Meta Quest announced a significant hike in price for their Meta Quest 2 headsets via Twitter. With little warning, little explanation, and no new features to add along with this increase in price, many ask why this was necessary in the first place.
Users on Twitter have immediately made their opinion on this price increase known, and currently, they don't seem very happy. Meta Quest 2 was known for being priced for those who may have never tried VR before and to get more people interested in the new technology. Starting in August 2022, the price for the 128BG will increase to $399.99 and to $499.99 for the 256GB version. Meta Quest explains that this is due to them wanting to heavily invest even more into the VR ecosystem than they already have. They claim that this price hike will help them continue to invest in VR technology both now and in the future, making sure that the industry stays up to date.
The Metaverse has been the topic of discussion for a long time, and investing in it can cause a significant loss in profit, as Meta learned back in 2021, when they invested over $10 billion and saw more than an 8% decrease in profits over the next year. Back in May of this year, Meta went on to tell their hardware staff to brace for impact, as they would need to prepare for cutbacks in the Reality Labs division. This may have been due to inflation in prices of goods, shipping and manufacturing throughout the world. What's more, a vast majority of those who had invested in Meta were enraged when the stocks began to fall quite drastically, prompting Mark Zuckerburg to take action.
A spokesperson at Meta stated that they couldn't afford some of the projects they had been planning at that point in time and that they would need to postpone others in order to play catch up. The Meta spokesperson also stated that they initially had no intention of laying anyone off as a part of these other changes that had been implemented. That was quickly proven to be one of the changes that were being made, as Meta began to look for the low performers within the industry, and cut them from the company. One of the employees even stated that it was comparable to a "witch hunt". So why is this relevant to Meta Quest?
Due to all of these setbacks and cutbacks, it seems as though one of the decisions was to cut the subsidy on Meta Quests, which begs the question, "Is this the real reason for the price increase?". Meta Quest has also made it clear that the cost of production and shipping has increased over these last few years due to inflation during the COVID-19 pandemic, which also may have prompted a price increase, though the only benefit to gamers who purchase the Meta Quest 2 headsets at their new price is to receive a free copy of the game Beat Saber. Along with all of these changes and increases comes an increase in price for the accessories as well, such as the carrying cases, link cables, and more.
Meta Quest goes on to state,
"We have an ambitious VR hardware roadmap, beginning with the launch of our high-end headset, Project Cambria, later this year. And we plan to ship new generations of Meta Quest after that."
This means that they do still have plans to go through with the launch of their high-end headsets, but with the current headsets being priced the way they are, one can only imagine what the higher-quality sets may cost. They claim that even with these increases, Meta Quest still remains the most affordable VR headset retailer on the market today, but it still shies away from the fact they were originally made for those who wanted to give VR a shot before diving in head-first.