UNITED STATES: Meta, the social media giant formerly known as Facebook, has announced its latest innovation in the virtual reality (VR) space with the unveiling of the Quest 3 mixed reality headset. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta Platforms, introduced the device, which is set to rival Apple’s highly anticipated VR debut.
With an expected starting price of $499, the Quest 3 aims to redefine the immersive experience by combining augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) elements.
Boasting a sleeker design, the Quest 3 will be 40% thinner than its predecessor, offering users a more comfortable and visually appealing headset.
One of its standout features is colour mixed reality, which enables the integration of AR and VR to create a captivating and dynamic user experience. The device is positioned to cater to a wide range of applications, including gaming, productivity, and fitness.
To enhance the overall user experience, Meta has also announced price reductions for its existing Quest 2 headsets. These price adjustments will be accompanied by performance upgrades aimed at providing a smoother and more immersive experience for users.
The Quest 3 will be powered by a new Qualcomm chipset, boasting twice the graphics performance of the Quest 2.
Anticipated to launch in the autumn, the Quest 3 will undoubtedly face strong competition from Apple, which is expected to release its own high-end mixed reality device with a price point around $3,000.
However, Meta’s dominance in the market is evident, with its Quest 2 and Quest Pro devices accounting for nearly 80% of virtual reality headset sales in 2022, according to market research firm IDC.
Despite its success in the gaming sector, Meta has faced challenges in expanding its virtual reality vision beyond the gaming community. In an effort to diversify its user base, Meta has explored the potential of fitness applications and positioned its devices as virtual office tools.
The company acquired Supernatural, a VR fitness app developer, and partnered with Microsoft to bring popular apps like Teams and Outlook to the Quest headsets.
The announcement of Quest 3 comes at a critical juncture for Meta, as the company seeks to maintain its market dominance and overcome recent setbacks.
Although virtual reality headset sales experienced a decline of 54.4% in the first quarter of 2023, Meta’s continued innovation and efforts to engage broader audiences demonstrate its commitment to establishing a lasting presence in the evolving VR market.
As the release of the Quest 3 approaches, industry experts eagerly await Meta’s annual AR/VR conference on September 27, where further details about the device and the company’s future plans are expected to be unveiled.
With its next-generation mixed reality headset, Meta aims to cement its position as a leader in the immersive technology space and set new benchmarks for the VR industry.