Quest 3 Seems To Have Sold At Least 1 Million Units

Over 1 million people have completed the Quest 3 mixed reality introduction experience First Encounters.

First Encounters starts shortly after you set up a Quest 3 and isn’t available on previous Meta headsets. It uses the 3D scene mesh Quest 3 can generate to have a craft crash through your ceiling and land on a table or the floor, as well as to let you shoot out parts of your real wall. You then have to shoot waves of invading creatures until a timer runs out. How many you shoot determines your score, and your score is logged to Quest’s leaderboard system.

Software developer Daven Bigelow has been diligently tracking the leaderboard for First Encounters, because in the Meta Quest smartphone app it shows how many other “participants” there are, ie. how many people have completed Quest 3’s introduction.

And there we go, Quest 3 has a 99.999% chance that 1M units are in the wild, the morning after Quest 2 finally started going out of stock worldwide pic.twitter.com/eI2UB2oK2d

— JustDaven (@JayHadHope) June 26, 2024

We wrote “at least” in this headline because technically, there’s no obligation to complete First Encounters. You could refuse to scan your room mesh or you could quit and skip the experience at any time. It’s also unclear whether people who have their profile set to private are included in the 1 million figure. If they’re not, Quest 3 sales are likely far in excess of 1 million.

In the March 2023 Meta roadmap meeting leaked to The Verge Meta’s VP of VR Mark Rabkin told staff the company had sold almost 20 million Quest headsets. Three months after that, another Meta meeting was leaked to The Verge in which Mark Zuckerberg told staff “we have sold tens of millions of Quests”. In July 2021 now-CTO Andrew Bosworth said Quest 2 had “outsold not just its predecessor, but all of its predecessors combined”, suggesting the vast majority of the 20 million Quests sold by last summer were Quest 2.

So eight months after launch, Quest 3 has sold somewhere north of 1 million units, while three years after launch Quest 2 had sold somewhere around 20 million. But this slower pace isn’t unexpected.

Quest 2 launched at $100 cheaper than its predecessor, which was immediately taken off the market. In contrast, Quest 3 launched at $200 more expensive and Quest 2 has continued to be sold at an even lower price. Since March, Quest 2 has been sold at $200 while Quest 3 remains at $500. Quest 2 has continued to outsell Quest 3 on Amazon, and VR developers have told UploadVR the majority of their new users are still on Quest 2.

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Meta seems to have a plan to deal with the affordability problem though. There’s been strong evidence over the past 16 months that it is preparing to release a cheaper alternative to Quest 3 to directly replace Quest 2 in its lineup.

In March 2023 the leaked Meta roadmap mentioned this cheaper headset, and late last month the official Quest Store listed “Meta Quest 3S”, a name seen in an apparent leak three months ago purporting to show the headset’s design. To top it all off, earlier this month a headset with that design was spotted in the background of a video posted by Meta’s CTO.

If Quest 3S arrives at the roughly $300 price it’s expected to while maintaining the XR2 Gen 2 chipset and mixed reality capabilities, it will likely sell in much larger volume than Quest 3, growing the market for mixed reality and giving developers more power to work with than Quest 2 ever could.

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