The XR Week Peek (2023.10.17): Quest 3 has been shipped, Quest 3 Lite to come in 2024, and more!

This has been the week of the Quest 3: the headset has started shipping and I have received my unit, too. Unluckily since I’m crunching at work, I’ve only been able to test it for a bit more than one hour, but I was already pleasantly surprised by it. I don’t have the time to write a full review now, but I hope to write this week at least a “first impression” article because many people are asking my opinion (thank you, really, for your trust!).
 Because of my busy time, the commentaries to this and the next two newsletters will be a bit shorter than usual, but I’ll try to be informative the same, just with fewer words. Thanks for your understanding. Very soon I will unveil what I’ve been working on all these weeks, and I hope to have your support for that!

Top news of the week

Meta is shipping the Quest 3

The news of the week is of course that Meta is shipping its new Quest 3 headset and its many accessories. All journalists are writing reviews about it, and they are all pretty positive. The main XR magazines talk about a very solid headset with good processing power and amazing visuals, with the passthrough being an improvement over the previous models, but still not perfect.
 People have also started playing with mixed reality: my social feeds are full of people who are doing some activities in their home (e.g. cooking) while keeping Quest 3 on so that they can watch a movie in mixed reality while they do what they have to do. Many games are getting a mixed reality update, and the most impressive for me was Eleven Table Tennis, which lets you play in mixed reality with other people that are in your same physical room, so it is like you are playing ping pong for real on the table of your living room! Mixed Reality currently does not support the occlusion of virtual elements with real ones, but a new experimental API lets developers already experiment with it.
 But the Quest 3 is also a solid VR headset, so many VR games are being updated to exploit its new processing power. This is good, but is also increasing the size of existing games, which can be a problem for people having the 64GB Quest 2.
 We had also our first teardown by iFixit, which revealed that a big part of the weight and space of the headset is occupied by the big battery.
 It’s good to see so much enthusiasm from the community around a new device!

More info (Meta Quest 3 Review — Road To VR)
More info (Meta Quest 3 Review — Upload VR)
More info (Quest 3 Teardown)
More info (Quest 3 Accessories — Road To VR)
More info (Quest 3 Accessories — Upload VR)
More info (Quest 3 Games occupy more storage)
More info (List of all games upgraded for Quest 3)
More info (Dynamic Occlusion Experimental APIs)
More info (Example video of a person using mixed reality while watching a movie)
More info (Eleven Table Tennis in MR)

Other relevant news

(Image by Meta)

Quest 3 Lite may be a more powerful Quest 2

A new rumor comes from China… and it has as usual been spotted by Brad Lynch. This rumor mentions a thing we already heard from other sources, which is that Meta is working on a new cheap device for 2024, aiming at a price tag of $199. But this article goes a bit more in detail about this topic.
 It mentions that the new affordable device, dubbed Quest 3 Lite, should be released in the first half of 2024, and the cheapest version, with 64GB of storage, should be released for $199. To keep the price this low, the headset will ship without controllers, it will feature Fresnel lenses and black/white passthrough. The chipset will be the new one though, so it should run on a Snapdragon XR2 Gen2 core.
 With the launch of the Quest 3 Lite, both Quest 2 and Quest Pro would be discontinued. Also, the Quest 3 128 GB edition would be substituted by the 256GB one. Meta’s offering could so become this one:

  • Quest 3 Lite, 64G, $199
  • Quest 3 Lite, 128G, $299
  • Quest 3 Lite, 256G, $399
  • Quest 3, 256G, $499
  • Quest 3, 512G, $649

And there is more: Meta is working on a partnership with Tencent to distribute the Quest 3 Lite also in China and compete with Pico in its own home.
 I truly hope this rumor is true. A Quest 3 Lite at $199 could help a lot in making VR more widespread because of its cheap price.

More info — Use Google Translate!

Apple is still working on a cheaper Vision Pro

Meta is not the only company working on a cheaper device. Apple is doing the same with its Vision Pro, hoping to release in the next years a headset with a price that makes it affordable for more people.
 According to Mark Gurman, Apple’s current plans are to make the headset less expensive by removing the special EyeSight feature and also downgrading the internal chip from an M-series to an A-series one. A-series chips are the ones from iPhones and are more affordable than the powerful M ones.
 The expected price for this more affordable solution is $1500–2500. I don’t know for whom this is “affordable”, maybe Tim Cook, Bill Gates, or people that have sold both kidneys…

More info

Microsoft completes the acquisition of Activision-Blizzard

After many months of legal disputes, Microsoft has finally received the green light to acquire Activision-Blizzard. When the acquisition was performed, Satya Nadella said that from Activision, Microsoft could have get also some expertise about “metaverse”, so I’m curious to see if in the long run, this acquisition may have some effects also in our field. The short term effect is that Microsoft is working in bringing more Activision games to its Xbox Pass offering, so the people using Xbox Pass on Quest will be able to play these games on a giant screen, too.

More info

John Riccitiello steps down from its role as Unity CEO

The last chapter of the drama about Unity’s pricing change is that John Riccitiello has left his role of CEO at the company. It’s not clear if it was a decision of his or of the board, and it is not clear if this decision came from the backlash due to pricing changes or was already taken before. For sure I hope that the next Unity CEO will be more interested in the community and the technology and less into advertisement and monetization…
 Unity is the most used game engine by XR people, so the course decided by the new CEO will impact many of us… and also me, since I’m a Unity dev since 2014!

