We may have our first look at the more affordable Meta Quest 3 Lite

The Meta Quest 3 and controllers on their charging station which is itself on a wooden desk next to a lamp
The Meta Quest 3 (Image credit: Meta)

Open up our Meta Quest 3 review and you'll see the virtual reality headset has a not-unreasonable starting price of $499.99 / £479.99 / AU$799.99 – certainly way below the $3,499 (or higher) you'll pay for the Apple Vision Pro. However, it seems an even more affordable Meta headset is on the way.

After teasing what's being called the Meta Quest 3 Lite earlier this month, VR Panda (via Android Authority) has posted a picture of the rumored device on social media. As you might have expected, it looks a lot like the Meta Quest 3.

There are some differences though – the passthrough cameras on the outside of the wearable have apparently been ditched, which presumably means augmented reality effects and any kind of hand tracking control are off the agenda.

The team at Android Authority reckons that further savings could come through the use of a more affordable processor. Savings are certainly going to have to be made somewhere, if Meta is going to manage to significantly undercut the price of the Quest 3.

AR/VR for less

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As with every leak, we should apply a certain level of caution before taking it at face value. Last year we did hear talk that a cheaper Meta Quest VR device was on the way, but there hasn't been an abundance of leaks and rumors about it – and of course company plans can always change when it comes to gadget launches.

The lack of any passthrough cameras would be a surprise, even if Meta is trying to save on production costs. The company has previously said that passthrough  is likely to be a "standard feature" on future headsets, so make of that what you will.

If you're wanting to strap a device to your head that mixes virtual reality and augmented reality, then the distinction between Apple and Meta is pretty clear – with the former company's offering costing seven times as much.

Affordability is a big selling point for Meta to emphasize, and it looks as though that gap will grow even more with the next device. As yet though, there's no indication about when a Meta Quest 3 Lite headset could see the light of day.

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David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.