office apps will be available on the Quest platform. During last year’s Meta Connect 2022 event, the companies announced that Office programs (like Word and Excel) were coming to the Quest headsets, but a year later they've yet to materialize – the only way to access them is via a virtual desktop app that’s synced with your real-world PC.

Microsoft 365 app logos including Teams, Word and Outlook surrounding the CoPilot hexagon

Maybe the AI Copilot will come to Quest as well (Image credit: Microsoft/GTS)

The companies also said that Xbox game streaming would be coming to VR, but since the announcement details have been scarce. Meta Connect 2023 would be the perfect time to finally give us a release date – and hopefully one that’s in 2023, as we’re tired of waiting.

Given that Apple is set to launch its Apple Vision Pro headset in early 2024, Meta only has a few months left to make its platform look as strong as possible before the new rival enters the space. This Apple headset will likely include VR versions of Apple’s catalog of productivity apps such as Pages and Keynote – so Meta would be smart to get Microsoft’s software onto its systems asap.

The metaverse and AI 

Horizon Worlds, Meta’s metaverse social media platform, usually gets a shout-out during Connect events, though the announcements are often a little lackluster – last year it was the news that avatars would be getting legs. And to make matters worse, we just hopped into Horizon Worlds, and as of August 14, 2023 our avatars are still legless…

Horizon Worlds doesn’t need legs; it needs reasons for people to use it. Meta has been steadily building up a catalog of VR experiences in the app and making various graphical improvements to it, but there’s still little reason to use Horizon Worlds over other VR software. Hopefully, at Connect 2023 Meta will finally give us a reason to try its metaverse out and not walk… sorry, bounce, away immediately.

smartphone screen with large shadow giving the feeling of floating on top of the background.

ChatGPT has stolen the metaverse’s thunder (Image credit: Diego Thomazini via Shutterstock)

One way Meta in which could try to reignite interest is to combine AI with the metaverse, and bring together two of tech’s biggest current subjects. Meta has been hard at work developing AI following the success of ChatGPT and other platforms, and it may want to harness those efforts to try and make its platform more appealing – perhaps by using AI to create bigger and better Horizon Worlds experiences, or to add NPC bots to make the service seem a bit more popular than it is.

With a smartphone version of Horizon Worlds also reportedly on the way for those who don't have a VR headset, some kind of AI integration could give more people a reason to try out the app.

AR hardware plans 

At Connect 2021 and 2022 Meta has mentioned augmented reality (AR) tech and shown off things it’s working on but it’s all been in-development tech and prototypes rather than something that we regular folks will ever get our hands on. We expect this might change at Meta Connect 2023.

Both the 2021 and 2022 events came with teases of hardware that would come in the following year; in 2021 this was Project Cambria (aka the Quest Pro) and in 2022 Meta teased a new consumer-friendly VR headset (the Quest 3). In 2023 we expect it’ll do the same but for AR hardware rather than VR.

model wearing facebook  Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses outdoors

Could Meta announce the Ray-Ban Stories 2 at Meta Connect? (Image credit: Facebook / Ray-Ban)

One big reason is that we don’t think Meta is ready to tease a new VR headset yet (more on that below), but even if it did we think an AR announcement makes more sense.

As we mentioned Meta has been publicly talking about its AR plans for some time – there are only so many times it kicks the ball down the road before we get tired of it teasing AR tech we can’t use. Additionally, with Apple preferring to use augmented reality when talking about its Vision Pro headset (rather than virtual reality), Meta may want to release its own AR tech to try and capture some of the renewed interest in the space that the Vision Pro has created.

If Meta does tease some kind of AR glasses, it’ll be interesting to see if they’re created in partnership with RayBan – like its Ray-Ban Stories glasses – or if they’re a completely Meta product. We’ll have to wait and see what happens on September 27.

No Meta Quest Pro 2 teaser 

If you’re hoping Meta will also tease a ‘Meta Quest Pro 2’ during the event, we wouldn’t recommend holding your breath. While this isn’t impossible, we feel Meta will keep its VR focus on the Quest 3 during the event (outside of showing us any prototypes for non-consumer products like it’s done in the past)

Our reasoning here is twofold. Firstly, teasing another VR headset just after the Quest 3 releases could put an instant dampener on any excitement people have for the new headset – it won’t get its time in the spotlight, which could hurt sales. 

Secondly, we don’t think Meta is ready to commit to launching a new VR headset in 2024 – which is when a Meta Quest Pro 2 teased at Meta Connect 2023 would arrive based on Meta’s usual tease-release cadence.

The Meta Quest Pro on its charging pad on a desk, in front of a window with the curtain closed

The Meta Quest Pro likely won’t get a sequel for a while (Image credit: Meta)

That’s because Meta reportedly recently canceled an in-development Quest headset prototype that leakers have said was the Quest Pro 2. While Meta has argued that the headset wasn’t the Quest Pro 2, and was instead an undesignated prototype, based on the leaks it sounds like this headset would have become the Pro 2 if development continued and it was given a proper name. No matter what the project was or wasn’t called Meta hasn’t argued it was canceled, and it will take time for Meta to develop a new prototype to replace it – suggesting the Quest Pro 2 is too far from ready to tease anything.

