The Meta Quest 3 doesn’t beat my 4K TV for Xbox gaming, but I don’t care – I love it

After Thursday’s surprise Xbox Cloud Gaming launch on the Meta Quest 3, I’ve spent most (read: too many) evenings trying out the service. And while it doesn’t technically come close to my more traditional 4K TV and console setup, the portability more than makes up for it.

For the uninitiated, Xbox Cloud Gaming is basically Netflix for video games. For a monthly fee of $16.99 / £12.99 / AU$18.95 you can stream titles from a huge catalog of content to your phone, PC, Xbox console and now Meta Quest 3, Quest 2 and Quest Pro . The advantage, of course, is that you don’t need super-powerful hardware to play the latest games – they run on high-end machines many hundreds (maybe thousands) of miles away and simply use your device as a screen and relay for your controller inputs.

When you play in the real world, you are limited to the size of your TV, phone screen or computer monitor. In VR you can play these games on a giant virtual screen, with the size becoming especially apparent when you use Quest 3’s mixed-reality mode. The large and extra-large screen options were bigger than any TV I’ve seen before – even the ridiculous ones seen at tech shows – and it made me feel like I was gaming in my own private cinema.

My view playing Xbox games on my Quest 3 while all cozy in bed.  The screen floats in front of me as I hold a white Xbox controller.

This screenshot does not do justice to the virtual screen size (Image credit: Future/Hamish Hector)

The disadvantage is that the graphic quality leaves much to be desired. Xbox Cloud Gaming can apparently stream 1080p (full-HD) with 60fps gameplay – but I’m sure the quality I experienced wasn’t that high. That’s most likely due to a combination of the Quest 3’s display specs, my internet connection limiting the app’s capabilities, and the gigantic virtual screen that leaves nowhere to hide visual imperfections; instead, we blow them up to make them more striking than ever.

Head in the cloud