The rapid evolution of VR technology is undeniable. VR headsets have not only become lighter but have also seen remarkable improvements in resolution. However, aesthetics still lag behind, especially when compared to sleek eyewear like Ray-Bans. Consider the Oculus Rift, launched in 2016 at 470g (1.04 lb) with a resolution of 1080 x 1200px per eye. It took until 2019 for a significant leap in resolution, with the Oculus Quest at 1440 x 1600px per eye, competing with the 'Valve Index'. Fast forward to 2023, and the Meta Quest 3 boasts an impressive 2064x2208 pixels per eye, surpassing 4K quality.
The Meta Quest 3 offers two models: a 128GB version priced at approximately £479 ($499) and a 512GB model for £620 ($650). Various bundle packages are available, such as the 'Comfort Bundle,' 'Starter Bundle,' or 'Streamer Bundle,' offering different accessories. However, choosing compatible after-market accessories can save you money.
The 128GB version can store around 30 games, while the 512GB model can store approximately 120 games, making it suitable for avid gamers. Factor in movies and apps, and 128GB should suffice unless you prefer the convenience of extra storage.
Asgard’s Wrath 2 is available for free download when purchasing the 128GB or 512GB version, but the offer ends on January 27, 2024. The game will be available on the Meta Store starting December 2023. If you opt for the 512GB version, you'll receive two handpicked titles monthly for six months as part of the Meta Quest+ Subscription. This subscription is subject to the terms and conditions set-out by Meta. So be sure to read them ‘carefully’.
Prior to playing Asgard’s Wrath 2, I strongly recommend playing the prequal first - Check out the game review here: 'Asgard’s Wrath'
The Meta Quest 3 is available at retail stores, but online platforms like Amazon often provide better deals, including many aftermarket, headset accessories at lower prices. Here’s some useful links to the Amazon store, where you’ll find the best deals for the Meta Quest 3.
Amazon UK: Meta Quest 3 - 128GB
Amazon UK: Meta Quest 3 - 512GB
Amazon US: Meta Quest 3 - 128GB
Amazon US: Meta Quest 3 - 512GB
The Meta Quest 3 package contains the headset, two controllers and batteries, a USB-C charging cable, a power adapter plug, and a one-year limited warranty, covering defects and malfunctions.
Formerly Oculus, Meta released the Meta Quest 3 on October 10, 2023. This VR headset provides an immersive digital experience, compatible as a standalone headset or tethered to a PC with a compatible data-link cable, such as the Syntech Data Link Cable.
The Meta Quest 3 offers a price point that suits most gamers and socialites while delivering a 50% increase in speed compared to the Quest 2, according to Meta.
Users can enjoy the Meta Quest 3 as a standalone or tethered device with a data link PC cable. The headset features a 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C charging port, power button, volume adjustment rocker, and inter-pupillary distance (IPD) dial. Four inside-out tracking cameras, two 18 PPD RGB cameras, and a depth sensor enhance tracking accuracy and room mapping.
Built-in speakers provide crisp audio with positional stereo effects. Users can also connect their headphones via the headphone jack for a customized audio experience. Consider exploring compatible after-market audio accessories on Amazon for even more audio options. There’s plenty to choose from!
The Meta Quest 3 presents a sleek all-white exterior design with a material coated rubber gasket that effectively seals around the face, providing excellent immersion. Its lightweight build features a comfortable, adjustable headband strap. While functional, the head strap might become a minor inconvenience, especially with multiple users. Nevertheless, the headset weighs just over 1.3 pounds (515 grams), delivering a well-balanced and comfortable wearing experience. For those seeking enhanced comfort, investing in the Elite headset strap or an equivalent after-market option is recommended.
The Meta Quest 3 truly excels in visual fidelity, surpassing the Quest 2 by a significant margin. It boasts 8GB of RAM, a 33% increase compared to the Quest 2. The standout feature is the pancake lenses, which differ from traditional Fresnel lenses found in many other headsets. These pancake lenses offer improved edge-to-edge clarity and a larger sweetspot, providing the clearest view of the virtual world. With a vertical field of view of 96 degrees and a horizontal view of 100 degrees (15% wider than the Quest 2), the headset's display resolution is a remarkable 2064 x 2208 pixels per eye, totaling 4128 x 4416. Termed as a "4K+ Infinite Display" by Meta, it boasts 25PPD (Pixels-Per-Degree) and 1218 PPI (pixels per inch), a remarkable achievement for a wireless, standalone device. However, the standard refresh rate is 90Hz, with the possibility of "up to 120Hz," although confirmation is pending. It's likely that only select games will achieve this higher refresh rate, primarily titles optimized for the Quest 3.
The Meta Quest 3 brings noticeable improvements in colour vibrancy, clarity, and detail, particularly in games optimized for the headset. Games that were originally designed for the Quest 2 also benefit from enhanced dynamic shadows, cleaner textures, and faster load times. While not yet precisely timed, the difference in loading speed is apparent.
The Meta Quest 3 controllers offer a perfect blend of size, weight, and comfort. They fit snugly in hand, providing an enjoyable gaming experience. However, it's worth noting that the active straps are not included with the headset, and purchasing the official Meta straps at £33 ($40) may not be everyone's preference. Expect after-market alternatives to become available on Amazon, potentially including protective accessories for your knuckles during intense gameplay. These controllers measure 130 x 70 x 62mm and weigh 153g each. They feature integrated infra-red LEDs for tracking, and TruTouch Haptics deliver feedback.
