Both models of the Meta Quest 2 will see a price bump within the next week. Starting August 1, Meta will charge $100 more on its Quest 2 VR headsets, but it’s not offering much to sweeten the deal consumer end.
In an update from the Oculus blog, Meta announced the $299 and $399 Meta Quest 2 models will soon cost $399 and $499, respectively. The platform accessories will see a price increase, too, along with Meta’s refurbished units. These price updates don’t come with fancy hardware upgrades or better bundle deals in the immediate. Instead, Meta attributes the expense to rising shipping and manufacturing costs. To soften the blow, Meta will give some of y’all Beat Saber for Quest 2 purchases. Except it’s only for new units. Also, it’s a limited-time offer. Okay.
It’s not uncommon to see some platforms drop in costs several years into circulation, so the Quest 2 bump may be a bit of a surprise. However, a report from The Verge paints a better picture of how we’ve landed here. Meta, and its bet on the metaverse, is facing global economic downturn while TikTok takes a bigger slice of the pie. The Verge report details Mark Zuckerberg’s unsurprising ugly side, going as far to suggest some employees didn’t deserve their place and stirring anxieties in a companywide meeting.
From the sounds of it, Meta, and its bizarro Metaverse branding, are scrambling to deal with Facebook’s growing identity crisis and inflation. It gives a little context to that Quest 2 price bump, plus there’s still a global chip shortage and Meta eating cost on the sale of each unit. With the behemoth corporate entity the Facebook company became, selling at a loss was a way to hook users. Now, that strategy holds less appeal, but the mid-game increase remains puzzling.
Competitors for the Quest 2 are pricey. Valve’s Index costs $999 for the complete hardware bundle, while the HTC Vive is $740, and Sony’s new PSVR2 doesn’t have a price yet, but it’s on the way. The Quest 2’s cheap offering, plus its value as a standalone option, made it the easiest grab for the VR curious but not dedicated.
This still leaves the Quest 2 as a comparatively cheaper competitor, but there’s better savings available if you can grab it before next week. No matter how you slice it, it’s a bummer all around. VR is a difficult sell just from price, and the cheapest option (Quest) comes with all of those frustrating Facebook requirements. I love the device, hate the Facebook tie-in, and would prefer to grab an Index. Unfortunately, it’s just too expensive.