Meta’s Next Low-Cost VR Headset Might Be the Quest 3S

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Key Takeaways

  • Meta has store listings for an unannounced Quest 3S.
  • The headset might be a budget Quest 3 with cheaper lenses and tracking.
  • It's not certain when the 3S might ship.

Meta might be close to launching a budget Quest 3S headset, according to listings on the company’s VR app store.

No details of the product itself are available on Meta’s pages. However, UploadVR pointed out a leaked roadmap and other rumors that suggested a more affordable Quest 3 variant was coming this year.

If accurate, those rumors had the Meta Quest 3S closely resembling the regular model, but using lower-priced components that might include the fresnel lenses from the Quest 2.  However, it could use the same Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chip as the regular Quest 3, giving it similar performance for games and other more demanding apps.

The new version might also keep the Quest 3’s mixed reality passthrough, although it could drop the depth projector used to quickly create a 3D mesh of the room you’re in.  Ir might instead rely on software to accomplish a similar effect.

It’s not certain when Meta might launch the Quest 3S, but the store entries hint that an announcement could be close.

Meta has continued to sell the Quest 2 as the Quest 3’s $499 official starting price was a steep hike. There have been signs the company is winding down Quest 2 sales, though, such as the decision to drop the 256GB model in February.

Meta is supposedly targeting a $300 price for the Quest 3S. If so, it could easily replace the Quest 2 while providing speed, control, and display improvements. The regular Quest 3 would mainly benefit from its higher-quality pancake lenses and possibly better tracking.

Provided those details are accurate, the Quest 3S could spur demand for affordable VR headsets without requiring deep compromises like on the Oculus Go. It might also have a long shelf life, serving as the affordable counterpart to the still-distant Quest 4.