In what is arguably the most unexpected piece of tech news in recent memory, Meta revealed on Tuesday that it is raising the price of its flagship Quest 2 virtual reality headsets by $100 rather than lowering it.
The price of Meta Quest 2 for the 128 GB variant will be $399.99, and the price for the 256 GB model will be $499.99, according to the manufacturer. These models are now available on the Facebook Store for $299 and $399, respectively. Meta Quest 2 accessories and refurbished equipment are also costing more, according to Meta.
Meta (previously known as Facebook), in a blog post, made an effort to justify the unprecedented price increase for hardware by saying that it “will help us continue to invest for the long term and keep driving the VR industry forward with best-in-class hardware, action-packed games, and cutting-edge research on the path to truly next-gen devices.” “Our product manufacturing and shipping prices have been rising,” Meta continued. We can increase our investment in ground-breaking research and the creation of fresh products that propel the VR sector to new heights by altering the pricing of Quest 2.
The business is offering a free download of the well-known VR rhythm game Beat Saber in an effort to lessen the impact of a $100 price increase on the Quest 2. On the Meta Quest Store, that game is presently available for $29.99.
As Meta notes, the business has other VR headsets on its product roadmap, including hardware with the working codename Project Cambria. The device, which is expected to go on sale later this year and start at $799, is designed to enable remote work in virtual reality. Four new VR headset models, including Cambria, are reportedly on the way from Meta. The more affordable Quest headgear from Meta will have a new iteration in 2023. Newer versions of Cambria and Quest will be released in 2024.
On the same day that The Verge published an article detailing mounting pressures on Facebook, Instagram, and Meta’s other businesses, a price increase for the Quest 2 was revealed by Meta. On the same day that Sony Interactive Entertainment unveiled additional features (but not a price) for its much-awaited PlayStation 5 headset, PlayStation VR2, the price increase was also announced.
The price rise for the Meta Quest 2 gear is unheard-of for equipment like VR headsets. As component costs decline and software revenue increases with a growing user base, prices for hardware typically decline over time in an effort to draw in more buyers. The action appears to be in opposition to the growing VR usage that Mark Zuckerberg is hoping for by investing heavily in the metaverse. But with declining sales, a stock price half what it was a year ago, and an aggressive return on its $2 billion investment in Oculus VR, it seems like Meta is facing certain failure.
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