Meta Quest 2 price hike is pure greed — and bad for VR (2023)

Meta Quest 2 price hike is pure greed — and bad for VR (1)

Facebook has made some questionable decisions over the years. This is perhaps not shocking, given that the platform started life as a way to “rank” attractive women, without their knowledge or consent. Even so, the company has made some spectacular blunders, from mishandling user data to spreading dangerous misinformation. Today, the company can add a $100 price hike on the Meta Quest 2 to its storied list of failures.

In a shockingly tone-deaf blog post (opens in new tab), Facebook, aka Meta, defended its pricey decision:

“The costs to make and ship our products have been on the rise,” the post explains. “By adjusting the price of Quest 2, we can continue to grow our investment in groundbreaking research and new product development that pushes the VR industry to new heights.”

Starting on August 1, the 128 GB model of the Meta Quest 2 VR headset will cost $399 rather than $299, while the 256 GB model will cost $499 rather than $399.

(Video) The END of the Oculus Quest

A whole lot of nothing

At a time when customers are struggling to afford food, gas, medicine, childcare, housing and energy, Facebook has decided that it’s high time to jack the price of a luxury good by a staggering 33%. Remember, the Meta Quest 2 you’ll buy in August is absolutely no different than the one you’ve been able to buy since 2020. It doesn’t work any better or offer any new features; it just costs more.

For a limited time, you can get a free copy of Beat Saber — a $30 game — with a Quest 2 purchase, but that hardly offsets the price hike. (Beat Saber is, admittedly, a pretty good game.)

As far as the Tom’s Guide staff can tell, this move is completely unprecedented. Since Nintendo revived the home console market in 1983, we cannot think of a single instance of a manufacturer raising the price of a console without offering some kind of new feature in return. Generally speaking, consoles (including VR headsets) are loss leaders. They’re not terribly profitable on their own, but they open the floodgates for consumers to spend a whole lot of money on associated games, accessories and services.

What’s more, the idea of Facebook pleading poverty over supply chain issues is positively laughable. I have no doubt that costs to produce and ship the Meta Quest 2 have increased, just as Facebook claims. But these problems are not unique to Facebook. We don’t see Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo claiming that they have no choice but to jack console prices. We don’t even see that kind of behavior from boutique console manufacturers, such as Analogue or Hyperkin — companies that don’t have Facebook’s sizable war chest to fall back on.

It's true that hardware manufacturers in other sectors have tried to pass supply chain costs onto consumers. CPUs, GPUs, laptops and cars are all more expensive than they were before, often for the exact same model. But this kind of price increase is something that simply doesn't happen in the home console market, and it's probably not an innovation that gamers were eager to see.

Running the numbers

Meta Quest 2 price hike is pure greed — and bad for VR (3)

(Video) Quest 2 emulation is getting CRAZY // Play classic games in VR on QUEST 2!

Let’s take a look at some math. According to Meta’s Q1 2022 earnings report, the company earned approximately $7.5 billion in net income last quarter. Remember, that’s net income; the company’s overall revenue was approximately $28 billion.

So far, Meta has sold approximately 15 million Quest 2s since it debuted in October 2020, under both the Oculus Quest 2 and Meta Quest 2 names. That averages out to 714,286 units per month. Assuming that Facebook actually has to spend an additional $100 cost on each unit shipped — which would be preposterous, but go with it for argument’s sake — the company would have to spend $214,285,800 over the next quarter. That represents about 1/35th of Facebook’s quarterly net income.

To be fair, Facebook's numbers don't look nearly as rosy as the standalone Q1 analysis might suggest. Over the past six months, Meta Platforms' stock price has positively plummeted, from a high of $323 to just over $159 today. Earning more money on VR headsets could help offset this loss, but the plan seems more likely to anger customers than to reassure shareholders.

Still, Facebook could eat the entire Meta Quest 2 cost increase and still walk away with about $7.3 billion. Trying to foist this cost onto consumers is insulting. Claiming that the company is doing so for the greater good of the VR industry is borderline disingenuous.

