Upgrading to a Meta Quest 3 is a bit like getting a brand new next-gen console and a new TV at the same time. The headset doesn't just have a newer processor that's 100% faster than the Quest 2; it also has new crystal clear lenses and an upgraded display to make those graphics really pop.
In fact, the Meta Quest 3 is the biggest next-gen upgrade I've seen from consoles in years, and it makes me feel a bit like the 2000s when console upgrades were jaw-dropping.
Better yet, we know that some of the best Quest games are already getting patches to include better graphics for the Quest 3. Plus, plenty of games that are just coming out — like Dungeons of Eternity — have Quest 3 graphical upgrades built right into the game.
The first demo I got to try was Red Matter 2. This made perfect sense since developer Vertical Robot always releases impressive upgrades of its games for any new VR headset. But I wasn't quite prepared for how big of a graphical difference I was about to see.
Red Matter 2 is already one of the best-looking Quest 2 games by far, and it absolutely shines on Quest 3 hardware. As you can see in the trailer above, every surface now has substantially added fine detail, none of which could have been seen if Meta hadn't also upgraded the lenses and the display at the same time.
These new, flatter lenses are called pancake lenses and solve a number of problems in one fell swoop. Not only do they allow the Quest 3 to be 40% thinner than the Quest 2, but they also get rid of that annoying "sweet spot" that older lenses suffered from.
Case in point: when you put the Quest 3 on your head, you'll no longer have to fiddle with it to find the one small spot that looks clear. Everything looks clear immediately, and it's thanks to these lenses.
And games with more action, like The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners Ch2, can now put more enemy characters on screen while still extending the environmental detail and draw distance.
Once you get past the jaw-dropping difference between the flooded mausoleum opener, pay close attention to how much more detail you can see on the walls and streets in the remaining gameplay footage above.
Also, take a look at the number of zombies on screen at once, the number of buildings and distance detail you can see, and the lighting and shadow quality increase absolutely everywhere.
We didn't even see this big of a difference when we compared the graphics between the Quest 2 and the Quest 1 back when that headset launched. That makes the Quest 3 even more exciting than it already is, especially considering what developers have been able to do with Quest 2 hardware in just three short years.
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