After a few years of fairly quiet Meta Connect developer conferences, the big virtual reality show is back with a whole mess of announcements in 2023. This year, we’re getting actual details on the upcoming Quest 3, Meta’s mainstream VR headset. The company announced the product and showed off its design back in June but promised that actual details would follow at this year’s Meta Connect. While we know the new — hopefully affordable — headset is coming at the event, there’s been nothing official about the price, specs, or when you’ll be able to buy your own.
We can also expect to see software, quite a few games, and possibly other hardware, too. Meta’s going to need to wow us after the overpriced and pretty dismal Meta Quest Pro came and went last year. And with Apple breathing down the whole virtual reality world’s neck with the Apple Vision Pro, Meta will need to pull out all the stops to show it’s still leaving the virtual reality world in Silicon Valley.
If you want to follow along, you can catch the keynote for free on Meta’s Facebook page.
Or you can just keep up to date by reading our coverage below.
Oct 13, 2023
David called the Meta Quest 3 “better than its predecessors in almost every way” in our full Verge review — but what’s it like on the inside? iFixit now has the answer in a brilliant teardown video that gets right up close to the gadget’s delightfully shiny guts.Read Article >
You won’t find a curved battery in here like the “largely unfixable” Quest Pro, but you do get a curved heatsink above the fan — and, of course, the Time of Flight depth sensor that the Quest Pro apparently decided to scrap. iFixit’s Shahram Mokhtari says it can even attach to a Quest Pro’s board, though it’s not clear whether you could get it to work there.
- Read Article >
But if you watched the company’s Meta Connect keynote and developer session closely, the company revealed a bunch of intriguing improvements that could help devs build a next-gen portable headset game themselves.
Sep 28, 2023
Almost two years ago, Mark Zuckerberg rebranded his company Facebook to Meta — and since then, he has been focused on building the “metaverse,” a three-dimensional virtual reality. But the metaverse has lost some of its luster since 2021. Companies like Disney have closed down their metaverse divisions and deemphasized using the word, while crypto-based startup metaverses have quietly languished or imploded. In 2022, Meta’s Reality Labs division reported an operational loss of $13.7 billion.Read Article >
But at Meta Connect 2023, Zuckerberg still hasn’t given up on the metaverse — he’s just shifted how he talks about it. He once focused on the metaverse as a completely digital new world. Now, he aims to convince the public that the future is a blend of the digital and the physical.
- Meta Connect will continue, but the keynote’s wrapped up.
Check out our interview with Mark Zuckerberg on today’s AI and VR news, the Threads rollout, and more. Meta’s show will continue through tomorrow — the schedule’s available here.
- Web browsing: the new killer app for AI chatbots?
Meta is touting Meta AI’s ability to talk to Bing when answering your questions. ChatGPT just (re-)acquired the ability to browse the web, too. If these AI bots really are going to change the way we find information — and I think they might — this kind of real-time web access is going to be a huge part of it.
- Here’s the graphical upgrade between Quest 2 and Quest 3.
This clip shows off The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners, one of the Quest 2’s headliner games, alongside its upgraded Quest 3 version. We’re still looking at a game powered by a mobile chip, but it’s a significant detail boost.
- I love this intense cat lady energy.
Li-Chen Miller is on stage talking about the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses, and she is bringing the energy decked out in a cat meme shirt and Hello Kitty pants. Clearly, she knows that us cat owners are going to be using these glasses to record that cat twirling meme all over TikTok.
- Supernatural’s workout app is now just $10 a month on Quest.
I’m pretty sure Supernatural is the app I’ve used most on my Quest 2 — it’s an awesome fitness app, and its price just got cut from $18.99 a month to $9.99. (You can also pay $99.99 a year.) This might be the most exciting news of today, at least when it comes to my budget.
- “Every time you put on your headset, they’re right where you left them.”
That’s Boz describing “Augments,” a feature coming to Meta Quest 3 next year where you can pin virtual objects to surfaces and walls in your real world and they should... just stay there.
“You can keep your favorite trophies on your shelf; place life-size artifacts from games like Population One or Asgard’s Wrath in your living room.” He says interactive music players will be available as well.
- We have much more on Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of the AI future on the latest Decoder episode.
He spent more than an hour with The Verge’s Alex Heath talking about everything from AI to Threads to X to the future of smart glasses and the Quest 3. Alex and Zuck tend to cover a lot of ground whenever they sit down to talk, and this is a great chat. You can watch it on YouTube, or listen anywhere you get podcasts. Don’t miss it!
Sep 27, 2023
Meta is releasing a charging dock for its new Quest 3 headset. For $129.99, the all-in-one charging station allows you to neatly mount and charge the Quest 3 headset and controllers when you’re not immersed in virtual reality.Read Article >
This charging station is the first of its kind for Meta. While the company offers a charging dock for the Quest Pro, it is wired and doesn’t neatly prop both controllers up like the new dock. This new station is more similar to the two-in-one station Anker made for the Quest 2. It lets you charge the headset using the contact pads on the bottom of the Quest 3.