Monopoly money

Meta Quest 2 price hike is pure greed — and bad for VR (4)

In fact, with this $100 price hike, Meta risks becoming a victim of its own success. While VR is still a relatively niche market, it’s become much more accessible in the past few years, and the Meta Quest 2 is almost unilaterally the reason why. Between 2020 and 2021, the VR market grew by 92%, and the Meta Quest 2 fueled about 80% of that growth. The Quest 2 is by far the most prevalent VR headset on the market.

As such, it’s fair to say that the Meta Quest 2 has become a bellwether for VR in general. In that respect, Facebook’s blog post has some merit. The company’s investments could very well shape the future of the whole VR industry. On the other hand, the company’s mistakes could shape it just as profoundly.

At present, VR is as close as it’s ever been to mainstream success. But compared to traditional console and PC gaming, it still has a long way to go. More than 75% of adults have never tried VR. Fewer than 30% of gamers own a VR system, and fewer than 30% of VR headset owners actually use theirs on a daily basis.

(Video) Quest 2 New Update v43 is HERE 2022!

If VR is going to become as prevalent as home consoles within the next few years, the single most important factor is whether everyday consumers will want to buy a headset. When one of the wealthiest companies in the world sells the exact same product at a $100 markup, even though it could easily cover the cost, that makes a powerful statement about VR — especially when no other major gaming company has ever pulled the same trick.

Unfortunately, Facebook’s gamble may pay off in the end. Since the company announced the price hike, Meta Quest 2s have been selling out left and right as consumers scramble for the remaining stock. Even if Facebook sells fewer Meta Quest 2s in the future, the company had an absolute bonanza today — and, as with any gaming console, the money will continue to roll in as buyers invest in games and accessories.

The fact that the Meta Quest 2 is a legitimately good piece of hardware further complicates the situation. At present, the Meta Quest 2 is our pick for the best VR headset, due to its standalone functionality and reasonable price. Even after a $100 increase, the Quest 2 will be considerably cheaper than the Valve Index, and within striking distance of the aging PlayStation VR.

However, everyday consumers shouldn't have to foot the bill for one of the biggest tech companies on the planet. We’ve already let Facebook run roughshod over data privacy and security. We don’t have to let it set bad precedents for gaming, too.

Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.

Topics

Virtual Reality

FAQs

Is it worth buying Quest 2 in 2022? ›

Best (and still most affordable) VR headset

But even with the increased price, the Quest 2 remains the best and most versatile VR headset of the moment. It's also, considering it requires no gaming console, phone or PC, the most affordable.

What is Meta doing with VR? ›

Meta has been investing heavily into VR and its sibling technology augmented reality as it pushes the idea of the metaverse as being the next evolution of how people interact with computers.

Is Meta going to be VR? ›

Image Credits: Meta

Meta is launching its next VR headset this October at the company's Connect conference. CEO Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement late Thursday, fittingly, in an equally surreal environment: the Joe Rogan Experience podcast on Spotify.

Is Oculus Quest 2 now Meta? ›

The Oculus Quest 2 (now called the Meta Quest 2) has become a surprisingly successful virtual reality headset and remains our favorite VR device despite being two years old and more expensive: The hardware increased in price by $101 back in August -- the headset currently starts at $400.

Is Oculus Quest 3 coming out? ›

It's now expected that Cambria will be fully unveiled at Meta Connect 2022, while the Quest 3 will make its debut at Meta's 2023 Connect event. Of course, component shortages and the ongoing pandemic could disrupt Meta's VR headset release plans.

Is Meta Quest 2 worth buying? ›

The Meta Quest 2 is the most popular and accessible VR headset on the market today. A minimalistic and comfortable design, respectable battery life, great software and approachable price makes this the best VR headset for most people.

Who owns Meta quest? ›

In November 2021, as part of the rebranding of Facebook, Inc. as Meta, the Oculus brand began to be phased out; Oculus Quest 2 was rebranded as "Meta Quest 2" in promotional materials, and Oculus Store was rebranded as "Quest Store" (Oculus-developed community platforms took on the "Horizon" brand).