The Meta Quest 3 allows users to experience some VR content without controllers, offering an improved hand-tracking experience compared to older hardware. However, it's important to manage expectations, as hand-tracking may not match the precision and performance of physical controllers. Users can also choose to use the Meta Quest Pro controllers if they have a pair available.
Similar to the Quest 2, the Meta Quest 3 controllers rely on a single AA battery each, housed in the handle, which also has a handy clip to easily remove the battery. Initial experiences with hand-tracking have been positive, with more detailed feedback coming in future updates. Stay tuned for my ongoing user experiences by subscribing to this review, entirely free.
The Meta Quest 3 may strike you as smaller in size compared to the Quest 2, despite their similar weight profiles. This difference in dimensions can be attributed to the presence of pancake lenses, which take up less internal space within the headset, resulting in a narrower design compared to its predecessor. The included native headset strap offers a snug fit and effectively distributes the weight, rendering it almost imperceptible during use.
Upon initially donning the headset and making necessary adjustments for the perfect fit, it did provide comfort. However, after just one hour of gameplay, I began to experience some discomfort in the forehead area. Notably, the side straps proved to be somewhat problematic as they continuously rubbed against and caused irritation around my ears. It's important to note that individual head shapes vary, and your experience may differ, but I wanted to share this from a user perspective.
From a visual perspective, the Meta Quest 3 delivers an impressive VR experience with exceptional clarity. Notably, it eliminates common issues like ghosting and screen door effect, a noticeable improvement over the Quest 2. Loading times are significantly faster, and the overall performance is outstanding.
Setting up the boundary (guardian) is a breeze, thanks to the headset's ability to dynamically scan the room and nearby objects. It's even smart enough to adjust the play-space boundaries if someone enters the area, a feature that pleasantly surprised me.
The microphone quality appears to have regressed slightly, lacking the crispness found in the Quest 2. While an external microphone is an option, it may seem unnecessary. The overall audio output from the built-in headphones is decent, but the bass leaves room for improvement. Bluetooth earbuds could be an alternative, but the latency is notably poor, almost rendering them unusable.
If you're planning to go wireless, low latency Bluetooth dongles are a must for a seamless audio experience. However, this choice sacrifices the ability to connect an additional power pack for extended gameplay since the USB-C port will be occupied by the audio dongle. To achieve the best audio quality and keep the USB-C port available for an external battery, a quality headset can be directly plugged into the 3.5mm headphone jack, ensuring an optimal gaming experience.
The controllers are exceptional, boasting a near-perfect weight and feel. They even feature a convenient button for removing the battery cover from the controller housing. The setup process is straightforward, catering to users of various experience levels.
For VR enthusiasts seeking extended playtime and additional comfort, considering the Meta Elite head-strap, there's an upcoming alternative worth noting. BOBOVR is set to release the new M3 Pro Strap, fully compatible with the Meta Quest 3. This battery pack head strap replacement will grant gamers up to 3 extra hours of gameplay.
While the passthrough feature is very good, offering the outside world in vivid colours, it's not without its limitations. When used as a standalone device, the Meta Quest 3 has a relatively short battery life, taking approximately two hours to reach a full charge, which is about the same time it takes to fully deplete. Although the original headset strap serves its purpose, aftermarket alternatives may soon become available, potentially enhancing comfort and stability for users.
It's evident that Meta's business strategy involves selling additional accessories to enhance the user experience and increase revenue. While the Meta Quest 3 is technically capable on its own, Meta intentionally left room for improvement in certain areas to promote the sale of these accessories. This approach aligns with contemporary business practices, where companies offer complementary products to maximize profitability.
While these accessories offer convenience and added functionality, they come at a premium price. If you're considering purchasing accessories, it might be wise to wait a month or so after your headset purchase and explore aftermarket options available on Amazon. This approach could potentially save you a significant amount of money without compromising on quality.
In conclusion, the question of whether to invest in the Meta Quest 3 has a resounding affirmative answer – Yes! In my assessment, it stands as the paramount choice among consumer VR and Mixed Reality headsets currently available. While it may have some shortcomings, such as the absence of eye and face tracking, I believe that Meta has strategically reserved these advancements for the next iteration, possibly the Meta Quest 4. The inevitability of its arrival is clear, though we must exercise patience to witness what innovations the future holds in store.
VR Awards Game of the Year 2019. A Fisherman’s Tale is a strange, narrative puzzle adventure game developed by Innerspace VR and published by Vertigo Games. Available on the Oculus Rift, Quest and Rift S. A Fisherman’s Tale fully supports Oculus VR controllers. The game is ideal for adults and kids of all ages. Rated for ages 7+
Dispatched into hostile wetlands in your tactical kayak using your paddle to steer and move stealthily through hostile and remote locations, utilise military weapons and equipment to evade and neutralise the enemy threat. Engage your targets lethally or infiltrate unnoticed from the shadows: it’s your mission to execute your way. Phantom: Covert Ops is stealth action redefined.
The Lab offers eight different minigames, each giving a look into the unique ways that VR could interpret various video game genres. These include: an Angry Birds analogue, a tower defence game, an intergalactic shoot ‘em up, secrets galore, and the chance to become a robot mechanic. The rest aren’t really games per se, it’s more that they consider what avenues VR might go down in the future. Amongst these are an interactive solar system, detailed CT scans of the human body and a “virtual holiday” in the Icelandic wilderness, where you’re accompanied by a robotic pup.