Meta Quest 3: ZDNET’s 2023 Standout Product

Meta Quest 3 emerges as VR hero

Despite setbacks like Meta’s failed launch of the Meta Quest Pro, the parent company scaling back its metaverse plans, and the competition from Apple’s Vision Pro, the Meta Quest 3 turned the tide upon its launch in October. Initially scoffed at when teased ahead of the Vision Pro announcement, the Quest 3 surprised critics with upgrades like a higher-quality 4K display, smaller controllers with haptic feedback, and a more comfortable design. Priced at $500, significantly less than the Vision Pro, the Quest 3 has garnered a new wave of interest in VR, AR, and MR. This has led to the Quest outselling AirPods during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a noteworthy achievement, given VR headset sales are substantially lower than headphones.

At local Best Buy stores, consumers displayed excitement about the Quest 3 during interactive demonstrations, attracting a lot of curious onlookers who were interested in trying out the technology for themselves. However, despite the impressive improvements, the Quest 3’s content is still largely optimized for the Quest 2, given its larger user base. It’s evident that the content isn’t fully exploiting the Quest 3’s advanced displays and controllers, and not fully taking advantage of its potential for MR experiences.

Nonetheless, the Quest 3 offers a more enjoyable and accessible VR experience for those new to the technology. The availability of compelling content in VR has expanded significantly, catering to a wider audience. For example, non-gaming experiences such as Campfire, Supernatural, Puzzling Places, and PianoVision offer unique and engaging experiences in VR. Gaming enthusiasts also have access to titles like Asgard’s Wrath 2, which boasts impressive visuals and immersive gameplay on the Quest 3.

Overall, the Quest 3 has cemented its position as a mainstream VR headset, offering a range of quality improvements that make VR more enjoyable for users. Despite this, there are still limitations, such as the device’s two-hour battery life and limited mixed reality experiences. However, with developers showing interest in bringing MR apps and games to a broader audience on the Quest 3, the device’s future remains promising.