The price of Meta Quest 2 (formerly known as Oculus Quest 2) will go up $100 on August 1, to $399 (128GB) and $499 (256GB). For now, you can still get a discount by using my link to get $30 store credit with your purchase. Or you can purchase from Amazon at $299 (128GB) and $399 (256GB) respectively.
What was the reason for the price increase? Does this have any implications for the VR industry?
Quest 2 (reviewed here) is the most popular VR headset, both for standalone use and for desktop VR. Not only does it have very good tracking capabilities and advanced features such as handtracking, but it is also far more affordable than other VR headsets.
That low price has been made possible because Meta has been heavily subsidizing the cost of the headset, partly because Mark Zuckerberg is completely convinced that VR will be as ubiquitous as the smartphone in the future, but also because Meta tracks your data and uses them to sell ads more effectively.
It is estimated that the normal cost of the device is closer to $699, which is the price of the HTC Vive Cosmos, which has similar capabilities but doesn’t track your data.
Today, Meta announced that they are raising the price of the Quest 2 by $100 as of August 1st, to $399 and $499. Their announcement on their official blog said it was because of the higher costs of production, and that this price increase was necessary to enable them to continue investing in VR. Their announcement on Facebook focused on the ability to invest in the long term.
In 2021, Meta spent $10 billion in VR and the Metaverse. They have been on pace to exceed that this year, with a loss of $3 billion in Q1 2022.
Meanwhile, thanks in part to Apple’s new privacy restrictions, Meta’s ad revenue has declined, which in turn has pressured their stock price, which is now less than half its peak price and close to the lowest price in the past year. They have been undergoing cost-cutting, with layoffs that could reach as much as 10% of their workforce. It’s not too unexpected that their VR subsidies would also be impacted by cost-cutting.
Although Quest’s price is going up, it will still be the most affordable VR headset on the market. Meta also affirmed that Project Cambria, their advanced VR headset, will be launched later this year.