Will this be the release that brings VR into the mainstream?
Today, Meta has shared a preview of its new Quest 3 VR headset, which will be available in stores this fall, with a 128GB version starting at $US499.99.
As outlined in the video, the Quest 3 features a range of technical enhancements, including:
- Improved tech for optimal visual performance – over 2x the processing power of the previous Quest unit
- Full-color passthrough, which will enable the headset to also function as an AR device, enhancing digital experiences that can interact with real-world objects
- A smaller, sleeker device, which makes it more comfortable to wear for optimal VR experience
The Quest 3 launch also comes with a range of new techspeak references to wow you and your friends:
“Quest 3 combines our highest resolution display and pancake optics to make content look better than ever. To power those extra pixels, this will be the first headset to feature a next-generation Snapdragon chipset developed in collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies. That next-gen Snapdragon chipset delivers more than twice the graphical performance as the previous generation Snapdragon GPU in Quest 2 — meaning you’ll get smoother performance and incredibly crisp details in immersive games.”
Pancake optics and Snapdragon chipsets. Add those to your buzzword listings.
It’s a significant advance for Meta’s VR ambitions, which also points to its next-level metaverse push, which will largely be based in VR, but will also incorporate AR and mixed reality elements, enabling users to merge their real-world settings into these new, enhanced environments.
Though it’s hard to see the metaverse future, as Zuck and Co. envision it, just yet. VR take-up has actually slowed over time, as negative press about the metaverse has dampened enthusiasm for the project, while the lack of killer VR applications – despite there being over 500 games available in Meta’s VR marketplace – has also hampered adoption.
Right now, there’s just no major, compelling reason to pay for a VR unit, which Meta’s still hoping to shift, via the launch of its new, advanced VR units, along with new games coming to the experience. It’s also dropping the price of its current best-selling Quest 2 VR units, with the 128GB version going from $US350 to $US299.99, and the 256GB unit dropping to $US349.99.
Games are the key pathway into VR, with Meta hoping that its metaverse experience will eventually align with younger audiences who have grown up in gaming metaverse-type worlds. The hope is that these users will see the value in adding more types of interactions into these immersive experiences, which is when the metaverse will really take off. But it remains to be seen whether VR is actually something that holds enough appeal to keep even these more gaming-aligned users engaged for long periods.
Logically, as technology advances, it will become a bigger element, but it still feels a way off. These new advances are significant, and each element is another big step, but it’s difficult to say whether the Quest 3 will be the device that heralds in a new era of VR adoption.
But it’s all building blocks, it’s all checkpoints on the road, and as such, it’s a major milestone in Meta’s broader VR ambitions.
Maybe it’ll get you to take a more serious look at VR – and maybe, with the right applications, it could be the device that triggers a bigger VR trend.
And if that happens, it could prompt a major shift in marketing approaches, with a broad range of new interactive considerations for campaigns.