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.
📣 Meta Quest 3. Meta Connect. Sept 27. 📣 https://t.co/Zbh3ck2Tl3#MetaQuest3 #MetaConnect2023 pic.twitter.com/giOZElkKNfAugust 1, 2023
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.
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.