We’ve got the first solid leaks about Meta Quest 3’s design and tech, and they hold a few surprises.
The leaks once again come from hardware analyst Bradley Lynch, who has already revealed pretty much everything there is to know about the upcoming Meta Quest Pro (info) over the past few months. Now it’s the turn of the still unannounced Meta Quest 3.
As always with leaks, the information can be outdated, inaccurate, or just wrong.
Meta Quest 3 takes shape
According to a roadmap leaked in May 2022, Meta plans to launch two new consumer-facing Quest devices, codenamed Stinson and Cardiff, in 2023 and 2024, respectively. Lynch’s leak refers to Stinson, whose launch is still scheduled for 2023 according to his sources.
The Youtuber presents several CAD blueprints of the headset, as he did with Meta Quest Pro, showing the design and technical features. Lynch says that the blueprints show the more or less final design, but admits that little things could still change before mass production.
His sources have also sent him more details about the technology that can’t be gleaned from the images alone. But first things first.
Focus on mixed reality instead of social presence
Lynch describes the leaked hardware as a “mixed reality device for consumers,” as it features a variety of sensors on the front for just that purpose: two black-and-white cameras, two RGB cameras, and a depth sensor. The different sensor data is fused via software and thus enables a high-quality pass-through mode similar to Meta Quest Pro.
Two additional cameras are installed on the sides of the case, which are used for spatial tracking of the headset.
The biggest surprise is that Meta does without sensors for eye and face tracking. Zuckerberg still said in the spring that these features have top priority.
Lynch says that eye and face tracking is currently too expensive for Meta Quest 3, requiring five more sensors (similar to Meta Quest Pro) and an expensive chip.
New lenses, new form factor
According to the leaks, Stinson is emphasizing mixed reality over social presence. It is possible that Meta will deliver eye and face tracking in 2024 with a more expensive Cardiff model aka “Meta Quest 3 Plus”. Between the $400 Meta Quest 3 and the probably over $1000 Meta Quest Pro, there is theoretically room for another price range. But that is just speculation at the moment.
The CAD files suggest that Meta Quest 3 uses pancake lenses, which translates into a narrower build. The VR headset will still come with a fabric head mount as standard, which in turn means that the battery will be installed in the casing. Meta Quest 3 should therefore be more front-heavy than Meta Quest Pro and Pico 4. The good news is that a more stable head mount should be possible to retrofit with official or unofficial accessories.
According to the CAD blueprint, the USB-C port, and the headphone jack are integrated into the head mount bracket.
Performance leap due to next-gen chip
According to Lynch’s sources, Meta Quest 3 will be equipped with two LC displays. Meta Quest 2 connects on a singular LC display. The lens distance can be adjusted with a dial, which is clearly visible on the build plan. Three contacts on the bottom of the case suggest that Meta Quest 3 will be compatible with the Meta Quest Pro’s charging station.
There is excellent news regarding the processor of the Meta Quest 3. The device is supposed to get a completely new SoC: the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2, which was leaked before under the name Project Halliday. The new chip is supposed to bring a big leap in performance.
All current VR headsets as well as Meta Quest Pro rely on the XR2 Gen 1, a derivative of the Snapdragon 865 optimized for augmented and virtual reality, which was used in premium smartphones in 2020.
Finally, Lynch says that higher-priced SKUs of the Meta Quest 3 could ship with up to 512 gigabytes of storage and 12 gigabytes of RAM.