Party's Over

Meta can't afford to sell the Quest 2 for $299 anymore

Prices will start at $399 on August 1, but at least you'll get Beat Saber included.

A congress attendant visiting the cathedral Notre Dame de Paris with the Meta Oculus Quest 2 headset...
NurPhoto/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Meta is raising the price of its popular Quest 2 VR headset by $100, starting August 1, the company announced via blog post. The reason? Well, losing a bit less money on each face computer will help Meta “continue to grow [it]s investment in groundbreaking research and new product development that pushes the VR industry to new heights.”

Price bump — In plain terms, the 128GB Quest 2 will now start at $399 and the 256GB model will go for $499. The price change will also affect accessories for the Quest 2, and the price of refurbished units.

For comparison, the $299 Quest 2 originally shipped with only 64GB of storage, something Meta rectified in 2021 when it doubled storage to 128GB. At the time, that was one of the best deals in VR, but for $100 more, it feels a lot more standard.

As a small consolation for the change, Meta is offering the game Beat Saber at no additional cost to anyone who buys a Quest 2 between August 1 and December 31, as long as they activate their headset by January 31, 2023. A $30 rhythm game isn’t a great substitute for a cheaper price overall, but maybe that’s something?

The company is looking for ways to bleed less on its way to brute forcing the creation of a new 3D internet.

Subsidized — The fact of the matter is that Meta sold its Quest 2 at a loss, because all it cared about was making VR and its plans for “the metaverse” popular and accessible (financially, less so every other way). That’s the kind of strategy only a social media platform that made billions connecting advertisers to users at scale could get away with — but clearly even Meta has its limits.

Developing VR and AR technology is just too expensive, and with inflation, the chip shortage, and recent changes to how effective Meta’s ad machine can really be, the company is looking for ways to bleed less on its way to brute forcing the creation of a new 3D internet.

It’s just a shame that this price bump is coming two years after launch without any real changes to features — and after Meta has likely priced competitors out of the market. Maybe a more expensive Quest 2 is psychologically preparing us for the $1,000 or more we’ll have to pay for the Quest Pro, but either way it doesn’t feel great.