Technology

Meta is raising Quest 2 headset prices by $100 next month

The Meta Quest 2 (formerly known as the Oculus Quest 2) is about to get $100 more expensive, bringing the price for the 128GB model to $399.99 and the 256GB model to $499.99. According to a post from Meta, the price change for the almost two-year-old headset will take effect “starting in August.”

As much as I hate to recommend buying things under pressure, you should probably act fast if you’re hoping to get your hands on one before then. It seems likely that scalpers and their armies of bots are about to have a heyday with the models that are currently for sale at the old price. You can pick them up from places like Meta’s official store, Best Buy, Amazon, GameStop, Target, or Walmart.

This is a hefty price jump for what was one of the best deals in gaming for years, and it comes at a time when Meta as a whole is looking to cut the fat and start making more money — while simultaneously trying to build a business centered around people having access to virtual reality hardware. The company is, however, offering something to buyers to help make the new price a bit easier to swallow: starting August 1st and continuing for the rest of the year, the Quest 2 will come with a free copy of Beat Saber, an exceedingly popular VR rhythm game that normally costs $29.99.

According to UploadVR, those looking to save money by going with refurbished models will also have to pony up an extra $100 for the base version and $80 for the one with upgraded storage, paying $349 and $429, respectively.

In its post on Tuesday, Meta says that “the costs to make and ship our products have been on the rise.” According to sources speaking to Verge reporter Alex Heath, the company doesn’t make money on Quest headset sales.

It is possible, however, that antitrust regulators could accuse Meta of purposefully subsidizing its headsets long enough to force out competitors that just couldn’t afford to match its price point and then jacking up the price once it had become dominant in the market. As an example of how popular the Quest 2 is among gamers, just look at last month’s Steam hardware survey: 49.02 percent of people using VR with Steam were playing on a Quest 2.

This is, by the way, a headset that doesn’t require a computer to run, so that number likely doesn’t account for all of the people using the headsets. Market research firm IDC estimates that the Quest 2 made up 78 percent of the virtual / augmented reality market in 2021, according to The Hindu.

Recent reports have indicated that Meta is working on a new slate of VR and AR headsets, with some set to be significantly more expensive than the current crop (even with the increased prices). The company hasn’t been shy about the fact that it’s working on new hardware, but Tuesday’s move may give users pause about buying into its ecosystem. That wouldn’t be good for Meta, which has said that it’s going all-in on virtual worlds.

If you’re now rushing to pick up one of these headsets before the price increase, you may want to check out our video showcasing some of its most useful features.