In an age where technology is becoming increasingly ubiquitous and prices keep on tumbling while power endlessly noses upwards, it’s a surprise when a cutting edge and popular product effectively slams the brakes on its own success.
But that’s how it goes for Meta and their popular Quest 2 headset, which, from the 1st of August 2022 is INCREASING in price by $100.
Available in 128GB and 256GB versions both will endure an unwelcome rise in price by $100, says the Meta tweet below. That’s a move from $299 to $399 for the 128GB and $399 to $499 for the 256GB.
Meta themselves describe the price hike as ‘adjusting’ the price, perhaps in the hope that the less informed might see the announcement and naturally assume that it has dropped rather than increased… Nice try.
In order to continue investing in moving the VR industry forward for the long term, we are adjusting the price of Meta Quest 2 headsets to $399.99 (128GB) and $499.99 (256GB) starting on 8/1/22.
— Meta Quest (@MetaQuestVR) July 26, 2022
Describing the move as necessary “to continue investing in moving the VR industry forward in the long term,” shows Meta taking on board the fact that their pricing so far has been about attracting users to at least try (and hopefully buy) new VR tech that they possibly didn’t know they wanted.
Selling hardware at break-even prices is a familiar pitch with long term software wins usually the end game.
But selling the popular and excellently featured Quest 2 at $299 now appears to have been a short term win to get the name and the tech out there rather than – in their own words – any kind of “long term” option.
But have Meta moved too soon again? Be that with the introduction of the affordable $299 Quest 2 headset in 2020 (cutting $100 off the $399 of the first Quest introduced a year before) or with this unwelcome price hike, effectively putting Quest back to its $399 starting blocks.
And in the UK the price hike is most likely going to mean an even harder-to-swallow £100 increase, given the current dollar/sterling parity starting point of £299… Ouch.
There is one silver lining however. Purchasers at the new price will receive a voucher to redeem a copy of rhythm-action block-smasher Beat Saber, one of its most popular games and previously available for $30.
So is Quest 2 now so well known and regarded that it’s ready to take on the new price and continue to soar as it presents and promotes Meta’s future visions? Meta seems to think so. Or have Meta themselves nipped their metaverse in the bud by once more classifying their own headset as a pricey, unnecessary frivolity rather than a vital gateway to the future?
One thing is for certain. If you’ve been toying with the idea of purchasing the excellent standalone Quest 2 headset, then now is the time to do it. Literally now, as you’ve just days to make that purchase at the old price.
Update: The price rise has happened on schedule. A Quest 2 will now cost you $399 / £399.