More info

News worth a mention

(Image by Meta)

Meta does not comment about GTA San Andreas

Both Road To VR and Upload VR tried to ask Meta for information about the GTA San Andreas game that was announced for Quest 2 two years ago. Meta refused to answer any questions, and this makes me think that the game may have been abandoned or at least been in an uncertain situation. It would be a pity because we all were waiting for it!

More info

Samsung Galaxy Ring may have been delayed

Samsung Galaxy Ring, the smart ring that could also be used to interact with Samsung XR glasses, has been delayed. According to the latest rumors, the device is expected to be launched either at the end of 2024 or the beginning of 2025.

More info

Masterpiece X announces “Generate”

Masterpiece X — Generate is the latest update of the VR 3D tool Masterpiece X. With Generate, which has been built in collaboration with NVIDIA, everyone can write a query and let GenAI create a 3D model out of it. The interesting thing is that Masterpiece engineers have worked hard so that you don’t have to write complex queries, but just simple natural ones, to obtain something similar to what you wanted.
 (Full disclaimer: Masterpiece X is a Patron of my website. But the news is not reported here for that)

More info (Masterpiece X — Generate announcement)
More info (Official website)

Some VR games from Tokyo Game Show

Upload VR went hands-on with some VR indie games at Tokyo Game Show. Since I like to give a spotlight to indie creators, I invite you to read this interesting article!

More info

Some news on content

  • AVO Escape Space brings VR escape rooms to outer space
  • Sushi Ben is a manga VR adventure coming to Meta Quest platform on October 19
  • SEGA’s Samba De Amigo: Virtual Party has been launched on Quest. It also has mixed reality features for Quest 3
  • Arashi: Castles of Sin — Final Cut releases on December 5th on all the major VR platforms
  • Real-time battler Glassbreakers: Champions of Moss has been released on SteamVR
  • Synth Riders has added a new cool mixed reality mode
  • Puzzling Places has been added on Quest to add local multiplayer and mixed reality features

More info (AVO Escape Space)
More info (Sushi Ben)
More info (Samba De Amigo: Virtual Party)
More info (Arashi: Castles Of Sin)
More info (Glassbreakers: Champions Of Moss)
More info (Synth Riders)
More info (Puzzling Places)

Other news

I shot again a selfie of myself with a headset! In 5 years, VR selfie quality has improved a lot…

Learn more

Ben Lang detailed how difficult it is to start a VR gaming session among friends

Learn more

Qualcomm is laying off more than 1,200 people

Learn more

A new drama about Meta: it may have killed the yoga XR app of a developer that should have been launched at Meta Connect

Learn more

News from partners (and friends)

Mojo Vision closes an important Series A

Mojo Vision, the company that was used to work on smart contact lenses and now is focusing on the manufacturing of microLED displays, has just closed a Series A round of funding worth $43.5M. It’s good that this company managed to successfully pivot and investors are giving it trust.
Learn more

ONTOP Announces “New Fantasy” game

ONTOP Studios, the company offering the very interesting AR Arcade service I reviewed in this blog a few months ago, has announced it is now releasing a new experience called “New Fantasy”, which “combines the thrill of battling mythical monsters with the physicality of real-world movement”. The cool news is that this game won’t be available only in selected locations, but it can be downloaded also from the App Store!
Learn more

Some XR fun

Sometimes the “tracking lost” popup may be dangerous…
Funny link

More than the post, it is the first answer to be genius
Funny link

I can’t imagine how is the Ti version of it…
Funny link

A clear look of superiority…
Funny link

Donate for good

Like last week, also this week in this final paragraph I won’t ask you to donate for my blog, but to the poor people that are facing the consequences of the war. Please donate to the Red Cross to handle the current humanitarian situation in Ukraine. I will leave you the link to do that below.
 Let me take a moment before to thank anyway all my Patreon donors for the support they give to me:

  • Alex Gonzalez VR
  • DeoVR
  • GenVR
  • Eduardo Siman
  • Jonn Fredericks
  • Jean-Marc Duyckaerts
  • Reynaldo T Zabala
  • Richard Penny
  • Terry xR. Schussler
  • Ilias Kapouranis
  • Paolo Leoncini
  • Nikk Mitchell and the great FXG team
  • Jake Rubin
  • Alexis Huille
  • Raghu Bathina
  • Chris Koomen
  • Cognitive3D
  • Wisear (Yacine Achiakh)
  • Masterpiece X
  • Jennifer Granger
  • Jason Moore
  • Steve Biggs
  • Julio Cesar Bolivar
  • Jan Schroeder
  • Kai Curtis
  • Francesco Strada
  • Sikaar Keita
  • Ramin Assadollahi
  • Juan Sotelo
  • Andrew Sheldon
  • Chris Madsen
  • Horacio Torrendell
  • Andrew Deutsch
  • Fabien Benetou
  • Tatiana Kartashova
  • Marco “BeyondTheCastle” Arena
  • Eloi Gerard
  • Adam Boyd
  • Jeremy Dalton
  • Joel Ward
  • Alex P
  • Lynn Eades
  • Donald P
  • Casie Lane
  • Catherine Henry
  • Qcreator
  • Ristband (Anne McKinnon & Roman Rappak)
  • Stephen Robnett
  • KaihatsuJai
  • Sb
  • Enrico Poli
  • Vooiage Technologies
  • Caroline
  • Liam James O’Malley
  • Hillary Charnas
  • Wil Stevens
  • Brian Peiris
  • Francesco Salizzoni
  • Dimo Pepelyashev
  • Alan Smithson
  • Steve R
  • Brentwahn
  • Pieter Siekerman
  • Matt Cool
  • Simplex
  • Gregory F Gorsuch
  • Matias Nassi

And now here you are the link to donate:

Support The Red Cross in Ukraine

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