Is Meta the same as Oculus? ›

Initially called the 'Oculus Quest 2', it was later rebranded to, 'Meta Quest 2'. However, both names refer to the same headset device. The Quest 2 is actually a follow-up to the short-lived (2019-2020), Oculus Quest, which allowed for 1440 x 1600 resolution per eye and offered a refresh rate of 72 Hz.

Will VR be the future? ›

Virtual Reality is one of the technologies with the highest projected potential for growth. According to the latest forecasts from IDC Research (2018), investment in VR and AR will multiply 21-fold over the next four years, reaching 15.5 billion euros by 2022.

Do I need a VR headset for metaverse? ›

Do You Need a VR Headset For the Metaverse? In short, no. By definition, the metaverse is any virtual space in which users interact within a computer-generated environment. In this way, VR and the metaverse can come together for an enhanced experience, but it is not a requirement to have both.

How much will Meta Cambria cost? ›

[updated on 26-08-2022] The announcement for the much-anticipated Meta Cambria is narrowing to October 2022, with production costs indicating a price tag between $800 and $1,000.

What's the difference between Meta Quest 2 and Quest 2? ›

In fact, there is only one difference between the Oculus Quest 2 and the Meta Quest 2, and it's not the price, resolution, refresh rate, features, accessories, storage, battery life, comfort quality, or any other change in tech specs. It is purely a name change.

Why is Quest 2 price increasing? ›

An Oculus Quest 2 price hike is on the way, as Meta has announced plans charge more for its popular VR headset. As you'd perhaps expect the social media giant is already receiving backlash over the move, as the increase could make virtual reality financially inaccessible for some players.

Why is meta quest going up in price? ›

The increase, which Meta blamed on "rising costs," suggests the company may be trying to rein in subsidized hardware pricing that has contributed to nearly $1 billion in monthly losses for its virtual reality division in the most recent quarter.

Why did Quest 2 price increase? ›

Meta announced today that it's raising the price of its Quest 2 virtual reality headsets due to increased production costs. Starting on August 1st, the Meta Quest 2 will cost $399.99 USD for the 128GB version, which is a $100 increase from the current $299.99 price tag.

Is 128GB enough for Oculus Quest 2? ›

Bottom line. If you're about to buy an Oculus Quest 2, there's a strong chance you'll be fine with the starting $299 model. Its 128GB of storage gives you tons of space for apps and games, and in the event you need to delete some stuff, the Quest makes it easy to back your saves up.

How long does Oculus Quest 2 battery last? ›

The Oculus Quest 2 is a great standalone VR headset, but its battery life isn't the greatest. Depending on what you're doing, you can expect between two and three hours of battery on a full charge.

Which Oculus has the best graphics? ›

The Meta Quest 2 improves upon its pricier predecessor in nearly every way, making it the best VR headset for newbies and experienced users alike. The Oculus Rift S improves on the previous Rift headset with a sharper screen and a camera array that doesn't require external sensors.

Does Meta Quest 2 require Facebook? ›

One of the key barriers to adopting Meta's excellent Quest 2 virtual reality headset has been the Facebook account requirement. That changes today. Meta is rolling out Meta accounts and Horizon profiles from today, meaning there's no longer a need to link a Facebook account in order to enjoy VR experiences.

Does the Meta Quest 2 come with games? ›

Does the Meta Quest 2 come with games? Yes, the Quest 2 comes with a few preinstalled games, but they are just tech demos, so you'll want to download more games as soon as you can.

Is Meta Quest 2 good for kids? ›

Designed for Age 13+

Meta Quest devices are not toys and must not be used by children under 13. Younger children have greater risks of injury and adverse effects than older users. While we know that children under 13 may want to use Meta Quest devices, we do not permit them to create accounts or use Meta Quest devices.

Is Oculus Quest 2 being sold at a loss? ›

It looks like $100 is the value to Meta of using your data on the Quest 2. Meta has been selling the Quest 2 at a loss and making it up on the backend. That's pretty common for gaming consoles, though those usually make it up by taking a cut of game sales.

