Meta Quest 3 Lite: everything we know about the rumored cheap VR headset

The Meta Quest 3 on a notebook surrounded by pens and school supplies on a desk
The Meta Quest 3 Lite will be an alternative to the Quest 3 (above) (Image credit: Meta)

Based on the leaks and rumors it seems increasingly likely that Meta is working on a cheaper version of the Meta Quest 3 – expected to be called the Meta Quest 3 Lite or Meta Quest 3s. 

It’s not yet been confirmed, but the gadget is expected to be a more affordable version of the Quest 3 – at a price closer to the Quest 2 – that would see the Meta fully phase out its last-gen VR hardware. The trade-off would be the device wouldn’t have all the capabilities of the Quest 3 – likely sporting lower-resolution displays, less RAM, a worse chipset, or dropping mixed reality support (though that last point seems unlikely).

While we’re not convinced the gadget will look exactly like what’s been rumored so far, as the saying goes: where there's smoke there’s fire. The fact that several independent leaks have come out suggests Meta is definitely working on something.

We’ve collected the latest news and rumors here so this page can serve as your one-stop shop for all things Meta Quest 3 Lite. As we learn more about the device we’ll be sure to update the page and keep you in the loop with all the latest information.

Meta Quest 3 Lite: Latest news

We’ve seen not one, but two distinct Meta Quest 3 Lite leaks – one render called the Meta Quest 3 Lite and one with more details that the leaker called the Quest 3s.

The Oculus Quest 2 was also at a record low price ($200 / £200) as part of this year's Amazon Spring Sale, following a permanent price cut to $249.99 / £249.99 / AU$439.99 earlier this year. This could be a sign Meta and retailers are trying to shift stock ahead of the last-gen device being phased out before a Quest 3 Lite release.

Oculus Quest 2 on a white background

Is the Quest 3 Lite the true Quest 2 replacement? (Image credit: Shutterstock / Boumen Japet)

Meta Quest 3 Lite: Price

As the Meta Quest 3 Lite isn’t yet official – meaning Meta itself hasn’t confirmed (or denied) its existence – we can’t say for certain how much it’ll cost or when it will be released.

But based on rumors and previous Meta hardware releases, we can make some reasoned predictions on what the gadget might cost and when we could see it in action.

Price-wise, we can reasonably expect it’ll cost around the same as Meta’s last-gen headset, given the Lite is billed as a super-affordable model meant to fully replace the Oculus Quest 2. It’ll certainly cost less than the Meta Quest 3.

This would likely see it released at around $299 / £299 / AU$479, which is where the Quest 2 started life. Honestly, we’d be more than a little disappointed if it was more expensive.

A man using his Zenni customized Meta Quest 3 headset

The Meta Quest 3 could soon have a sibling (Image credit: Zenni)

Meta Quest 3 Lite: Release date

As for the Quest 3 Lite’s release date, Meta usually likes to release new hardware in October. However, it might decide to mix things up with this budget-friendly gadget to avoid confusing it with its main line Quest and Quest Pro lines.

We predict the Quest 3 Lite will be announced and released as part of this year’s Meta Quest Gaming Showcase, which should be around June based on previous years. 

If Meta sticks to its usual hardware release schedule, though, then a launch after this year’s Meta Connect – which we expect will land in September or October – could be on the cards.

Of course, this assumes the Meta Quest 3 Lite even launches at all.

The Meta Quest 3 in action

The Meta Quest 3 Lite will likely look a little different to the Quest 3 (Image credit: Meta)

Meta Quest 3 Lite: Specs and design

So far we haven’t heard many specs for the Meta Quest 3 Lite. The main leaks so far have been renders showing off its possible design.

These leaks suggest it’ll be bulkier than the Quest 3, likely because the Lite would adopt the fresnel lens system used by the Quest 2. This makes some sense as fresnel lenses are cheaper, partly because the alternative pancake lenses require brighter displays. However, considering pancake lenses lead not only to a slimmer headset design but also better image quality (and we’ve seen cheap headsets like the Pico 4 use pancake lenses) we’d be surprised if Meta didn't use them in the Lite.

One of the leaks went into more detailed specs, suggesting it’ll have 128GB or 256GB of storage (instead of the 128GB or 512GB in the Quest 3) and 1,832 x 1,920 pixel displays (one per eye). Something seems off about the leak, though, in terms of the assets shared and the included info that could help identify the leaker (which seems like a bad idea for anyone trying to avoid the wrath of Meta’s well-funded legal team).  

As such, color us skeptical when it comes to the details highlighted in the post.

Meta Quest 3 Lite: Software

Assuming the Meta Quest 3 Lite has the same or similar mixed-reality capabilities as the Meta Quest 3, we expect it’ll have access to all of the same software – which is to say, everything available on the Quest platform’s Store (and many other games and apps available through sideloading via third-party digital storefronts).

If it has significantly worse specs – such as the Quest 2’s Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1 chipset – there may be some software that launches in the future that would be exclusive to the full Quest 3. But we expect the Quest 3 Lite would use a Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 so, hopefully, this won’t be an issue.

We’ll have to wait and see what Meta announces.

Girl wearing Meta Quest 3 headset interacting with a jungle playset

The Meta Quest 3 Lite needs to have mixed reality (Image credit: Meta)

Meta Quest 3 Lite: What we want to see

As for what we want to see from the Quest 3 Lite VR headset – acknowledging that its lower price will necessitate lower specs than the Meta Quest 3 proper – our ideal setup would boast the same Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chipset and 8GB of RAM as the Quest 3, though 6GB of RAM like the Quest 2 is, admittedly, a lot more likely. 

Storage options would start at 64GB – as frankly, you don’t need a lot of storage space for VR apps, especially if you’re willing to download and delete them as necessary – and the displays would be a lower resolution than the Quest 3. A leak suggested the 1,832 x 1,920 pixels per eye option, and considering this is what’s used by the Quest 2 it does make some sense.

Pancake lenses seem like an easy win from a design and image-quality perspective (especially if Meta opts for poorer displays), and mixed-reality passthrough that’s at least as high-quality as the Quest 3 is also a must.

Beyond this, one rogue cost-cutting measure could see Meta scrap or change its Quest 3 controllers. However, given how much developers have emphasized to us the importance of VR handsets having a standard design, and the fact that many Quest titles don’t support hand-tracking, this might be a step too far.

Hamish Hector
Senior Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.