What you need to know
- Meta Quest 3 passthrough quality is full-color and significantly cleaner and clearer than previous Meta Quest headsets.
- It's surprisingly easy to read a phone or smartwatch screen even while wearing the headset.
- Users can toggle between virtual reality and mixed reality by double-tapping the side of the Quest 3.
The Meta Quest 3 was just fully unveiled, and along with some incredibly impressive new hardware comes a slew of new features and upgrades to further explore. Last year's Meta Quest Pro debuted the first full-color passthrough video on a Meta Quest headset, and the Meta Quest 3 improves the video quality tenfold over its predecessor.
But that doesn't just mean you're getting a better look at the room around you while playing VR games. While I was playing Assassin's Creed VR during my Meta Quest 3 hands-on, I was actually able to look at my watch using the headset's passthrough video and read both my phone and Pixel Watch's screen.
Unfortunately, I wasn't allowed to capture footage of this at the event, but I will include it in the full Meta Quest 3 review to come.
If you're unfamiliar with the term, passthrough video allows you to see the room around you using the many cameras on the Meta Quest 3 headset. The Quest 3's cameras are 10x the resolution of the Quest 2's cameras. Plus, the footage is in full color as opposed to the Quest 2's black-and-white footage.
It sounds like a trivial thing, but it's a massive improvement over the once-$1,500 Quest Pro, which has a difficult time displaying phone, TV, or smartwatch screens. They usually show up as an unreadable, bright, blooming mess on that headset.
The PlayStation VR2 fixed this problem by using a single ultrawide-angle lens for passthrough footage, but it's still only black-and-white. Meanwhile, the Quest 3's passthrough footage is strikingly vibrant and clean, especially compared to the Quest Pro.
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