Did Meta buy out Oculus? ›

Meta acquires Oculus - 2014-03-25 - Crunchbase Acquisition Profile.

Is Oculus now Meta? ›

An update rolling out to iPhones changes the name of the Oculus mobile app to Meta Quest. The update represents one of the last pieces of the former Oculus brand to take the new Meta name.

Is Oculus Quest better than Meta 2? ›

The simple answer is that there is no difference between Oculus Quest 2 and Meta Quest 2. An Oculus Quest 2 is the same thing as a Meta Quest 2. It is a rebranding/name change. The hardware is exactly the same beyond the branding, logo, and name change.

What can I do with a Meta Quest 2? ›

Meta Quest 2 is a virtual reality headset — our most advanced all-in-one VR system yet. From multiplayer games to unique social experiences to joining up with friends at a live show or instructor-led workout, Meta Quest 2 provides new opportunities to meet and connect with others in VR.

What is the difference between Oculus and Meta Quest 2? ›

The entry-level version of the Oculus Quest had 64GB of internal storage for your games. The Meta Quest 2, meanwhile, has significantly more storage with the base model starting at 128GB and a 256GB option also available.

Why did VR fail? ›

Lack of Content

Most companies choose to use their resources in more accessible forms of media that are scalable and reusable. The small budget they might dedicate to a single VR experience often results in lower quality and something that is virtually the same as every other VR experience out there, pun intended.

What will VR be like in 2040? ›

“First, many expect full virtual reality (VR) to remain primarily a niche space for gaming and entertainment – that it will not be as well-developed and broadly embraced in people's daily lives by 2040 as augmented-reality (AR) tools that people can simply and easily use to create information layers in the real world.

How realistic can VR get? ›

All VR Experiences Have Photo-Realistic Graphics

Decades after all non-VR video games became photo-realistic, all VR experiences are capable of being 100% photo-realistic as well.

Is metaverse for free? ›

How Free Will the Metaverse Be? The metaverse won't be free. But, it doesn't have to be more expensive than the modern internet. There will always be hardware and connectivity costs, but don't worry about not being able to pay your metaverse subscription.

Who owns metaverse? ›

The short answer: no one, and everyone. The longer, more helpful answer: the tool builders, the software developers, world builders, artists, 3D modelers, game developers, users, investors, those are the proverbial owners of the metaverse.

What VR is best for metaverse? ›

Meta Oculus Quest 2

Perhaps the most well-known virtual reality headset on the market right now is Meta's Oculus Quest 2. Starting at $399 on Meta's site, the Oculus Quest 2 is available in two memory capacity options; 128 GB or 256 GB.

Will Project Cambria be for gaming? ›

Just like the Meta Quest 2, Project Cambria will be a wireless, standalone headset. Despite its standalone capabilities, you'll likely be able to plug it into your gaming PC for increased fidelity and performance, and you might still be able to cut the cord using Meta Air Link.

What is Oculus Cambria? ›

Project Cambria Preview - Mixed Reality with Presence Platform

Is there a new Oculus coming out in 2022? ›

The Oculus Quest Pro is expected next, possibly Fall 2022. This means the rumored Quest 3 might follow in 2023.

Is the Quest 2 worth the upgrade? ›

And Meta continues to add new features to it every month, features that the Oculus Quest doesn't have the specs to support. So if you love your original Oculus Quest and want to get an even better VR experience, the Oculus Quest 2 is worth the upgrade.

How do I claim my free Beat Saber? ›

Once you activate your new Quest 2 on your account for the first time, you should get an email that has a link to follow to redeem your copy of Beat Saber to your account. If you don't see it in your inbox, make sure you check your junk/spam folders too.

How much are meta Quest games? ›

Starting in August, Meta Quest 2 will cost $399.99 USD and $499.99 USD for the 128GB and 256GB versions respectively.

