We have good news if you’ve been searching for a Meta Quest 3 release date for the last few months. Meta opened pre-orders for the Meta Quest 3 on September 27th, and shipments began rolling out on the 10th of October this year.

You’ll have no trouble buying the latest Meta headset if you’re shopping in time for the holidays. As expected by many industry analysts, the official Meta Quest 3 release date was announced during Meta Connect – Meta’s annual event.

The Connect event also revealed some additional information about the features and functionality of the game-changing wearable device. Here’s everything we know about the Meta Quest 3: where it’s available, what it can do, and how much it costs.

The Meta Quest 3 Release Date: The Facts

Initially, Meta didn’t reveal much about its powerful new headset. The Quest 3 was announced somewhat hastily by the team, potentially to help Meta get ahead of the hype surrounding Apple’s upcoming headset, the Vision Pro.

Meta’s leaders did share that they would be providing more information about the headset at the Connect conference this year, and they delivered on that promise. The keynote served as the official launch platform for the Quest 3, with pre-order options introduced the same day.

We already had some basic details about what we could expect from the updated Quest device, thanks to rumors and FCC filings. However, the official announcement confirmed many facts.

How Much Will the Meta Quest 3 Cost? Quest 3 Pricing

Alongside an official Meta Quest 3 release date, the Meta Connect event also shared insights into how much you can expect to pay for the new device.

The company introduced a “preorder offer,” which included free access to a Meta Quest 3 game (Asgard’s Wrath 2) on both headset versions. Users purchasing the 512GB model will also get six months of Meta Quest Plus subscription service access. Though the headset is available now, the pre-order offer doesn’t end until January 27th, 2024.

In the US, prices start at $499 for the 129GB model (around $200 more than the Meta Quest 2). The larger storage model (512GB) is available for $649. In the UK, the launch price will be £479 for the 128GB model and £619 for the 512GB model. While in the EU, prices start at €549 for the 128GB version and €699 for the 512GB model.

This means the device is a little more expensive than the Quest 2. However, the Quest 3 will still be more affordable than other emerging MR devices, like the Apple Vision Pro. Of course, there’s always a chance Meta will change its pricing.

It’s worth noting that the Quest 2 initially launched for $299, but the price has ramped up since.

Where to Buy the Meta Quest 3

The easiest way to buy the headset is to purchase it directly from the Meta Store, available in 23 countries.

However, like other Meta headsets, the Quest 3 will also be available through selected retailers. You should be able to buy it through Amazon, Target, Walmart, and Best Buy in the US. Alternatively, you can try Amazon, Argos, and Curry’s in the UK.

Speaking of accessibility, it seems more people will be able to use the Quest 3 at launch than the Quest 2. Meta changed its minimum age requirements for VR headsets to only ten years old (down from 13 years).

Notably, you may need to consider purchasing some additional accessories separately. For instance, hand straps and other accessories won’t be included with the device as standard. Plus, you’ll need to stock up on batteries to power the Meta Quest 3 controllers.

Does the Meta Quest 3 Outperform the Quest 2?

When announcing the new headset, Zuckerberg described the device as a significant upgrade from previous devices. We learned a lot more about what the device can do when the Meta Quest 3 release date was unveiled at the Connect event.

For instance, Zuckerberg shared the Quest 3 would be available in two storage sizes, 128GB and 512GB. Additionally, we know the Quest 3 is powered by 8GB of RAM and a Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 processor. This new chipset doubles the graphics performance of the Quest 2. Plus, it could make the performance of the Quest 3 even better than that of the Quest Pro.

The Quest 3 will also feature an upgraded 4k infinite display. This display uses pancake optics for a resolution of 2,064 x 2,208 pixels per eye, an improvement of 30% over the Quest 2. Plus, users can expect 25 PPD in VR and 1,218 pixels per inch.

Perhaps the most crucial difference in the hardware is the introduction of new cameras. There are two full-color cameras on the front of the headset, offering amazing passthrough video. The XR2 Gen 2 chip even offers an average pass-through latency of only 12 milliseconds. These new cameras ensure users can access Quest 3 in immersive VR or “blended” mode.

You can expect the resolution to dip slightly to around 18 PPD when using the full-color video passthrough. However, Meta still says the solution delivers more than ten times more pixels in passthrough than the Quest 2 and 3 times more than the Quest Pro.

Regarding refresh rate, the Quest 3 has a native 90HZ refresh rate, with the option to switch to an experimental 120HZ refresh rate, though this might be updated in the future.

What Can We Expect from the Meta Quest 3 Design?

During the Meta Quest 3 release date announcement speech, the XR leader explained its previous comment that the device would be “redesigned from the inside out.” As expected, the headset has a similar aesthetic to the Quest 2, but its optic profile is 40% slimmer due to the pancake lenses.

