If you have yet to try virtual reality or haven't experienced it in several years, now is your chance! Throughout October, November, and December, Micro Center will be hosting demos for the brand-new Meta Quest 3. We've got all the stores and dates listed below, but if you're not sure what to expect, check out my experience coming from a Quest 1!
Back in 2019, I picked up the very first Quest headset at launch and was instantly in love with virtual reality. I was experiencing vast open spaces, roller coasters, and expansive gaming without leaving the comfort of my living room. I spent hours slashing notes in Beat Saber, fighting baddies in Vader Immortal, and enjoying casual rounds of golf with friends in Walkabout Mini Golf. So when I got the opportunity to try out the Quest 3, I absolutely jumped at it.
The difference four years of innovation makes is immediately apparent. While the Quest 1 was incredible for wireless VR, it was a bit unwieldy and weighed heavily on the front of your head. The Quest 3 is far more balanced and supported. I could tell it was a system I could keep on for hours without weight fatigue setting in. I also spent far less time fiddling with the straps. The Quest 1 had a tendency to slide down your face as you played, especially in high-intensity games. The Quest 3 felt like it wasn't going to go anywhere.
Once the headset was fully on and powered, I understood Meta Reality. The first Quest also had a passthrough system - mostly for setting up boundaries - but it was more than a little grainy and tinted everything an off-blue color. The Quest 3's passthrough was crystal clear and the only thing really telling me I was in mixed reality was the floating logo for the block puzzle game Cubism. The new passthrough system is an absolutely feat of technology and improved cameras are just the beginning of what it can do.
While arranging blocks in Cubism, I learned a bit more about what Meta Reality is all about. Rather than indicating a play area like the original Quest, you can add elements of your environment to your experience. Tables and walls become tools for the Quest 3 to use for games like Lego Bricktales, where you can build virtual Lego creations on your actual table
After spending some time with Cubism, we shifted to Meta Reality video demonstrations, which really showcased the power of adding physical elements into your mixed-reality environment. Doing so enables you to "place" your screen anywhere, sticking your video to any spot on the wall. And once you hit play, your immersive home theater experience begins. I got to see clips of The Matrix extend beyond the screen as scrolling lines of code obscure the entire room. Clips of The Ring feature surprise virtual visits in your actual, physical room.
But it doesn't end with the videos coming to you. One clip of a music video doesn't extend out, but extends in, encouraging you to lean in and peak around the corners of the frame (and also risk bumping your head on a wall as you crane your neck to see how far in you can go). This was a spin on watching videos that I was never expecting and was a great reminder of how VR can still surprise even folks who have spent plenty of time immersed in these digital worlds.
When I used to take off my Quest 1, there would be a moment of disorientation as my brain had to remember what reality looked like. Thanks to the Meta Reality passthrough, it felt like barely anything changed when I pulled the Quest 3 off. I was already ready for what was on the other side of the headset and ready to go about my day immediately
My experience with the Quest 3 was incredible. I was fully blown away by the changes and updates from the Quest 1. The Quest 3 feels feels even more approachable than the already fairly-accessible Quest 1. If that sounds like something you'd want to try but you're not sure that it's something you'd love, I highly recommend stopping by on of our stores on a demo day. Its a fantastic way to get the VR experience before picking one up for your home!
Ready to see what Meta Reality is all about for yourself? We've got plenty of opportunities to try the Meta Quest 3 at your local Micro Center from now until the end of the year. Check the list below for stores and dates - and enjoy your time in mixed reality!
Dates are subject to change
I cant wait to try it out!
I want to use one for racing so bad!
Can't wait to watch in movie in one of these.
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