It has been officially confirmed that Apple is actively developing its headset, known as the Vision Pro. This device aims to provide augmented reality (AR) capabilities while also offering virtual reality (VR) experiences, making it a mixed-reality headset. This puts Apple in competition with Facebook owner Meta, which currently dominates the market for VR/AR consumer headsets.
Last week, Meta took a stride ahead by announcing their plans to release the Quest 3 headset later this year, which will also have AR and VR features. It intends to launch the headset at a vastly lower price, but that’s not the only difference between the headset products. While interested buyers await full specifications for the newly-revealed headsets, let’s delve deeper into a comparison between Apple Vision Pro and Meta Quest 3. Have a look!
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The Vision Pro Headset vs. Quest 3: Both AR/VR Yet Different
Apple Vision Pro will be out in early 2024 while Meta’s Quest 3 is this fall. They’re both AR/VR headsets but they’re two entirely different products due to Apple and Meta’s contrasting company philosophies. Twitter user Brendan Alper explained the latter in his thread, pointing out a 1981 interview Steve Jobs made and his remarkably relevant comment. In a short clip from the interview, when asked to compare Apple to Atari, Steve replied, “We describe our business as making tools, not toys.”
Brendan claimed Steve’s analogy can be applied today to Apple’s and Meta’s headsets. He said, “Think about Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. With over 4 billion users, Meta’s apps are accessible to everyone. And people use them for social & entertainment purposes. Well, the same is true for Meta’s headsets.” Brendan explained that with Meta pricing their Quest 3 headset at $499, they want AR and VR to be accessible to as many people as possible and that the primary use cases for the headset include social, gaming, and entertainment.
Apple Vision Pro vs. Meta’s Quest 3: Price And Availability
The Apple Vision Pro is priced at $3,499, exceeding the rumored price range of $2,000-$3,000. This higher price point caters to tech-savvy early adopters, aligning with Apple’s typical strategy. On the other hand, Meta is targeting the consumer market with its primary Quest line. The Quest 3 will start at $500, which is only one-seventh of the price of the Vision Pro.
Currently, the Quest 2 is available for $300, while the Quest Pro, a more powerful and comparable option to the Vision Pro, sells for $1,000, following a price reduction from its initial launch price of $1,500 last fall. Apple plans to release the Vision Pro early next year, while Meta aims to debut the Quest 3 later this year.
Vision Pro vs. Quest 3: Design & Hardware
The Apple Vision Pro showcases the company’s signature design language, resembling a curved iPhone that is worn on the face, complemented by elements reminiscent of the Apple Watch. It’s aesthetic exudes visual appeal, aligning with its premium price tag. Equipped with an extensive array of cameras and sensors, the Vision Pro enables augmented reality passthrough functionality. Taking innovation, a step further, it introduces an external screen that displays the wearer’s eyes and expressions from within the device, a groundbreaking feature absent in previous VR and AR headsets.
Control of the Vision Pro is effortlessly achieved through finger and hand gestures, as well as voice commands, eliminating the need for a separate controller or motion wand. However, the headset supports Bluetooth controllers for an enhanced gaming experience through Apple Arcade, and it seamlessly integrates with the Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad for productivity tasks. Conversely, the Quest 3 claims to be 40% slimmer than its predecessor, the Quest 2. However, in comparison to the sleek metal-and-glass design of the Apple Vision Pro, the Quest 3 still retains a bulkier plastic construction.
It incorporates external cameras and a depth sensor, enabling vibrant, full-color augmented reality passthrough. Unlike the Vision Pro, the Quest 3 does not feature an external screen to showcase the wearer’s face. This limitation was also present in Quest 2, hindering its ability to achieve true mixed reality. In contrast, Quest 3 overcomes this obstacle and delivers immersive mixed-reality experiences. Alongside its support for finger and hand gestures, the Quest platform takes the user experience to the next level with the inclusion of upgraded motion controllers in the Quest 3. These controllers are meticulously designed to elevate gameplay and facilitate seamless interaction with immersive applications.