Is an oculus worth buying in 2022? ›

Especially when you consider that the Oculus is wireless. Given that it has a lot of games at its disposal and a lot of functions and apps to use, it's definitely worth the money. And this is coming from someone who really doesn't like Facebook all that much. Check out the Oculus Quest 2 for Yourself!

Is the Oculus Quest 1 still supported 2022? ›

In order to focus our efforts on next-gen features and tech, we're ending Quest 1 support on October 31, 2022," the company said in an update. Account progress, in-app purchases (IAP), and crossplay for Population: One are still available on supported devices, including Meta Quest 2, Oculus Rift S and Oculus Rift.

Is Oculus Quest 2 better than rift S? ›

In terms of the VR experience, the Quest 2 comes very close to the Rift S, but with a much higher resolution (1,832 by 1,920 vs. 1,280 by 1,440). Its Snapdragon 865 processor is powerful enough that you can run plenty of games on the headset itself, like Beat Saber and Superhot VR.

Is 128GB enough for Oculus Quest? ›

With enough space to comfortably fit at least 30 games at a time, the 128GB Quest 2 is an excellent choice for anyone looking to get the best-priced version of Meta's latest VR headset. And it's the headset I chose for myself, with no regrets.

Why is Quest 2 price up? ›

An Oculus Quest 2 price hike is on the way, as Meta has announced plans charge more for its popular VR headset. As you'd perhaps expect the social media giant is already receiving backlash over the move, as the increase could make virtual reality financially inaccessible for some players.

How long is Quest 2 battery life? ›

The Oculus Quest 2 is a great standalone VR headset, but its battery life isn't the greatest. Depending on what you're doing, you can expect between two and three hours of battery on a full charge.

Is 128GB enough for Oculus Quest 2? ›

Bottom line. If you're about to buy an Oculus Quest 2, there's a strong chance you'll be fine with the starting $299 model. Its 128GB of storage gives you tons of space for apps and games, and in the event you need to delete some stuff, the Quest makes it easy to back your saves up.

Is Oculus Quest shutting down? ›

BigBox VR, the Meta-owned developer behind the game, shared the update in a post on its blog, noting that Quest 1 owners will no longer be able to launch or play the game starting October 31st, 2022.

Is the quest 1 discontinued? ›

The Oculus Quest is a virtual reality (VR) headset developed by Oculus, a division of Facebook, Inc., released on May 21, 2019.
...
Oculus Quest
Release dateMay 21, 2019
Lifespan2019–2020
Introductory priceUS$399 (64 GB) US$499 (128 GB)
DiscontinuedSeptember 2020
20 more rows

Which is better oculus or VR? ›

Oculus Quest 2 vs PlayStation VR: Specs

The Quest offers a higher resolution image, at 1832 x 1920 per eye versus PlayStation VR's 960 x 1080. If you're wondering, yes, the difference is very noticeable. Both, however, are capable of 120 Hz refresh rates.

Can you play Roblox Quest 2? ›

You can play Roblox on Quest and Quest 2, but only with this workaround. Roblox isn't automatically available in VR, so you need to use the headset in Oculus Link Mode. In this case, you connect the Quest to a PC with a link cable, a special kind of high-quality USB-C cable.

Can Quest 2 play Steam games? ›

The Quest 2 is self-contained but can connect to a PC wirelessly. Gamers can play Steam titles on their Quest 2 headset with this capability.

How many GB is Beat Saber? ›

Storage: 200 MB available space.

Can you watch Netflix on Oculus Quest 2? ›

Netflix is available on the Oculus Quest, Oculus Quest 2, and Oculus Go headsets. Netflix is available on supported Oculus devices in all regions where Netflix is available. Browse rows of movie posters or press Search to find TV shows or movies. Watch TV shows and movies in 480p resolution.

Can you hack an Oculus Quest 2? ›

Spotted by UploadVR, the hack involves sideloading an app called Oculess. Developed by hackers Basti564 and Threethan, the program bypasses elements of the Quest's operating system, including the need to use a Facebook account and measures that prevent 2D and VR Android applications from running simultaneously.

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