WE TRIED the Meta Quest 3, and it’s a generational leap over previous entry-level VR headsets, in terms of quality, features, and ease of use.
Playing VR games is great, immersive, and all, but until recently the experience has been marred by too many inconveniences.
The Meta Quest 3 packs a lot of features and improvements for a baseline model[/caption]
Multiple cables to plug in and avoid while playing, devices that are hard to set up, and heavy headsets that make you dizzy just by looking at them.
The first Oculus Quest and Meta Quest 2 fixed the cable conundrum by going wireless, but also sacrificed image quality.
The Meta Quest Pro offered premium untethered visuals, but at a crushing price.
Yet, that’s still one cable too many, and you need a PS5 console for it to do anything.
The Meta Quest 3 solves most of the problems we’ve had with previous VR headsets, both in terms of quality and ease of use.
It’s completely standalone, with no need to plug it into a PC or console, yet its image quality rivals that of premium tethered headsets.
Much like the more expensive Meta Quest Pro, the Quest 3 features passthrough mode in full colour, instead of black and white.
Thanks to its six front-facing cameras, the Meta Quest 3 not only lets you see your surroundings but also features support for mixed reality.
Mixed reality experiences blend the real world with digital elements and enable interaction between both worlds.
How successful the Meta Quest 3’s MR features will be depends on the variety of experiences that will be developed to support the headset.
That said, there are already some apps and games that use the Meta Quest 3 to offer mixed reality experiences.
And if you’re all about immersing yourself into the virtual space completely, there are plenty of VR games readily available.
All Meta Quest 2 games will work on the Quest 3, and many have received upgrades to take advantage of the new and more powerful headset in time for its launch.
Space puzzle game Red Matter 2, for example, now features full 4K graphics to look great on the Meta Quest 3’s 2064×2208 LCD displays.
Many games like Red Matter 2, have been enhanced to look great on the Quest 3[/caption]
The Quest 3 is very powerful on its own, but you can also plug it into a PC with a cable to improve its graphics prowess and play more demanding Steam games like Half-Life Alyx.
The headset has been redesigned and now feels lighter and more comfortable than the Quest 2.
If you wear glasses like me, you’d be glad to learn that there’s a display spacer built-in, letting you move the Quest 3’s screens away from your eyes to make some room.
The new controllers have haptic feedback, and the tracking rings are gone, making for a more streamlined look.
The Quest 3 is powered by very compact and lightweight batteries that will give you about three hours of playtime, which is more than enough for a single VR session.
Built-in audio comes from the headset’s strap and is decent and now feels more tridimensional, an improvement over the Quest 2.
Still if the best possible audio matters to you, there’s a 3.5mm jack and Bluetooth support to use it with your favourite headphones.
The Quest 3 costs £479.99 / $499.99 for the 128GB model, and £619.99 / $649.99 for 512GB storage.
Priced as an entry-level VR headset, the Meta Quest 3 packs more features and power than its price suggests.
The Quest 3 already hit the shelves on October 10, 2023, and you can buy it online from the Meta Store, Amazon, and other retailers.
Written by Stoyan Ovcharov and Kirk McKeand on behalf of GLHF.
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