Vision Pro vs. Quest 3: Display
The Apple Vision Pro stands out with its dual internal displays, delivering a resolution surpassing 4K for each eye. This results in an exceptional visual experience characterized by sharpness and clarity. Although specific specifications have not been officially revealed, Apple claims that the combined screens boast over 23 million pixels, immersing users in a captivating display. In contrast, information regarding the sharpness of the Quest 3’s screen is currently unavailable.
Meta has mentioned that it offers enhanced clarity compared to the 1,832 x 1,920 resolution of the Quest 2. However, the Quest 2 falls short of achieving 4K resolution per eye. Initial hands-on experiences reported by Bloomberg indicate that the Quest 3 may not exhibit a significant improvement in sharpness over its predecessor during practical usage. Direct comparisons between the two headsets will be necessary to assess the extent of their disparities.
Vision Pro vs. Quest 3: Power & Battery
The distinction between the Apple Vision Pro and Meta Quest 3 can be compared to the difference between a high-powered computer and a robust smartphone, resulting in varying levels of visual richness and immersion in apps and games. The Vision Pro from Apple is equipped with their cutting-edge M2 processor, which is utilized in recent Mac models. It is accompanied by the R1 chip, responsible for managing data from cameras and sensors. On the other hand, the Meta Quest 3 is rumored to employ the Snapdragon Qualcomm XR2 chip, specifically designed for such devices but derived from smartphone chips.
While Meta claims that the Quest 3 will deliver twice the graphics performance of the Quest 2, it may not reach the capabilities of the Vision Pro. Notably, the Vision Pro does not incorporate an onboard battery; instead, it offers a plug-in pack that provides approximately two hours of uptime, as stated by Apple. This pack can be conveniently stored in a pocket or placed nearby when seated.
Alternatively, the headset can be powered indefinitely using a wall plug. As for the battery life of the Quest 3, the duration remains undisclosed at this time. However, the Quest 2 offers up to three hours of usage on a full charge, and an optional Elite Strap with an additional battery pack is available to double the uptime. Meta has yet to reveal specific information regarding the battery life of the Quest 3.
Vision Pro vs. Quest 3: Software & Content
Software is where we encounter another notable distinction between the Apple Vision Pro and Meta Quest 3. The Apple Reality Pro is positioned as a spatial computer primarily geared towards productivity and entertainment, rather than being solely focused on gaming. It supports existing Apple Arcade games presented on floating, flat screens and is expected to have new VR and AR games specifically developed for it, although Apple has not yet showcased such content. On the other hand, the Meta Quest platform already offers a diverse selection of immersive VR games, including popular titles like Beat Saber, Resident Evil 4, Pistol Whip, and Superhot VR.
These games are anticipated to perform even better on Quest 3. Furthermore, Meta has demonstrated plans to develop AR games that are compatible with the new headset. Both platforms serve similar purposes, allowing users to engage in productivity tasks, access apps, and websites, as well as enjoy movies and TV shows in virtual environments. However, the Apple Vision Pro provides access to the extensive world of iOS apps and can connect with a Mac to access a wide range of content, while Meta’s platform does not offer as extensive a library of features.
The Apple Vision Pro will provide users with access to popular apps like FaceTime and Zoom. One standout feature of the device is its 3D camera, which has the remarkable ability to create a “Persona.” This digital avatar responds in real-time, mimicking the wearer’s movements and facial expressions. This innovative feature significantly enhances immersion and establishes a seamless integration between the physical and digital realms. Furthermore, the 3D camera is capable of capturing photos and videos with depth, offering users an impressive imaging experience.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Remarks On Apple Vision Pro
Mark described the gadget as having no significant tech innovation and stated there was a fundamental difference in approach, noting Apple’s announcement showcases the difference in the values and the vision that both companies bring which is important.
He said, ‘Apple finally announced their headset, so I want to talk about that for a second. I was really curious to see what they were gonna ship. And obviously, I haven’t seen it yet, so l’ll learn more as we get to play with it and see what happens and how people use it. From what I’ve seen initially, I’d say the good news is that there is no kind of magical solutions that they have to any of the constraints on laws and physics that our teams haven’t already explored and thought of.’
