Meta unveils the Oculus Quest 3 VR headset, its 'most powerful headset yet'

The Meta Quest 3 on a blue/pink background
(Image credit: Meta)

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has revealed the Oculus Quest 3 VR headset (now officially known as the Meta Quest 3), the follow-up to the hugely popular Oculus Quest 2 (Update: and now that it's out you can check out our full Meta Quest 3 review).

Zuckerberg's announcement via his Facebook and Instagram pages comes just days before WWDC 2023, the conference where we're expecting to finally see the long-rumored Apple VR headset.

Key Meta Quest 3 details

-Starting at $499 / £499 / AU$829
-Launching Fall 2023 (September, October, November)
-High res, full-color mixed reality
-40% thinner than the Quest 2
-Twice the graphical performance of the Quest 2
-Controllers lack tracking rings
-More info coming September 27, 2023

The Quest 3 will share a few similarities with the Quest 2 – in terms of it offering an accessible VR experience – but will also come with some upgrades that make it a worthwhile follow-up. Chief among them is its new mixed-reality capabilities; the Quest 3 will adopt full-color passthrough – meaning it can show you the real world in color – rather than using the same grainy black and white passthrough that the Quest 2 employed.

On top of this, Zuckerberg has said the new headset will be "40% thinner" than the Quest 2 and boasts twice as good graphical performance. Interestingly, he adds that this is Meta's "most powerful headset yet," suggesting it performs better than even the Meta Quest Pro.

The Meta Quest 3 will launch later this year in Fall (September, October, November) and will cost $499 / £499 / AU$829.

We don't know every detail about the Meta Quest 3 quite yet, but Zuckerberg has said we'll learn more at Meta Connect 2023 on September 27.

The Oculus Quest 3 to the right of the Quest 2, it's much slimmer

An Oculus Quest 2 and Meta Quest 3 size comparison (Image credit: Meta)

While this is an earlier reveal than we expected – we believed that the device would first get shown off at Meta Connect which typically lands in September – it certainly makes a lot of sense. Select individuals were invited to test out a prototype of the Quest 3 recently, and Meta has its Quest Gaming Showcase 2023 happening later today – which should give people interested in the new hardware a flavor of the best VR games they’ll be able to play on it.

With hype for VR riding high at the moment thanks to Apple headset speculation, it seems Meta is keen to ensure its efforts don’t lose the spotlight. While the Quest 2 has made VR the most mainstream it’s ever been, interest in virtual reality has been dwindling. More recent headset releases – like the Meta Quest Pro and HTC Vive XR Elite – haven’t captured the same levels of attention as the more budget-friendly Meta headset did in the months and years after its launch. 

Meta likely hopes the Quest 3 will reignite interest in its Metaverse – and maybe claw back mindshare from the new tech buzzword: ChatGPT and other generative AI.

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.