Meta Quest 3 Lite: All the Latest News and Rumors

Everything We Know about the Meta Quest 3 Lite

Meta Quest 3 Lite All the Latest News and Rumors - XR Today News
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Published: May 30, 2024

Rebekah Carter

Rebekah Carter

The arrival of a Meta Quest 3 Lite, or at least a cheaper version of the Quest 3, seems likely. While the Meta Quest 3 is one of the most popular headsets for business users and consumers alike, Meta seems keen to increase its market share.

I consider the Quest 3 one of the most affordable, high-performance headsets for mixed reality capabilities. It’s a lot cheaper than the competing Apple Vision Pro. However, the $500 price tag may still be too high for some beginners in the XR market. That’s why Meta seems to be looking at alternatives.

The leading XR company hasn’t revealed any official information about an upcoming, cheaper version of the Quest 3. However, plenty of rumors and leaks suggest something is probably in the works. I’ve collected all the news and rumors I can find to give you a comprehensive overview of everything we know.

Will There Be a Meta Quest 3 Lite?

Major vendors like Meta and Apple aren’t always forthcoming about their upcoming products. We spent months speculating about the Apple Vision Pro before it was finally announced. Similarly, we’re left to speculate again about Meta’s potential “Quest 3 Lite”.

Despite no official announcements or statements, most analysts agree that Meta is probably working on something more budget-friendly.

The Verge published details of an internal meeting leaked from Meta, in which the Vice President for VR claimed a more “accessible headset” would be arriving sometime in 2024. Elsewhere, tech enthusiasts have leaked renders and design concepts for two different, cheaper versions of the Meta Quest headset. The Meta Quest 3 Lite and the Quest 3S.

Moreover, Meta Quest 2’s pricing has been consistently dropping, which could indicate that Meta and its partner retailers are trying to shift leftover stock before a new solution arrives.

Meta Quest 3 Lite Release Date and Pricing

If Meta Does release a cheaper version of the Meta Quest 3, it’s impossible to know when it will be available. If the leaked meeting notes mentioned above are anything to go by, we may see the solution this year.

Meta often releases new hardware around October, in time for the holiday season, and the company could announce the headset during its Meta Quest Gaming Showcase this year.

In terms of pricing, we’re left to speculate again. Based on rumors and previous hardware releases, there’s a good chance we can expect the device to be similar in price to a last-gen headset. It will be less expensive than the Quest 3, but based on new features, it may have a slightly higher price tag than the Quest 2. This would suggest a price somewhere around $299 to $399.

The Design: What Will the Lite Headset Look Like?

Although we haven’t seen much information about the Meta Quest 3 Lite, even from industry analysts, many emerging leaks have focused on the headset’s potential design. The most significant factor that most leaks draw attention to is that the Lite headset will likely use the Fresnel lens system of Quest 2 rather than the pancake lenses of Quest 3.

Fresnel lenses are much cheaper, making it easier for Meta to reduce the cost of its “affordable” device, but they may make the headset a little bulkier. Presentation images leaked on social media include “front-facing cameras,” slightly larger than those on the Quest 2.

This difference in design may mean that the Quest 3 Lite has better cameras than the Quest 2, which would align with a decision to maintain full-color passthrough in the cheaper headset. Although there’s no guarantee this feature will appear, the Director of Engineering for XR tech at Meta has said that he’s convinced passthrough and mixed reality will be standard on future headsets.

Meta’s CTO, Andrew Bosworth, also said in an Instagram AMA that mixed reality capabilities will be “the same” for generations of headsets.

However, there’s a good chance the headset won’t enable depth tracking and more advanced MR features. The specs are likely to be somewhat limited. Still, we should expect some flavor of “mixed reality headset”, similar in design and style to the Quest 3, and the Quest 2.

Meta Quest 3 Lite: The Potential Specs

We have limited into the potential specs for the Meta Quest 3, but a leaked Zoom presentation showcasing a “Meta Quest 3S” has given analysts some insights. According to the leaked images, the Lite version of the headset will have a slightly lower display resolution (1832 x 1920) than the Quest 3. This means it will match the display of the Quest 2.

The Lite will also likely come with up to 256GB of storage, while the Quest 3 comes with up to 512 GB. One particular spec that has yet to be fully confirmed is the device’s chipset. Some analysts believe the Quest 3 Lite will sport the same Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chipset as the Quest 3. This could mean that while Meta is cutting costs in various areas, it’s still keen to give users the same internal functionality they’d get from the full-priced headset.

If the Meta Quest 3 Lite has similar mixed reality capabilities and the same chip as the Quest 3, it may have access to similar software (everything on the Quest store). If the specs are significantly worse, we might see Meta launching content on the Quest store exclusive to the Quest 3 and higher-tier devices.

Interestingly, some analysts believe the Meta Quest 3 Lite will come without controllers to lower the price point. Although Meta has improved the hand tracking capabilities over the years, a lack of controllers may still be a problem, depending on the Quest 3 Lite’s mixed reality functionality.

The Cheaper Quest 3: What We Hope to See

Right now, a lack of official information about the Meta Quest 3 Lite is confusing everyone. When all we have is rumors, knowing what we can look forward to is challenging. To deliver a truly valuable solution, Meta would have to retain the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chipset in the Quest 3 and preserve high-quality specs.

Otherwise, it would simply replicate Quest 2. If the company chooses to use Fresnel lenses instead of pancake lenses and reduce resolution, it will need to find other ways to improve the user experience. This could mean retaining things like full-color passthrough from Quest 3.

Additionally, we’ll need advanced hand-tracking capabilities if the company plans to remove controllers from the Quest 3 Lite bundle.

I’m also hoping Meta will address some of the comfort issues of the Meta Quest 2 with its affordable headset. The Quest 2 struggled with lacking IPD adjustment options and a bulky head strap. If Meta can make its Lite headset more lightweight, comfortable, and customizable, it will likely appeal to a broader range of users.

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