VR developer focused on creating immersive storytelling experiences. Follow me on Twitter: @VRHeavenNews
November 8th, 2023

Why is the Meta Quest 3 so Expensive?

“Why is the Quest 3 so expensive?” you might ask.

Why is the Quest 3 $500 - anime character surprised

The Quest 3 costs:

  • $499.99 for 128 GB version
  • $649.99 for 512 GB version

For this price, the Meta Quest 3 is actually considered to be one of the more affordably priced options in the virtual reality (VR) space. However, the cost may still be significant for many consumers. Here’s why the Quest 3 is $500:

1. Hardware

The Quest 3 comes with a range of hardware components that are costly to produce:

  • Processor: The Quest 3 contains a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 processor, a mobile chip which offers 2.5x graphics performance boost over the first gen (seen in the Quest 2).
  • High resolution panels: 2 LCD panels 2064 x 2208 pixels each
  • Cameras: There are a total of 4 cameras in-built into the Quest 3, used for tracking and mixed reality
  • 2 Touch Controllers: The system comes with two advanced touch controllers that provide accurate tracking.
  • Rechargeable Battery: 3640mAh lithium-ion battery
  • RAM: 8 GB RAM
  • Storage: 128 GB or 512 GB storage depending on the model
  • Custom optics: The pancake lenses used in the Quest 3 offer far superior clarity compared to traditional fresnel lenses found in older headsets, however, it took time to develop them and they are not cheap to make. Furthermore, pancake lenses require extra brightness from the display, since they cause a loss of brightness, adding extra cost.

2. Research and Development (R&D)

The Quest 3 is the result of extensive research and development over many generations of headsets. The funding for the R&D needed to develop new technologies for optics, tracking, display, audio, and the compact integration of these systems within a standalone headset contributes to its cost.

3. Mixed Reality

The Quest 3 comes with 2 full color cameras for mixed reality, as well as a depth sensor at the front, further adding to the cost.

Overall: Why is the Quest 3 $500?

The Quest 3 is “expensive” because it is jam packed with expensive hardware components such as: 4 tracking cameras, a next-generation chipset, a depth sensor and more. The hardware actually costs far more to produce than the Quest 3’s sale price of $500. This doesn’t even cover the cost of research & development.

Meta are losing money on headset sales and have lost $13.7 billion in 2022, but they plan on recuperating the costs over the long term by bringing people into the Meta ecosystem, and relying on software/accessory sales.

Even though the Quest 3 might be expensive to some, we should be happy that a big company is willing to lose so much money to bring us an affordable, top-notch VR headset. No other headset comes close value wise to the Quest 3.

A new headset, “the Quest 3 Lite” will be available in 2024, offering a cheaper option to consumers who can’t afford the Quest 3. It’s stated that the Quest 3 Lite will use the same processor as the Quest 3, but won’t have pancake lenses and mixed reality.

Related: Is VR Worth it?

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