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Meta Unveils Slimmer Quest 3 Ahead of Apple's VR Foray: What to Expect

Meta prepares for stiff competition in the mixed reality market by introducing their new and improved headset.

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Meta logo

The Debut of Meta's Quest 3

In a major revelation, Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the upcoming launch of the next-generation mixed reality headset - the Quest 3. The announcement comes as Meta anticipates Apple's imminent entry into the nascent market that Meta has been ruling.

Offering color-mixed reality that merges both augmented and virtual reality aspects, the Quest 3 is set to be 40% slimmer than its predecessor and is priced at $499. This announcement came via Zuckerberg's Instagram post ahead of Meta's annual gaming conference.

Enhancements to Existing Devices

In a strategic move, Meta is set to slash prices for its existing Quest 2 headsets while also rolling out performance enhancements aimed at offering a smoother user experience.

The forthcoming Quest 3 will be equipped with a new Qualcomm chipset, promising double the graphics performance compared to the Quest 2. The device is expected to launch this autumn, with more details to be shared at Meta's annual AR/VR conference on Sept. 27.

Rivalry in the Virtual Reality Market

This launch comes shortly before Apple is slated to debut its first mixed reality device, a high-end product rumored to cost around $3000. Despite dominating the VR market with Quest 2 and Quest Pro devices, which accounted for nearly 80% of the 8.8 million VR headsets sold in 2022, Meta still faces the challenge of expanding the market beyond gaming enthusiasts.

Meta logo
Meta logo

Headset sales plunged in the first quarter of this year, showing a 54.4% year-over-year decline in the overall AR/VR headset market. The company's Reality Labs segments, including headset sales, saw revenues drop by 50% in the most recent quarter compared to the previous year.

Despite being a dominant use case, the gaming industry remains a challenged market for Meta due to rivals like Sony, which launched the PS VR2 in February.

A Part of Meta's Bigger Picture

Meta seeks to connect more users to its envisioned metaverse by fostering engagement in the gaming and fitness sectors and through productivity tools. Zuckerberg's fitness endeavors have included fencing with Olympic medalists and boxing with MMA fighters using Meta devices, and a successful battle to acquire the VR fitness app, Supernatural.

In addition, Zuckerberg has been promoting the Quest headsets as virtual office tools, partnering with Microsoft to integrate apps such as Teams and Outlook. These efforts underline the company's attempt to cater to a broader audience, stepping beyond its existing base of young male gamers.