VR Pursuit: Meta and Apple unveil new headsets

12 June 2023

In early June, there were two important events that everyone was waiting for. The first one is the announcement and teaser of the VR-headset from Meta – Meta Quest 3. The second one is the presentation of Apple Vision Pro from Apple at the annual conference WWDC 2023. So far, both headsets have received mixed reviews from future buyers. However, these products are so different in their functionality and application that comparisons are useless. Nevertheless, we could not miss the opportunity to tell you about each of them separately.


Apple Vision Pro


Every year, Apple Inc. holds a technology conference WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference). This year from June 5 to June 9 there were presented updated operating systems for iPhones and Macs, new watchOS 10 and MacBooks. But everyone’s attention was focused on the innovative device, which will appear in stores only in 2024.

Let’s start with the technical specifications. The headset is powered by the Apple M2 processor and has an integrated Apple R1 chip. Two micro-OLED displays with a total resolution of 23 million pixels are responsible for the visual effect. The device has 12 built-in cameras, 4 of which are aimed at the user’s eyes to track the trajectory of the sight. The user operates the headset using a power adapter or a separate battery. We can talk about the technical features of the device for a long time, but its functionality turned out to be the most interesting.

Perhaps the most interesting feature of Apple Vision Pro is the lack of controllers. All actions are performed with the help of a eyes, voice or slight hand movements. Judging by the video presentation of the company, it really looks impressive. The developers described in detail how to use the headset and work with programs in the mixed reality solution. A number of built-in programs built were also presented. For instance, Unity which is used for creating video games.

But what about the games themselves? We are all used to the fact that VR-headsets are created primarily for complete immersion in the gaming space. But in Apple’s presentation, the ability to play was mentioned in passing. According to the video-presentation we can see a girl who plays NBA live and uses a PlayStation joystick. And all because Apple never got around to making their own consoles. So many questions and so few answers. Whether the company will move towards a serious game industry in the future or leave its position in the field of casual games is still unknown.

At the moment, Apple Vision Pro looks like another fashionable device with innovative features and ergonomics that can be used in almost any physical position. But for now, this is just a high-tech computer that can be used just like a MacBook or an iPhone. In this regard, the miracle did not happen. But given the company’s ability to always be ahead of others, we do not leave hope for new surprises. And we are not talking about a nearly $3500 price tag or an immidiate drop of company’s stock right during and after the Apple Vision Pro presentation.


Meta Quest 3



And now we offer all gamers to exhale and discuss a more understandable device, namely Meta Quest 3. On June 1, Mark Zuckerberg posted a teaser of the headset on his Instagram. It was the first day of Meta Quest Gaming Showcase. The main focus of the event was on new or updated games from Meta Quest VR, which are suitable not only for the latest generation of headsets, but also for their predecessors. Among the long-awaited games were Asgard’s Wrath 2, I Expect You To Die 3: Cog in the Machine, Vampire: The Masquerade — Justice, The 7th Guest VR, Assassin’s Creed Nexus VR, Death Game Hotel  and many others.

Just like Apple Vision Pro, Meta Quest 3 is a mixed reality headset. But compared to the previous model from Meta, this device promises improved image quality and processor power 2-3 times higher than in Meta Quest 2. Judging by the presentation, pancake lenses with a resolution of 2064 × 2208 for each eye are included in the package. Little is known about the controllers, except that they will not have a built-in motion tracking camera, as in Meta Quest Pro. And according to the preliminary guesses of experts, they may be less convenient than in Meta Quest 2. Although it is too early to judge this.

What the Meta manufacturers have done well this time around is ergonomics. Meta Quest 3 is 40% narrower and therefore lighter than the previous model. And the rubber mounts now diverge in the middle of the head, providing a more secure position of the headset. Previously, users have repeatedly complained the device and mounts do not match, and the Meta Quest feels too heavy. We hope that the company has worked on these errors and we will soon be able to evaluate this in practice.

The price of the headset will be $499, which, of course, cannot be compared with the device from Apple. The price of Meta Quest 2 is going to be reduced to $299. Of course, one should not expect a miracle from Meta headsets, because they are made for the mass user, which means that the equipment and functionality are of lower quality than more serious and expensive devices. At the same time, almost every gamer can afford to buy it without getting into debt to banks or friends. The release of the headset is scheduled for autumn 2023. And it’s safe to say that it will come true on schedule, unlike Apple Vision. Apple is often accused of delaying the release of their products.

As we mentioned earlier, comparing both products from Meta and Apple is simply impossible. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages. But there is one nuance. First of all, it is in the request of users, namely the ability to play computer games, which at the moment Apple Vision cannot provide in full. In this case, Meta Quest 3 is in the most advantageous position. But there is a strong possibility that Apple Vision will provide us with opportunities to use modern technologies that we will find it difficult to refuse in the future. In any case, we always follow with great interest all the novelties of both companies and treat with great respect the efforts that they make to make our world more convenient and diverse. In the meantime, we can only hold our breath and wait for the chance to personally test each device.


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