Though the headset is a little smaller than its predecessor, it’s also a little heavier (515 grams compared to 503 for the Quest 2). However, Meta says the device has been redesigned, focusing on ergonomics and comfort. The device has a new Lens Distance Adjustment wheel for precise fine-tuning between 53 mm and 75 mm.

There’s also the option to purchase in-built eyeglasses for those with sight issues. The speakers are also being updated for the Quest 3. The audio range is 40% louder than the Quest 2, and the new headset features 3D spatial audio with enhanced bass and clarity. You can also plug in your headphones using the 3.5mm jack.

The Quest 3 features a soft strap; you can upgrade to an “Elite” hard strap for $69. This aspect of the device is pretty similar to the Quest 2, although it promises a more secure fit.

Regarding controllers, Meta has upgraded the Quest 3 Touch Plus controllers for ergonomics. These new controllers also feature TruTouch haptics for a more realistic and immersive experience. However, these controllers will rely on disposable AA batteries. Fortunately, Meta offers a “charging dock” for an additional $129.

Key Features of the Meta Quest 3 Headset

As mentioned above, the Meta Quest 3 promises to be a significant improvement over the Quest 2. Before announcing an official Meta Quest 3 release date and spec sheet, leaks were already drawing attention to new features, like a new “Smart Guardian” feature to assist users in maintaining a safe experience.

The Smart Guardian feature is powered by the Quest 3’s six camera sensors, which can scan your surrounding area and determine boundaries for you. The system can check your room in 3D and understand where walls, furniture, floors, and surfaces are located.

We now also know the Quest 3 will offer interoperability with Windows PCs thanks to Quest Linke and Air Link functionality. This means you can access all the games you already have on the Quest 2. Meta also includes access to the Meta Quest Plus gaming experience, a subscription for two curated games per month for $7.99 per month.

Alongside full access to existing Quest 2 games and apps, Meta will introduce more than 100 new apps and upgraded tools for the device by the end of the year.

Perhaps the most exciting functionality planned for the Quest 3 comes from its mixed reality capabilities. Meta’s goal is to make the Quest 3 experience feel more natural and streamlined, evidenced by the use of full-color passthrough capabilities.

The Quest 3 allows users to move back and forth between VR and passthrough AR experiences with holographic overlays. Notably, while the Quest 3 does feature hand tracking, it doesn’t offer eye tracking. This means users will miss out on the foveated rendering options available on other headsets.

Meta Quest 3 Release Date: The Headset at Launch

Although the Meta Quest 3 is available now, it’s not in its “finished” form.

At launch, it’s worth noting not all of the apps and tools set to emerge for metaverse workers and professionals will be available. The inside-out upper body tracking promised by Meta will not be available until later this year. This feature allows the headset to track your arms and torso without external cameras.

Additionally, Dynamic Occlusion will not be included in the headset at launch. This means digital objects, such as a virtual desk, are not occluded by physical people, objects, and hands, which might harm the illusion slightly. The Depth API to enable this feature should roll out sometime later this year for developers.

Furthermore, “Augments,” Meta’s interactive mixed reality objects and miniature apps, will only begin appearing in 2024. This indicates that the Meta Quest 3 will grow more advanced over time.

This isn’t uncommon, however. The Quest 2 has received a lot of major updates in the last couple of years to make it more advanced, such as PC VR streaming and hand tracking.

Will the Meta Quest 3 Replace the Meta Quest 2?

The rapid arrival of the Meta Quest 3 release date shows Meta harnessing the momentum of the holiday season. However, this doesn’t mean it’s making the Meta Quest 2 obsolete.

Meta will still offer the simpler headset as a convenient entry point for the XR world.

There’s a good chance Meta will reduce the pricing of the Quest 2 in the coming months, and the brand has already announced impending updates to the device and the Quest Pro. It’s also worth noting that the Quest 3 doesn’t outperform the Quest 2 in every way.

The battery life of the Quest 3 will be about the same as the previous model (Somewhere between 2.2 and 2.9 hours). Additionally, the headset will charge to full in 2 hours with the included charger, similar to the Meta Quest 2.

Saying that, Meta has added a lot of meaningful upgrades to the Quest 3 that will appeal to the growing XR community. The slimmer, more ergonomic design, powerful processor, and improved controllers will undoubtedly encourage true XR fans to invest in an upgrade.

However, since the device is significantly more expensive than its predecessor, Meta must continue innovating to ensure the Quest 3 remains a viable choice over the Quest 2.

After the Meta Quest 3 Release Date: What’s Next?

The prompt Meta Quest 3 release date shows Meta is trying d to stay ahead in the XR market. As other solutions like the Apple Vision Pro continue to suffer delays, a faster release date helps Meta maintain its market strength.

Mark Gurman shared insights from a Meta spokesperson, who said the team plans to release a cheaper Quest 3 headset without controllers.

It’s worth noting Meta is also looking at follow-up devices for the Quest 3. Rumors suggest the next headset, codenamed Ventura, will be cheaper, more comfortable, and available to purchase with or without controllers.