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Meta Quest 3: price, design, and everything we know so far

The Oculus Quest 3, now officially known as Meta Quest 3, has been announced, and we won't have to wait much longer to get our hands on the highly-anticipated VR headset. 

Meta's more budget-friendly Quest 3 headset, separate from the pricier, premium Meta Quest Pro, will be more expensive than the Oculus Quest 2. That is to be expected for a new 2023 headset, and to soften the blow Meta has lowered the price of the Quest 2 so you can at least try VR if you're on a tighter budget even if it's not the latest and greatest version of it. And the Quest 3 will be greatest, with Meta calling it its “most powerful headset” yet.

There's plenty of new and official information on the Meta Quest 3 now, and it's certainly shaping up to be a contender when it comes to topping our list of the best VR headsets you can buy. For now, read on to learn everything we know about the upcoming headset.

Meta Quest 3: What you need to know

  • What is the Meta Quest 3? Meta’s follow-up VR headset to the Quest 2
  • Meta Quest 3 release date: “Fall” 2023, but most likely September or October
  • Meta Quest 3 specs: We don’t have all the details, but Meta says it’s its “most powerful headset” yet
  • Meta Quest 3 design: Similar to the Quest 2 but slimmer and the controllers lack tracking rings

Meta Quest 3 price

So far, Meta has only confirmed the price of the Quest 3's 128GB model, which will retail for $ 499 / £499. The official announcement page also makes mention of “an additional storage option for those who want some extra space.”

We're not sure exactly as to how much extra storage will be provided by this upgraded model, but it's very likely to be a total of 256GB there. No price for this model has been announced either, but expect something in the region of $ 599 / £599 or potentially up to $ 699 / £699.

Meta Quest 3 release date

The Quest 3 has been confirmed to launch in “Fall 2023,” which means, barring any delays, we should see it launch somewhere between the months of September and December 2023. Meta's official page for the Quest 3 states that further details will be revealed at the Meta Connect event happening on September 27.

Given the release schedule of the Meta Quest Pro, which was detailed at Meta Connect 2022 and launched soon after, we expect that the Meta Quest 3 will launch shortly after the Connect in September or October. We'll have to wait and see what Meta decides though.

Oculus Quest 3 specs and features

Meta Quest 3 floating next to its handsets

(Image credit: Meta )

We now have official information, straight from Meta's mouth, about the specs and features we can expect for Meta Quest 3. It was always a safe bet that the headset would continue to be a standalone device, and that's certainly remained true. You won't need a PC or external device to play the best VR games out there.

The most immediate improvement for Quest 3 is a high-fidelity color passthrough feature, which should allow you to view your immediate surroundings via a high quality camera. Not only will this help you plan out your playing space, but should also aid augmented and mixed reality experiences become even more immersive.

Quest 3 has also been confirmed to sport a 40% slimmer optic profile over the last-gen Quest 2. That'll reduce the weight of the device and should allow for comfier play sessions overall. Similarly, its Touch Plus controllers have been reworked with a more ergonomic design. Other improvements in this area include enhanced hand tracking and controller haptic feedback, similar to the DualSense wireless controller for PS5.

Meta Quest 3's front exploding outwards, revealing all of its internal parts

(Image credit: Meta )

It's been speculated that the Quest 3 will adopt uOLED displays (an upgraded version of OLED). Though, we've also seen conflicting reports that instead hint at OLED displays, and mini LED displays. What analysts seem to agree on is some kind of visual enhancement will come to the Quest 3 – so expect improved display quality and higher resolutions.

So far, Meta's own details remain vague on this front. We know that Quest 3 will feature a higher resolution display than Quest 2, paired with pancake lenses for greater image clarity and an overall reduction in device weight. These lenses should also improve the display of motion, hopefully reducing motion sickness and the dreaded image ghosting effect that plagues many a VR headset, even the PSVR 2.

Lastly, Meta has confirmed that the Quest 3 will be powered by the latest Snapdragon chipset from Qualcomm. In Meta's own words, the new chipset “delivers more than twice the graphical performance as the previous generation Snapdragon GPU in Quest 2.” We should expect a pretty significant leap in visual quality, then.

Oculus Quest 3 – what we’d like to see

In our Oculus Quest 2 review, it was hard to find fault with a VR headset that proved immersive, comfortable and easy to use. And yet, while it clearly leads the pack in the VR market, it still falls foul of some of the pitfalls that the technology as a whole suffers from. Here’s a list of updates we want to see on the Oculus Quest 3:

Improved motion sickness prevention
One of those technological pitfalls, and perhaps an unavoidable one, is the motion sickness that can often ensue when using any VR headset. Depending on your tolerance for whirring and blurring, the Quest 2 can be one helluva dizziness-inducer. While there isn’t yet a clear path to making any VR headset immune to user dizziness, it’s nonetheless something we’d like to see improved on the Oculus Quest 3.

