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We’re having a look at the Meta Quest 3 vs Meta Quest 2 to see how the next generation of VR technology is shaping up.
Mark Zuckerberg announced the Meta Quest 3 on June 1st, stating that “VR is about to get even more real”. With an official launch date of October 10th 2023, we’ve had a glimpse into some of its exciting breakthroughs and just what makes it an improvement over the Meta Quest 2. Excitingly, pre-orders are now live.
The Quest 2 VR headset was released back in 2020. Surely one of the best VR headsets, it impressed gamers with its crisp display and powerful gaming specs. New technology always moves fast though, and the Quest 3 massively usurps it in terms of sheer specs and performance. However, with the Quest 3’s announcement, the Quest 2 saw a significant price drop, meaning that it will still be a tempting offer for many gamers looking to get into VR worlds for a more affordable price.
We’ve broken our comparison down into several sections to keep things simple. We’ve compared the two headsets based on what we now know about the impressive new specs of the Meta Quest 3 compared to its predecessor.
Meta Quest 3 vs Meta Quest 2 – Specs
|Meta Quest 3
|Meta Quest 2
|Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2
|Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2
|2064 x 2208 pixels per eye
|1832 x 1920 per eye
|Up to 2.2 hours of usage on average
|184 mm x 160 mm x 98 mm
|7.5 x 4 x 5.2 inches
|Full colour passthrough
|Limited black and white
The most important difference is that the Meta Quest 3 will have full-color passthrough and a higher resolution than its predecessor.
We’ve now got all the precise details on the Meta Quest 3. As well as a 128 GB storage option, Meta did announce that there will also be a version with a larger storage size: a huge 512 GB. Although the latest Quest headset is missing the middle ground of 256 GB storage, it makes up for it with its performance power. We also know that the headset will come with a next-generation Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU. Considering how powerful the most recent generation of Snapdragon chip are, we are confident this will offer brilliant performance, delivering double the GPU processing power than the Quest 2.
The Quest 3 is also superior to the Quest 2 in terms of lightness and size. The exact dimensions of the Meta Quest 2 headset measure 7.5 x 4 x 5.2 inches, with the 3 coming in smaller and lighter at 515 grams and measurements of 184 mm x 160 mm x 98 mm. It comes out at 40% slimmer, a strong bonus for the Meta Quest 3, especially after users complained of the bulky size of the Quest 2.
We also know that the Quest 3 will come with the highest resolution display seen so far on a Meta VR headset: 2064 x 2208 pixels per eye. This means that not only will it be more detailed than the display of the Meta Quest 2 but also of the Meta Quest Pro
Meta Quest 3 vs Meta Quest 2 – Performance
As a result of the Quest 3 using the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chipset, it should offer double the GPU processing power than the Quest 2. In the official announcement of the Quest 3, Meta referred to the Quest 3 as “our most powerful headset yet”. In regards to specific performance, the improved processing means the Quest 3 features a native 90Hz refresh rate with a 120Hz experimental refresh rate. Furthermore, the newer headset is also getting a RAM upgrade, with 8GB of RAM as opposed to the Quest 2’s 6GB. However, this doesn’t quite keep up with the 12GB of RAM you get with Quest Pro.
Meta Quest 3 vs Meta Quest 2 – Games
The Quest 3 is compatible with the Quest 2 game collection which is 500 titles. At the time of writing there aren’t any games exclusive to the Meta Quest 3 headset. What will differ is the experience of the games in regard to the new features.
Essentially, if you’re thinking about getting the Meta Quest 3 but want the same games then you’re all good! And for those who have a Quest 2, don’t worry, the headset will still get performance enhancements.
Meta Quest 3 vs Meta Quest 2 – Mixed reality
Now this is where the difference stands out. Unlike the Quest 2 which essentially has no mixed reality features as it is a VR headset, the Quest 3 takes full advantage of its full-color video passthrough, with two RGB cameras with 18 PPD bringing 10X the resolution of Quest 2 and 2X the resolution of the Pro. The Quest 2 does have black and white video passthrough but that is limited and used mostly so it can locate where you are in a room.
The Quest 3’s camera and depth sensor are combined to accurately depict the space you’re in. Not only that but the cameras have 10 times the pixels of the Quest 2’s black and white cameras.
Meta Quest 3 vs Meta Quest 2 – Design
From the content we’ve seen so far, the Quest 3 is very much in the same family of design as the Quest 2 though it does look sleeker. The company confirmed it would have a 40% slimmer profile, which is a pretty significant reduction and will go a long way to make the headset less cumbersome.
The Quest 3 also has new cameras on its front. Among these new lenses are two 4MP RGB color cameras with a depth sensor. This facilitates full-colour video passthrough, a huge step up from the black and white limited passthrough on the Quest 2. The Quest 3 is also introducing a wheel to adjust the IPD to better adjust the IPD of your lenses.
The Quest 3 also has a redesigned Y fabric strap for added strength and comfort.
Meta Quest 3 vs Meta Quest 2 – Controllers
We got quite an in-depth look at the Meta Quest 3’s new controller design during the promotional launch, and have confirmed specs following the Meta Connect event. The most exciting aspect of these is that they are ring-less controllers. The rings on the Quest 2’s controllers were used for sensory tracking, though users complained they were hard to orientate and frustrating to put down.
We also know that there will be hand tracking on the Meta Quest 3 from launch day, meaning that the controllers will potentially only be necessary when gaming. TruTouch variable haptics provides tactile feedback, providing users with a more holistic range of in-game experiences and sensations. The controllers will use disposable batteries as the ones of the Quest 2 do.
Another improvement made over the controllers on the Meta Quest 2 is there there will be Tru Touch haptics. This will provide integrated haptic feedback to the player. As a result of the depth sensor in the Quest 3, the controller-free hand tracking should be significantly improved.
Meta Quest 3 vs Meta Quest 2 – Battery life
The Meta Quest 2 lasts between 2-3 hours, depending on your activity. If you’re planning to take advantage of Meta’s library of games, this will probably drain your battery faster. At the time of writing, we now know that the one upgrade the Quest 3 isn’t getting is to its battery life. The Meta website gives it an average usage of up to 2.2 hours.
Meta Quest 3 vs Meta Quest 2 – Price
At the launch event, Meta confirmed that the 128GB version of the Quest 3 would cost $499. We know that there will also be a version with a larger storage size going on sale, with the 512 GB model costing $649. For the 128GB version at least, pre-orders are now live for Meta Quest 3.
When the Meta Quest 2 launched the 128GB version cost $359. However, with the announcement of the Quest 3, Meta has slashed the price with the same version now being sold for $299. Meanwhile, the 256GB version has seen its price cut from $399 to $349. All of these prices are a significant chunk lower than the $499 of the Meta Quest 3. Comparing the same storage size on the Quest 3’s release day the previous generation will cost a full $200 less, and that’s assuming that there are no further price cuts.
Meta Quest 2
1832 x 1920 per eye
Meta Quest 3 vs Meta Quest 2 – Final word
Like with many kinds of technology, we reckon picking between the Meta Quest 3 and Quest 2 will come down to balancing price and performance. The Quest 3 is set to be the superior VR headset, with full-color video pass-through, a faster chip and a slimmer design. If you want to find out how it shapes up against similar products in the market we’ve also compared the Meta Quest 3 vs Apple rumoured VR headset.
However, the Meta Quest 2 is by no means outdated. It still offers a brilliant VR experience, and has just seen a huge price drop making it an even more attractive option, and significantly cheaper than the Quest 3 will be when it launches.