On January 11th, 2023
A new headset could arrive in XR markets later this year with Meta’s cutting-edge technologies
Meta Platforms is expected to release its Meta Quest 3 in 2023, social media reports confirmed last week.
Extended reality (XR) analyst Brad Lynch tweeted on Thursday last week that the Meta Quest 3 would release later this year as planned. This comes after he leaked designs of the upcoming headset in September last year, sparking discussions on the device on social media.
Lynch cited sources in December, stating Reality Labs began testing its first engineering validation test (EVT) devices. The prototype aims to test a product prior to entering consumer markets.
According to the YouTuber, Meta began its subsequent phases of device testing, with third-party developers shipping developer kits in the second quarter (Q1) of 2023. This is progressing according to Meta Platform’s schedule, Lynch said in his comments.
He said in his tweet,
In December, I was made aware that the first Meta Quest 3 EVTs were being tested internally by core Reality Labs teams. Now I am hearing the next phase of devices are starting to make its way to other XR software departments [at] Meta. Dev kits are slated 2Q23 for 3rd party partners”
Despite this, Lynch did not mention the Quest 3 incorporating a next-generation Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. News remains unclear whether the device will use current or future chipsets for processing.
Meta Quest 3 Competition
The news comes after Meta unveiled its Quest Pro enterprise headset at its Connect 2022 event in October last year. The device featured an updated Snapdragon XR2+ chip, full-colour passthrough, pancake lenses, and other major features.
Priced at £1,500, the Quest Pro faces strong competition from rival headset manufacturers. HTC VIVE debuted its VIVE XR Elite at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2023 in January for roughly $1,200.
Additionally, Pico Interactive showcased two major contenders, the Pico 4 and Pico 4 Enterprise, shortly after Meta’s Quest Pro release. Both headsets are priced significantly less than the Quest Pro at £379 and £899, respectively, with the enterprise version offering comparable specs.
Lenovo, a major enterprise competitor, also plans to release its ThinkReality VRX headset along with several key software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions. This device also aims to top global enterprise headset markets with the company’s vast experience with industry verticals.
Economic, Regulatory Crises
Meta has faced several setbacks, including transnational data flow fines, mass layoffs, online safety concerns, and huge overhead costs. The Menlo Park-based firm adopted a more conservative approach to investment while scaling back its workforce by 11,000 staff late last year.
The ongoing global tech and economic slowdowns have forced Meta to streamline its operations. Multiple tech giants such as Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Apple, and others have trimmed their expenses due to recession woes and slower-than-expected sales. To date, problems with supply chains and design flaws have pushed Apple’s long-awaited mixed reality (MR) headset to later in 2023.
Despite this, the company said it has no plans to end its Metaverse ambitions. Andrew Bosworth, Meta’s Head of Reality Labs, noted several milestones in its progress with spatial computing. This has included the Meta Quest Pro, hand and eye tracking, and a Meta Quest Gaming Showcase in the spring this year.