Meta Quest 2 VR headset price drops from $100 to $399, gets no new features

This week for Meta and its Quest 2 VR system, it's all about the Benjamins.  One more Benjamin, to be precise.
Enlarge / This week for Meta and its Quest 2 VR system, it’s all about the Benjamins. One more Benjamin, to be precise.

Aurich Lawson | Getty Images | Meta

Many consumer technology categories have experienced substantial cost increases over the past two years due to a tight supply chain, chip shortages, and other economic factors. But honestly, we didn’t see this one coming.

Beginning “in August”, the Meta Quest 2 virtual reality system (formerly known as the Oculus Quest 2) will receive a substantial MSRP change from a base model cost of $299 to $399. This version includes 128GB of built-in storage, while the more expensive Quest 2 headset with 256GB will drop from $399 to $499.

A $30 game for $100, then

Meta Tuesday’s announcement struggles to clarify exactly why the hardware jumps $100 across the board (33% for the base model, 25% for the higher-capacity version). If you take the ad at face value, its flat statement might seem logical: “The manufacturing and shipping costs of our products have increased.”

But in a traditional hardware release cycle, the two-year point is when customers can expect the system in question to drop in price or receive some form of streamlined overhaul – and, arguably, that did the Quest 2 do for the original oculus quest, which launched in 2019 for $399. Quest 2 notoriously included significant revisions to lower its price. Biggest was a downgrade from OLED to LCD for the system’s built-in displays, but Oculus (the division’s name at the time) also revised the headband to feel more flimsy. and removed a crucial “interpupillary distance” slider for the point where users’ eyeballs meet screens.

Those are just three issues that Meta could have addressed with this upcoming price change – the headband being the easiest option possible since Meta is already selling an “Elite” Quest 2 headband. But according to the announcement, Meta stops on any additional features or hardware updates. Instead, the company is giving us a shrugging offer of a single free game, the popular $30 rhythm arcade title. beat the saberfor anyone who purchases the VR system between August 1 and December 31. This pack-in game offering contrasts sharply with Nintendo’s 2011 debacle around the 3DS console and its exorbitant price of $249; after a drastic price drop a few months later, Nintendo offered early buyers a huge collection of 20 retro download games as an apology.

Unlike other hot electronics that caved under the pressure of issues like chip shortages and frantic salesQuest 2 headsets are currently available at the existing MSRP of $299 at big box retailers like best buy and Amazon. They can be immediately purchased and shipped today, in fact, without queuing or retailer-exclusive subscription services obligatory.

Today’s news suggests that Meta’s apparent strategy of selling Quest 2 headsets for less than they cost to manufacture – a classic “razors and blades” strategy in the tech world, perfected by Nintendo in the 1980s – doesn’t necessarily work. For a better idea of ​​the Quest 2 hardware cost, Meta without possibly collect sales of software licenses and links with Facebook accounts, seek to the “Oculus for Business” program (which still hasn’t had its brand updated to Meta). This enterprise-specific marketplace sells a 256GB version of the Quest 2, without any links with the Facebook ecosystem, for $799.

Interestingly, the same article that announced the hardware price hike in August suggested that Meta was reaping both proprietary software sales and third-party license fees on the Quest 2 software platform. of dollars [spent] on Meta Quest apps”, arguably Meta recoups some of its costs on systems that have already been sold – and we continue to see Meta tease upcoming software based on popular licenses like ghost hunters.

Leave a Comment