Based on the leaks and rumors (some of which come from Meta itself) it is all but guranteed that Meta is working on a cheaper version of the Meta Quest 3 – expected to be called the Meta Quest 3S, but previously rumored as the Quest 3S. 

Nothing has been officially confirmed, but the VR headset is believed to be a more affordable version of the Quest 3. It’ll apparently boast the same chipset but won’t be as visually crisp, and it’ll adopt the Quest 2’s bulky outer shell – despite us initially be unconvinced the gadget will look exactly like this rumor.

Meta has also leaked the device twice. The Quest 3S name appeared in its digital software store, and CTO Andrew Bosworth seemingly showed it off by accident on Threads. These teases aren’t concrete, but as the saying goes: where there’s smoke there’s fire. 

So ahead of a likely reveal at Meta Connect 2024 in September, here’s the latest news and rumors here so this page can serve as your one-stop shop for all things Meta Quest 3S.

Meta Quest 3S: Latest news

We’ve seen not one, but two Meta Quest 3S leaks from Meta itself. One involved its CTO showcasing it in a Threads video, while the other saw the Quest 3S appearing accidentally on some Meta Quest Store pages.

We also got dates for Meta Connect 2024, which Meta revealed is taking place on September 25 and 26. This is likely where the new VR device would be shown off.

Oculus Quest 2 on a white background

Is the Quest 3S the true Quest 2 replacement? (Image credit: Shutterstock / Boumen Japet)

Meta Quest 3S: Price

As the Meta Quest 3S isn’t yet official – meaning Meta itself hasn’t confirmed (or denied) its existence even if it has leaked it – so we can’t say for certain how much it’ll cost or when it will be released. 

But given the 3S is billed as a super-affordable model meant to fully replace the Oculus Quest 2 we hope it’ll launch at around $299 / £299 / AU$479, which is where the Quest 2 started life.

That said, a $399 / £399 / AU$599 might be more realistic, and it would still be cheaper than the $499 / £479 / AU$799 you’d spend on the full-on Meta Quest 3. Though we would be a little disappointed if it cost this much.

A man using his Zenni customized Meta Quest 3 headset

The Meta Quest 3 could soon have a sibling (Image credit: Zenni)

Meta Quest 3S: Release date

As for the Quest 3S’ release date, Meta usually likes to release new hardware in October following a Meta Connect keynote. This year’s Connect is scheduled for September 25 to 26, so a reveal there seems plausible with a release following soon after.

We had predicted the Quest 3S would make its debut as part of this year’s Meta Quest Gaming Showcase, however Meta has forgone a showcase. Instead its reveals have been incorporated into other Summer Game fest events which leave it no room to make a hardware announcement before Connect.

Of course, this assumes the Meta Quest 3S even launches at all. Despite leaks suggesting it’s near to release it might need some more time in the oven before it’s done.

The Meta Quest 3 in action

The Meta Quest 3S will likely look a little different to the Quest 3 (Image credit: Meta)

The Oculus Quest 2 was briefly at a record low price ($200 / £200) as part of this year’s Amazon Spring Sale following a permanent price cut to $249.99 / £249.99 / AU$439.99, and a couple of months ago it saw another permanent price drop to $199.99 / £199.99 / AU$359.99. 

This could be a sign Meta and retailers are trying to shift stock ahead of the last-gen device being phased out before a Quest 3S release.

Meta Quest 3S: Specs and design

Specs-wise, rumors suggest the Meta Quest 3S will boastSnapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chipset from Qualcomm, two tracking ring-less controllers, and the same two 4MP RGB passthrough cameras from full-color mixed reality we’ve seen from the Quest 3.

It’ll also borrow some downgrades from the Quest 2. This includes a screen resolution of just 1,832 x 1,920 pixels per eye instead of the Quest 3’s 2,064 × 2,208 pixels; it’ll use a bulky fresnel lens system instead of the Quest 3’s slimmer pancake lenses; and rather than gradual IPD (Inter Pupillary Distance) adjustments we’ll returned to the Quest 2’s three set positions.

Another leak suggested it’ll have 128GB or 256GB of storage (instead of the 128GB or 512GB in the Quest 3) and confirmed the 1,832 x 1,920 pixel per eye displays. Something seems off about this leak, though, in terms of the assets shared and the included info that could help identify the leaker (which seems like a bad idea for anyone trying to avoid the wrath of Meta’s well-funded legal team).  

As such, color us skeptical when it comes to the details highlighted in this post.

And in general, until Meta showcases the headset we don’t know for sure if any of these details are accurate.

Meta Quest 3S: Software

Assuming the Meta Quest 3S has the same or similar mixed-reality capabilities as the Meta Quest 3, we expect it’ll have access to all of the same software – which is to say, everything available on the Quest platform’s Store (and many other games and apps available through sideloading via third-party digital storefronts).

If it has significantly worse specs – such as the Quest 2’s Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1 chipset, which seems unlikely – there may be some software that launches in the future that would be exclusive to the full Quest 3. But we expect and the leaks suggest that the Quest 3S would use a Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 so, hopefully, this won’t be an issue.

We’ll have to wait and see what Meta announces.

Girl wearing Meta Quest 3 headset interacting with a jungle playset

The Meta Quest 3S needs to have mixed reality (Image credit: Meta)

Meta Quest 3S: What we want to see

As for what we want to see from the Meta Quest 3S VR headset – acknowledging that its lower price will necessitate lower specs than the Meta Quest 3 proper – our ideal setup would boast the same Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chipset and 8GB of RAM as the Quest 3, though 6GB of RAM like the Quest 2 is, admittedly, a lot more likely. 

Storage options would start at 64GB – as frankly, you don’t need a lot of storage space for VR apps, especially if you’re willing to download and delete them as necessary – and the displays would be a lower resolution than the Quest 3. Leak suggested the 1,832 x 1,920 pixels per eye displays are returning, and considering this is what’s used by the Quest 2 it does make some sense.

Pancake lenses seem like an easy win from a design and image-quality perspective (especially if Meta opts for poorer displays) though we might be out of luck here, and mixed-reality passthrough that’s at least as high-quality as the Quest 3 is also a must.

Beyond this, one rogue cost-cutting measure could see Meta scrap or change its Quest 3 controllers. However, given how much developers have emphasized to us the importance of VR handsets having a standard design (and the fact that many Quest titles don’t support hand-tracking) this might be a step too far.

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