Meta Quest 3 Lite rumors: Everything we know so far

Meta Quest 3 hands-on review
(Image credit: Future)

Immersive technology, including augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR), is truly starting to flourish in 2024. The technology is becoming better and more accessible, and VR games and apps are equally improving. The rumored Meta Quest 3 Lite — or possibly named the Meta Quest 3s — seems to strike the perfect balance between performance upgrades and an affordable price.

When the Meta Quest 3 launched last year, it was a worthy follow-up to the Quest 2, albeit $200 more expensive. We loved so much about the Quest 3 in our review, but its price hike left us wondering if Meta's super budget-friendly headsets were in the rearview mirror.

The Quest 3's $499 price tag is still relatively affordable compared to many other headsets, but the Quest 2's $299 price tag makes VR accessible to more people. If the Quest 3 Lite rumors we've heard so far are true, this upcoming headset might be the perfect solution for those who want performance improvements without needing to pay more than $299.

Release date

Leaked images of the Meta Quest 3s shared by @Lunayian on X (formerly Twitter)

(Image credit: @Lunayian on X/Twitter)

Meta hasn't announced an official release date yet for the Quest 3 Lite, so we're purely guessing here based on rumors. It's possible that this new budget-friendly headset could launch at the annual Meta Connect conference in September or October 2024, but the majority of rumors point to an earlier release. 

Most people seem to think the Quest Lite 3 will release in the first half of 2024, right before summer.

Price

Some rumors put a shockingly low $199 price tag on Meta's Quest 3 Lite, but the upcoming headset is more likely going to match the Quest 2's price of $299. The Quest 3 Lite looks like the Quest 2, with a blockier design than the Quest 3, and it might have less mixed reality features than the Quest 3 to keep the price low.

Specs

Thanks to leaked Zoom presentation slides of what's presumed to be the Meta Quest 3 Lite, we have an idea of what internal specs it might be sporting. As always, it's worth noting that Meta hasn't confirmed these specs, and this is all just educated speculation right now. 

Leaked presentation slides shared by @Lunayian on X (formerly Twitter)

(Image credit: @Lunayian on X/Twitter)

According to these leaked images, the Meta Quest 3 Lite will have a display resolution of 1832 x 1920, which matches the Quest 2's display resolution. Not bumping up the resolution to the Quest 3's display resolution of 2064 x 2208 will definitely help keep costs low.

The image, translated from French, also implies that the Quest 3 Lite will come with up to 256GB of storage, whereas the Quest 3 offers up to 512GB of storage.

One spec that isn't expected to drop is the chipset. The Quest 3 Lite will likely feature the same chipset as the higher-end Quest 3, and instead make cost cuts elsewhere, in the headset's display, sensor tech, and design.

In a leaked render by Twitter/X user VR Panda, the Quest 3 Lite appears to lack the full color passthrough RGB cameras that make mixed reality strong on the Quest 3. Without these sensors, the Quest 3 Lite might be marketed as solely a VR headset rather than a VR/MR combination headset.

Design

Based on all the leaked images we've seen so far, the Quest 3 Lite (or Quest 3s) will be chunkier or blockier than the Quest 3, but will otherwise look pretty similar. It looks like it'll sport the rounded aesthetic of the Quest 3 and its comfortable improvements, like the top strap's split at the back for extra support.

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The front-facing cameras seen on the Quest 3 Lite in presentation images are clearly larger than those on Meta's Quest 2, but they're configured differently than the Quest 3's cameras. This difference in design could indicate that the Quest 3 Lite has better cameras than the Quest 2, featuring improvements for mixed reality and passthrough, but worse cameras than the Quest 3.

The design shared in the presentation images differs from the leaked render shared by a different source, which has the Quest 3 Lite's front looking smoother and lacking the symmetrical tri-camera setup. While neither source has been verified, most people seem to think the design in the presentation images is the more likely end-result design.

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Outlook

For people who were never interested in mixed reality, Meta's upcoming budget-friendly alternative to the Quest 3 will be the obvious upgrade to the Quest 2. It'll likely feature the same display resolution and sensors, but boast performance and comfort improvements that'll make it worth the upgrade.

If the rumors of a release in the first half of 2024 are true, we won't have to wait much longer to get definitive details on the Meta Quest 3 Lite, or Meta Quest 3s, whichever naming convention Meta goes with.

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