A better fit
The same goes for the fit of the device. While the Quest 2 is indeed a comfortable weight when on the head, it can still be a little claustrophobic to achieve a good, tight fit. Again, it’s a problem encountered by almost all VR headsets, and a base-level issue that the next generation of hardware should at least attempt to better address. Those aforementioned design rumors suggest the new Oculus device could solve some of these issues.

Improved Oculus Store
Other improvements we’d like to see include a more effective in-VR Oculus Store. While the equivalent store on browser and in the app makes it easy to discover new releases and search for upcoming games, the store inside the headset itself seems to roll the dice on what apps are shown with no way to quickly navigate to new content. This makes it difficult to pre-order games and discover new titles to purchase when using the device, which is a pivotal part of ensuring the headset maintains replayability.

A virtual hand pointing at the Quest store menu using the Quest's hand-tracking

(Image credit: Oculus / Facebook)

A neighborhood-like social space 
While the Quest 2 has a competent party invitation system to get you game-to-game with your friends, there isn’t a social space to engage with others in-between. It would be interesting to see the Quest 3 introduce a virtual social space, in the same vein as NBA 2K’s neighborhood area, to share some downtime with others. What’s with the multi-person furniture in the current home environment if there’s nobody to share it with? Luckily, Meta's new metaverse project – ambitious as it seems – suggests virtual social spaces will be at the forefront of all future Quest headsets.

Improved media sharing
Sharing screenshots and videos on Oculus devices has never been easy, and it’s an issue that the Quest 2 has tried to address with a few video updates.  The process could still be more streamlined, so we'd like to see the Oculus 3 make the whole deal more accessible.1080p video, app integration, proper audio syncing – that’d all be golden.

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Meta Quest 3 gets new launch teaser – here’s what to expect at Meta Connect

The Meta Quest 3 has appeared in a new teaser that confirms it'll be announced at the Meta Connect event alongside news on “AI, virtual, mixed and augmented realities”.

This year's Meta Connect will take place on September 27 and will be a two-day virtual event, with Mark Zuckerberg's keynote taking place on that first day. This keynote has previously seen hardware announcements such as the Meta Quest Pro, alongside upgrades to the virtual social network Horizon Worlds.

So what are we expecting this year? Judging by the launch teaser below, the Meta Quest 3 – which was announced on June 1 in the days before Apple's WWDC 2023  – will be the star of the show. And while we already know a lot about the headset, Zuckerberg said there would be more announcements at Meta Connect 2023.

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The teaser doesn't reveal a great deal more that we didn't see already, in the original announcement in June, but again focuses on the three cameras/sensors on the front of the Quest 3 headset. These are likely to consist of two color passthrough cameras, plus an IR (infra-red) projector to help map your surroundings.

The main benefit of this full-color passthrough will be that the Quest 3 will be able to show the real world in color, rather than using the black-and-white passthrough seen on the Quest 2. 

The video also shows the headset's redesigned Touch Plus controllers, which are apparently more comfortable to hold than the Quest 3's and will have improved haptic feedback. This could, for example, adjust the level of feedback you feel when doing virtual boxing.

The Meta Quest 3 VR headset and controller

(Image credit: Meta)

But Meta Connect will also need to give us a glimpse of the software and mixed-reality experiences that will be possible with the Quest 3. And while the teaser doesn't give us a peak at any of those, the official Meta Connect page is promising a broader look at VR, AR and mixed realities.

The page also mentions AI, which could be referring to the rumored announcement of some new AI chatbots with different personalities, which are also expected in September.

Meta Connect: what to expect

Despite Meta making increasingly loud noises about its moves into AI – including developing its own AI chip and a speech-generating AI tool that's apparently too dangerous to release – we're still expecting the Quest 3 to be the main focus of Connect, and this teaser seemingly confirms that.

The main things we already know about the Quest 3 are that it'll offer full-color passthrough, have twice the graphical performance of the Quest 2, and be 40% thinner than its predecessor. That said, some leaks have suggested that it may also be marginally heavier than the Quest 2.

We also know that the Meta Quest 3 will cost $ 499 / £499 / AU$ 829 when it becomes available for pre-order, most likely immediately after Meta Connect on September 27. But the main thing that Meta needs to nail at Connect are the new software experiences that'll convince existing Quest 2 owners to upgrade.

The current state of the Quest Store suggests that few games and experiences are managing to break through to become widely-acclaimed hits. Still, new games for Meta's social VR app Horizon Worlds, like Super Rumble (above), suggest that Meta is retooling the platform to help it offer improved graphics and more sophisticated games.

With a smartphone version of Horizon Worlds also apparently en route for those who don't have a VR headset, plus a rumored new Smart Guardian feature to make it easier for Quest 3 owners to map their room, we can expect improvements across the board.

But exactly how much the $ 21 billion hit Meta's Reality Labs has seemingly taken in the last 18 months affects the Quest 3 is something we'll have to wait until September 27 to find out.

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