Even though the Quest 3 has just dropped, you might have heard some rumors about a new headset from Meta. The device, dubbed the Quest 3 Lite, is supposed to be a cheaper and lighter version of the Quest 3, which is expected to launch in 2024 and for less than $200. However, before you get too excited, you should know that the Quest 3 Lite will likely come with some major drawbacks that will compromise your VR experience.
This article will be kept up to date as new information is released. Last update: 20/11/2023 currently, the information below is mainly based on rumours and leaks.
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When does the Quest 3 Lite come out?
According to Brad Lynch, a reliable leaker who revealed Quest 3 designs long before they were officially announced, the Quest 3 Lite could launch in the first half of 2024 and cost only $199 for the base model. This information comes from an anonymous Chinese analyst who has connections to the supply chain and has accurately predicted Pico headsets and the Meta Quest Pro in the past. The analyst also claims that the Quest 2 and Quest Pro would be phased out after the Quest 3 Lite’s release, leaving only two options for Meta’s VR lineup: the Quest 3 Lite and the Quest 3.
What Lenses with the Quest 3 lite use?
The headset will use cheaper lenses than the Quest 3, which means they will probably be Fresnel lenses instead of pancake lenses. Fresnel lenses are the ones used in the current Quest 2, and they have some disadvantages, such as glare, distortion, and reduced field of view. Pancake lenses, on the other hand, are thinner and more advanced lenses that can offer a wider and clearer view of the virtual world.
Will the Quest 3 lite have Color Pass-through?
Another drawback of the Quest 3 Lite is that it will not have color pass-through. Pass-through is a feature that allows you to see the real world through the headset’s cameras. This can be useful for safety reasons, or for blending VR and AR elements. The Quest 2 already has black-and-white pass-through, and the Quest 3 is highly regarded for it’s color pass-through, which enhance the realism and immersion of AR. However, the Quest 3 Lite will apparently lack this feature, which means you will have to take off your headset every time you want to see what’s going on around you.
Does the Quest 3 lite have controllers?
The most surprising rumor about the Quest 3 Lite is that it will not have controllers. Yes, you read that right. The headset will rely solely on hand tracking, which is a technology that allows you to use your hands as input devices in VR. While Meta’s hand tracking can be convenient and intuitive for some applications, it is not a reliable or accurate way of interacting with VR content. Hand tracking can suffer from occlusion, latency, and limited gestures. Moreover, many VR games and experiences require controllers to simulate actions such as grabbing, shooting, or swinging. Without controllers, you will miss out on a lot of fun and immersive VR content.
Which Chip will the Quest 3 lite use?
According to some sources, the Meta Quest 3 Lite will use the same Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chipset as the Meta Quest 3, but with a twist. The chipset will be a binned version, meaning that it did not pass the quality standards for the Meta Quest 3 and has lower performance. This way, Meta and Qualcomm can recycle the chipsets that would otherwise be wasted and still provide a decent VR experience for the Meta Quest Lite users.
All in all, the Quest 3 Lite seems like a bad deal for VR enthusiasts. It will offer a lower quality and less immersive VR experience than the Quest 3, which will probably cost only $300 more. The Quest 3 Lite might appeal to casual users who want to try VR for the first time, or to people who live in regions where Meta’s products are not available. However, if you are serious about VR, you should not wait for the Quest 3 Lite. You should save up for the Quest 3 instead, or stick with your Quest 2 until then.