Meta gave us the thin on its new Quest 3 VR headset at Join 2023. After all, the very first thing on everybody’s minds is: Why ought to I get this as an alternative of Quest 2?
On the floor, it’s a straightforward query to reply. The Quest 3 is 4 years newer, which suggests it’s 4 years extra superior. Its specs outshine the Quest 2 on paper, which suggests it has extra capabilities below its belt. Consequently, it helps a greater diversity of VR video games and experiences.
However let’s focus on probably the most vital distinction between the 2: the Quest 3 helps mixed-reality experiences whereas its predecessor solely helps immersive VR content material. In different phrases, with the Quest 3, VR gaming will incorporate the room you’re standing in — the Quest 2 can’t do the identical.
However that doesn’t imply the Quest 2 simply grew to become nugatory in a single day. There’s nonetheless some fuel left in its tank. Let’s look at why. (You must, by the best way, belief my judgment on this as a result of I personal the Quest 2 and I’ve had an opportunity to check the Quest 3.)
Meta reveals Xbox Cloud Gaming is coming to Quest 3 in December
Meta Quest 2 vs. Quest 3: Specs
Earlier than we get into anything, it’s essential to tell apart these two headsets by their specs. You’ll be able to in all probability guess which headset goes to win this class. It’s probably not a good competitors. Anyway, right here’s how the specs search for each gadgets:
Quest 2: 1832×1920 decision per eye, as much as 90Hz refresh price
Quest 3: 2064×2208 decision per eye with 90Hz refresh price
Quest 2: Snapdragon XR2 processor
Quest 3: Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 processor
Quest 2: 128GB or 256GB storage
Quest 3: 128GB or 512GB storage
Quest 2: 6GB RAM
Quest 3: 8GB RAM
Quest 2: 2-3 hours of battery life
Quest 3: 2-3 hours of battery life
There’s actually no motive to waste time on this. The Quest 3 is a greater headset specs-wise than the Quest 2 as a result of it’s a number of years newer. That’s no slight on the Quest 2, which was a superbly good untethered VR headset when it got here out and remains to be a stable one right this moment. However the Quest 3 has higher display decision, a stronger processor, extra storage, and extra reminiscence.
I want it had extra battery life, too, however you may’t all the time get what you need.
Winner: Quest 3
Meta Quest 2 vs. Quest 3: Consolation
That is one other class the place the Quest 2 doesn’t actually stand an opportunity.
Meta got down to make the Quest 3 extra comfy than the Quest 2. That makes this a shedding battle for the older of the 2 headsets just about by default. Quest 3 has a brand new strap system for perfecting the match in your head and it’s a lot slimmer than Quest 2, however the weight distinction (515g on Quest 3 and 503g on Quest 2) is negligible.
I’ve had the privilege of carrying each headsets and there’s actually no contest. Quest 3 is extra comfy to put on than Quest 2.
Winner: Quest 3
Meta Quest 2 vs. Quest 3: Controllers
Cease me in case you’ve heard this earlier than: Meta Quest 3’s controllers, by advantage of being newer and barely extra superior, are higher than the Quest 2’s controllers.
That stated, the gen-over-gen distinction is minute. Meta redesigned the Contact controllers for Quest 3 so that they don’t have that bizarre ring that wrapped round your thumbs anymore. It’s a extra open and ethereal design that in any other case retains the identical normal form and button format. The one different main distinction is the addition of haptic suggestions, so that you’ll actually really feel it while you do issues like pull again the drawstring on a bow.
Even with these enhancements in thoughts, the 2 controllers are equally as responsive by way of movement monitoring and button inputs, so baseline playability isn’t a problem both manner. Quest 3 notches one other win below its belt, however not by a lot.
Winner: Quest 3
Meta Quest 2 vs. Quest 3: Options and library
If this looks like a little bit of a massacre to date, it’s solely going to worsen.
By the requirements of 2019 VR headsets that don’t require gaming PCs, the Quest 2 is nice. Drawing a play boundary utilizing its black-and-white passthrough characteristic is simple. VR video games and functions like Beat Saber, VRChat, and Wander work very nicely on Quest 2. If you happen to view the machine within the correct context, there’s completely nothing improper with what’s on provide.
If you happen to resolve that context is for jerks, the Quest 3 is clearly higher. Its full-color passthrough is miles forward of what Quest 2 needed to provide (talking from expertise), giving customers a crystal-clear view of their environment. Scanning the play space is completed routinely, so that you don’t have to manually draw one anymore. And most significantly, Quest 3 is a correct mixed-reality headset as an alternative of only a VR headset. Video games and apps can make the most of the passthrough options to put objects, characters, and anything in the actual world in entrance of you. The Quest 2 can’t try this.
Oh, and Quest 3 can play each Quest 2 recreation and app, whereas additionally supporting new and upgraded variations of content material the Quest 2 can’t entry.
Winner: Quest 3
Meta Quest 2 vs. Quest 3: Worth and verdict
You just about get the image at this level. In each manner that issues, the Quest 3 is a greater headset than Quest 2. Effectively, nearly each manner that issues.
Quest 3 begins at $500 and goes all the best way as much as $650 if you need extra storage. Quest 2, in the meantime, is a measly $300 by comparability. That is the explanation why I preserve insisting Quest 2 remains to be price contemplating. It’s a considerably cheaper headset that’s already confirmed itself over time, with sturdy performance and a sturdy library of video games and experiences. When you’ve got by no means tried VR earlier than, it’s a very nice strategy to get your foot within the door.
If you happen to have tried VR and wish the best of the best (with no gaming PC), Quest 3 is clearly the best way to go. However that doesn’t imply Quest 2 is a nugatory hunk of junk. It nonetheless has a spot.
Winner: Quest 3, except you’re feeling like saving $200 and don’t care that a lot about AR