Mark added, ‘They went with a higher resolution display, and between that and all the technology they put in there to power it, it costs seven times more, and now requires so much energy that now you need a battery and a wire attached to it to use it. They made that design trade-off and it might make sense for the cases that they’re going for. But look, I think that their announcement really showcases the difference in the values and the vision that our companies bring to this in a way that I think is really important.’
‘We innovate to make sure that our products are as accessible and affordable to everyone as possible, and that is a core part of what we do. And we have sold tens of millions of Quests. More importantly, our vision for the metaverse and presence is fundamentally social. It’s about people interacting in new ways and feeling closer in new ways. Our device is also about being active and doing things. By contrast, every demo that they showed was a person sitting on a couch by themselves.’
‘I mean, that could be the vision of the future of computing, but like, it’s not the one that I want. There’s a real philosophical difference in terms of how we’re approaching this. And seeing what they put out there and how they’re going to compete just made me even more excited and in a lot of ways optimistic that what we’re doing matters and is going to succeed. But it’s going to be a fun journey.’ Going by these remarks, Mark stated that the newly released gadget didn’t provide features that Meta teams haven’t considered for the Quest 3 headset.
Meta, The “Toy” In Steve’s Job Analogy.
Brendan asserted that by building a social & entertainment headset priced for everyone, Meta is the toy in Job’s analogy. He pointed out that they made design trade-offs to optimize for cheaper costs while Apple made cost trade-offs to optimize for higher quality. Brendan gave reasons why Vision Pro is the tool, stating, “With a $3499 price tag, one thing is clear. Vision Pro is not for the masses, but Apple’s goal has never been to reach as many users as possible. This is evident in the smartphone wars. Worldwide users: Android: 3.6 billion, iOS: 1.36 billion.
Brendan asserted that Apple has always created high-end products that sell for a premium and that the Vision Pro is no exception. And while Meta’s headset is built for entertainment, Apple’s headset is built for everything, including entertainment. He continued, “All of your familiar apps in the vast iOS and Mac ecosystem will be there in AR/VR. In better-than-4K resolution. With a sleek glass and metal build and with controller-free hand and eye-tracking.’
‘These are huge advantages to Apple for consumers looking to use headsets for work. Brendan concluded, ‘Is it worth the $3499 price tag? Who knows. But one thing’s certain: Apple’s headset is for enhancing reality. It’s designed for everything. A tool. Meta’s headset is for escaping reality. It’s designed for fun. A toy. There’s no right answer. Just depends on what you want.”
Vision Pro vs. Quest 3: The Verdict
Drawing definitive conclusions at this stage would be premature due to the lack of hands-on experience with both headsets, incomplete information about their specifications and features, and uncertainties regarding the available apps and games at launch. However, it is evident that these two headsets offer distinct approaches to the same core concept. The Apple Reality Pro embodies cutting-edge technology, boasting impressive features, enhanced power, a potentially higher-resolution screen, and access to Apple’s extensive software ecosystem.
However, with a price of $3,499, it may be a significant investment for many consumers. On the other hand, the Quest 3 comes at a considerably lower price, around one-seventh of the cost of the Apple Vision Pro, and brings notable improvements over the already impressive Quest 2. These enhancements include the ability to support AR games, increased power, and a higher-resolution screen.
While the Quest 3 places more emphasis on content consumption rather than creation, it is primarily marketed as a gaming device, setting it apart from Apple’s headset thus far. For many prospective users, the price point will likely play a crucial role in their decision-making process. However, as more details and information become available in the coming months, we will gain a clearer understanding of how these two headsets compare. Stay tuned for further updates as they unfold.
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Joseph Temitope Victoria, nicknamed ‘Temmie,’ is a GreenLemon Author and Content Creator. After her studies at Olabisi Onabanjo University, where she got a B.Sc. degree in Geography and Regional Planning, Temitope worked as Journalist with a specialization in Business and Economy. Temitope also holds an M.Sc. degree in Population and Manpower Planning, and interestingly she’s a self-taught poem writer. She owns a website ‘TemmiesAnthology’ and has spent nearly 6years writing on several niches. Whenever there’s free time, she spends it editing books – one of her newest is ‘In His Green Book’ by Terence A. Asitibasi. Temitope can certainly do whatever she sets her mind on.