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Meta debuts Quest 3 headset for $499 days before Apple's expected headset launch

Meta (META) on Thursday debuted its latest VR/AR headset, the Meta Quest 3. Available later this fall for $499, the Quest 3 comes just days before Apple (AAPL) is expected to announce its own AR/VR headset during its WWDC developer conference on June 5.

According to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the headset will feature two times the graphics performance of the Quest 2 and will be 40% thinner than its predecessor. It will also feature full color passthrough, meaning, users will be able to see the world around them in full color with the headset on thanks to its built-in front-facing cameras.

The Quest 2 debuted back in 2020 and it, along with the original Meta Quest are the best selling headsets around. As of 2022, Meta controlled nearly 80% of global market share, according to IDC.

In addition to the redesigned headset, Meta says the Quest 3 will also get reconfigured controllers. The company says the Touch Plus Controllers will feature better tracking technology, haptics, and a more ergonomic feel.

As for content, Meta says the platform will support all of the same titles and apps as the Quest 2, which amounts to some 500 games and experiences.

In addition to the Quest 3, the social networking giant also announced that it's dropping the price of the Quest 2 with 128GB of storage to $299. And it will eventually release a software update that will improve the performance of the headset's CPU and GPU.

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Meta's announcement is a clear shot at Apple, which stands to be the company's biggest competition in the AR/VR market. Apple's headset, however, is expected to start at roughly $3,000 likely putting it out of range for most consumers.

The headset market is also facing a slowdown. According to IDC, sales of devices fell 20% in 2022. That tracks with the broader gamer market, which also saw sales drop following the highs the industry saw during the pandemic.

Daniel Howley is the tech editor at Yahoo Finance. He's been covering the tech industry since 2011. You can follow him on Twitter @DanielHowley.

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