Meta are increasing the price of all versions of the Meta Quest 2, their flagship wireless VR headset, by $100. They announced the decision in a post on the Oculus blog, saying that the increase in price would help them “continue to invest for the long term and keep driving the VR industry forward.” Basically, Meta would like to lose less money now.
“We’ve been all-in on VR since the early days of PC and mobile, all the way through to today’s premium standalone 6DOF headsets—and we’ve invested billions of dollars to help nurture a thriving VR ecosystem,” starts the post on the Oculus blog. “Now, we’re making a change that will help us continue to invest for the long term and keep driving the VR industry forward with best-in-class hardware, action-packed games, and cutting-edge research on the path to truly next gen devices.”
From August, the Meta Quest 2 will cost $399.99 USD for the 128GB version and $499.99 USD for the 256GB version. There’s no mention in the post of regional pricing, but it seems safe to assume that prices will increase similarly in other territories. The two versions of the Meta Quest 2 currently cost £299 and £399 in the UK.
The post also notes that Meta Quest 2 accessories and refurbished units will also be increasing in price. For a limited time, purchasers of the Quest 2 will get Beat Saber included for free as some sort of compensation – which is, at least, the best VR game.
The Meta Quest (formerly Oculus Quest) headsets were priced to encourage adoption in the nascent VR market, and it’s likely that Meta (formerly Facebook) have been selling them at a substantial loss. Increasing the price seems more likely to slow sales than ‘drive the VR industry forward’, but I imagine Meta’s collapsing stock price in 2022 plays a role in the decision. It’s also worth noting that Meta have a second quarter earnings call scheduled for tomorrow (July 27th), Meta employees Expect heavy layoffs (paywalled), and Meta are in the New York Times today trying to make their metaverse pitch sound exciting and not stumbling and unwanted. The NYT article notes that Meta’s hardware unit “lost nearly $3 billion in the first quarter” of 2022 alone.
For what it’s worth, the Oculus Quest 2 is a good headset, and being able to play in VR without wiring up to a PC is a huge boon. Earlier this month, Meta announced that they would no longer require a Facebook account to use the Quest, which is a bonus.
If you’re willing to pay the increased price, however, you might want to consider the Valve Index headset, which remains more expensive at £459 but which is the gold standard of VR headsets. At least until we get a look at Meta’s Project Cambria, their high-end headset which, this price change announcement notes, is due to launch later this year.