Sun. Dec 10th, 2023

Key Takeaways

  • Despite the release of Meta Quest 3, Quest 2 remains one of the best entry-level VR headsets with similar features at a lower price.
  • Meta will continue to support Quest 2 with software and security updates until at least 2024, making it a good long-term investment.
  • Unless you need the mixed reality features or upgraded resolution, there is not much point in upgrading to Quest 3 yet. Consider your budget and needs before making a decision.

Meta Quest 3 is the direct successor to one of most popular VR headsets on the market. However, is it too late to buy a Meta Quest 2? Is an upgrade to the Quest 3 for $500 worth it? Or will you miss out on important features by not upgrading? These are the questions that every buyer should ask themselves before investing in Meta’s newest VR headset.

Meta Quest 2 vs Meta Quest 3

The Meta Quest 3 is a very powerful VR headset that is available at a reasonable price. The only way to compete with it is to offer similar features at a lower price. Fortunately, the Meta Quest 2 is $200 cheaper than the Quest 3 and offers a lot of similar features. That’s why despite the release of its direct successor, Quest 2 still remains one of the best entry-level VR headsets for newcomers as well as enthusiasts.

Both headsets also feature the same games, as there are, no exclusive titles coming to the Quest 3 (at the time of writing). It’s still in Meta’s interest to support the Quest 2 as long as possible. Keep in mind that Meta makes most of its profit through the sales from its Quest store, not from selling VR headsets. Since most of the user base is still using the Quest 2 headset, publishers will be more likely to release their games on both headsets.

There are some games that have been updated to support Quest 3’s slightly higher resolution (2,064 x 2,208 pixels per eye) and better image quality. However, if you already own a Quest 2, there’s not much point in upgrading, at least not yet. You’re better off waiting until some great Quest 3 exclusive games are announced, or all major Quest titles are updated to a higher resolution.

How Long Will Quest 2 Get Software Updates?

How Long Will Quest 2 Get Software Updates?

To get an idea of how long Meta will support the Quest 2, let’s take a look at its predecessor. The original Oculus Quest was released back on May 21, 2019. Since then, Meta has kept rolling out new updates and features to the original Quest headset. It was only in the spring of 2023 that the company stopped rolling out major updates. However, Meta will still continue with basic software and security updates until 2024.

The original Oculus Quest was also discontinued in 2020 after the launch of the Meta Quest 2. (It was also cheaper than the original.) However, Meta is going a different route this time around. Seeing as how the company reduced the price of the Quest 2 back to $299, they are still interested in selling the headset for quite a while.

While we can’t predict the future, we can speculate it’d benefit Meta to keep a tight hold over the different price ranges for VR headsets in the market. Seeing how the Meta Quest 2 targets the lower $300-$430 range and the Quest 3 targets the higher $500-$650 range, the company is placing the products in two separate brackets. Looking at these factors, one can assume that the company is planning to support the Meta Quest 2 till 2025-26 or beyond.

What Quest 3 Features Will You Miss Out On?

Meta Quest 3 mixed reality color passthrough
Meta Quest / YouTube

There are a few things you will be missing out on by not upgrading or buying a Meta Quest 3. Likely the most important upgrade will be the mixed reality features of the Quest 3. The headset offers full-color passthrough that was previously only available on the Meta Quest Pro. There are also other upgrades when compared to its predecessor like a slightly higher resolution, 40% slimmer body, and the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2.

Meta has also introduced full upper body tracking to Quest 3. Unfortunately, the company will not be able to add this feature retroactively to Quest 2 as it requires different camera positions. However, Meta will likely keep on updating the Quest 2 with new features through software updates, as they have done till now. With each mainline update bringing new features to both the Quest 2 and Quest 3.

However, in the end, the most important feature is the full color passthrough. Unfortunately, there are only a handful of applications that support this feature on the Meta Quest 3 at launch. So, unless you plan on using the mixed reality features for productivity or work, there’s not much point in upgrading just yet.

Meta Quest 2 vs Quest 3 vs Quest Pro

If you still want to compare the Meta Quest 2 with Quest 3 and Quest Pro, you can take a look at the spec sheet below. However, do keep in mind that specs alone don’t tell the entire story. You’ll want to look at reviews and consider your own use case.


Meta Quest 2

Meta Quest 3

Meta Quest Pro


$299 (128GB), $429 (256GB)

$499 (128GB), $649 (512GB)

$999 (256GB)


Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1

Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2

Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 1

Display Resolution (per eye)

1832 x 1920, 773 PPI, 20 PPD

2064 x 2208, 1218 PPI, 25 PPD

1832 x 1920 pixels per eye, 1058 PPI, 22 PPD

Refresh Rate

90Hz, 120Hz (max)

90Hz, 120Hz (max)


FOV (degrees)

90 Horizontal & Vertical

110 Horizontal / 96 Vertical

106 Horizontal / 96 Vertical


Fresnel Lenses

Pancake Lenses (Thinner)

Pancake Lenses (Thinner)





Eye & Face Tracking




Battery life

2 hours (3640 mAh)

2.2 hours (5060 mAh)

2.5 hours (5348 mAh)


1.13lbs / 515g

1.16lbs / 530g

1.59lbs / 722g

Mixed Reality Passthrough

Limited black and white passthrough

Full color passthrough (4MP, 18 PPD)

Full color passthrough (1MP, 8 PPD)


Quest Touch Controllers (IR tracking ring)

Quest Touch Plus Controllers

Self-tracked Quest Touch Pro controllers (rechargeable)

Charging Dock

Available from third-party vendors

Available separately


In the end, it all comes down to two things: your budget and what you want. If you are looking for the cheapest VR headset to try out some popular PC VR games like Half Life: Alyx, Beat Saber, or No Man’s Sky, then Meta Quest 2 is the best choice for you. Even if you don’t have a gaming PC you can try your hand at some free standalone VR games without spending a dime.

However, if you have the budget to spend $500 for the Meta Quest 3, then you won’t have to worry about upgrading your headset for quite a while. If not having color passthrough is a dealbreaker for you, then definitely go for Quest 3. Do whatever is right for your wallet and your needs.

It also isn’t too late to buy a Quest 2, plus the release of the Quest 3 will lead many headset owners to sell their VR headsets at a lower price. So, you might be able to grab a second-hand Meta Quest 2 for an even cheaper price than $299.

Meta Quest 2 128GB

The Meta Quest 2 128GB model offers more than enough space for most users while selling you the best overall headset at a very wallet-friendly price.

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By John P.

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