- This glasses/AI/Quest combo is the future, Zuckerberg says in closing.
Zuckerberg’s three things for the day were the Quest 3, all the AI bots, and the smart glasses. He’s recapping now, and says that actually the glasses are kind of the end point — put AI and Quest together, solve some hardware problems, and smart glasses are the thing. And with that it appears we’re done with Zuckerberg!
Next up: CTO Andrew Bosworth to talk about some of the far-future stuff Meta’s working on and dive a little deeper into the products themselves./
Sep 27, 2023
Meta announced that the Meta Quest 3 will arrive on October 10th during its Meta Connect event, providing a little clarity around the headset’s initial “fall” launch timing. Unlike its predecessor, the Quest 2, the $499.99 Quest 3 will function as both a virtual reality and mixed reality headset. That means, like Apple’s Vision Pro headset, you’ll be able to see and interact with the real world while you wear it.Read Article >
How well it does outside a highly curated demo space remains to be seen, of course, and we’ll let you know after we’ve fully tested the Quest 3. In the meantime, though, you can check out our initial impressions and place a preorder for the upcoming VR headset.
- So there’s the AR.
Zuck just mentioned that a software update will come to the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses that sort of turns them into a true AR device... even though these glasses themselves don’t have a screen.
- Meta is slow-rolling its AI launches on purpose.
Zuckerberg says Meta has done a lot of testing and red-teaming to make sure its AI bots aren’t problematic, but he also acknowledges that this stuff is hard and complicated. That’s why, he says, Meta’s rolling its new products out a little more slowly than usual.
This seems like a good idea! Meta knows better than just about anybody how problematic fake information can be, and how hard it is to guess all the ways people will use your new stuff. Move slow and don’t break things.
Meta has just fully revealed its Quest 3 virtual reality headset and announced its Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses, and they’ve both got Qualcomm silicon inside. There’s a new Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 in the Quest 3 and a new Snapdragon AR1 Gen 1 in the Ray-Bans that boasts onboard AI.Read Article >
We’ve known since the beginning that the Quest would feature a Snapdragon chip with double the GPU performance to drive its higher-res displays, but the Ray-Bans are a slight surprise — and so is the XR2 Gen 2’s baked-in hardware processing for head, hand, and object tracking.
Meta’s smart glasses are not called “Stories” anymore. They’re just called smart glasses now. Technically, the new model Meta just announced is called the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses, and the company will happily correct you anytime you call them something else, but these are simply smart glasses. No ifs, ands, or weird names about it.Read Article >
The new glasses, which Meta just announced at its Connect launch event and which are up for preorder now and will be on sale October 17th starting at $299, have two primary purposes. The first is to replace your headphones: the smart glasses have a similar personal audio system like Amazon’s Echo Frames and the Bose Tempo series, all of which play music but endeavor to make sure only you can hear it. With the new generation of glasses, Meta also upgraded the microphone system in a big way: the specs have five mics, including one in the nose bridge, which should make both your calls and voice commands much clearer. (The Stories only had one mic, and it kind of fell apart in loud or windy conditions.)
Smart glasses that can discreetly take photos and capture videos have been around for a while. Likewise, the new Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses tread a lot of familiar ground, but something about them feels fresh.Read Article >
The smart glasses — which were just announced at Meta Connect — are the successor to 2021’s Ray-Ban Stories. And this time, Meta is actually putting its name on the product. You’d think that’s because it’s done something special or innovative to zhuzh up the category. I got hands-on time with the glasses a few weeks ago, and that’s not it. It was more that the tech finally started to make sense — both in terms of hardware and how the TikTok era turned normal people into overnight influencers.
- Meta’s AI Studio will let you make your own AI companions.
And it’s going to hook into the “metaverse” — Mark Zuckerberg discusses the possibility of using its AI characters as video game NPCs. It sounds a bit like Character.ai, but Meta’s pitching it to businesses and creators, not primarily as an entertainment tool.
Sep 27, 2023Meta’s AI chatbots imagine a world where you don’t need friends.
Instead of friends that help you brainstorm your kid’s birthday party or plan your next campaign in Dungeons and Dragons you can interact with chatbots, including one that looks and sounds like Snoop Dog....we think. It didn’t work on stage and Zuckerberg moved on with the presentation.
Which is basically what I do when my friends don’t respond to my galaxy brain texts at one in the morning.
- Zuckerberg’s demo phone looks like a Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.
In white, actually, which looks good on the Ultra. This is not an important piece of information for you to know — and it’s hardly surprising that Zuck is Team Android and not Team Apple — but I just figured I’d share.