If you’ve been waffling over whether to purchase a Meta Quest 2 VR system, it’s time to make a decision: Meta announced yesterday that the price of the Quest 2 is going up by $100 on Aug. 1. This means you only five days to break out the credit card or be faced with needlessly giving Mark Zuckerberg one hundred additional dollars to
throw into the incinerator build the future of the metaverse.
The 128GB Quest 2 will go from $299 to $399, while the price of the 256GB model will jump from $399 to $499. The company justified the hike by saying it’s necessary, “in order to continue investing in moving the VR industry forward for the long term.”
A price increase of more than 30% on a two-year-old tech product surprising at first, but when put in context with Meta’s recent woes and the company’s soon-to-be-released next-gen VR gear, it makes (a little) more sense. Meta/Facebook has hit a tough patch recently—the company’s stock has fallen to half its former value since 2021, and it probably lost many billions over a single policy change by Apple—so it seems the company has decided its days of subsidizing the VR industry by producing shockingly affordable headsets are over.
All about “Project Cambria,” Meta’s next VR system
While Meta hasn’t announced a price, release date, or full details on its next VR system (Codename “Project Cambria”), it’s been steadily dropping information over the last few months.
On an April 27th investor call, Mark Zuckerberg said the company’s next-gen VR headset is coming soon and has some serious ambitions. ”Later this year, we’ll release a higher-end headset, codenamed Project Cambria, which will be more focused on work use cases and eventually replacing your laptop or work setup,” Zuckerberg said. “This premium device will have improved ergonomics and full color passthrough mixed reality to seamlessly blend virtual reality with the physical world.” Neat.
The official Meta account posted a video showing off a slick new headset back in May, and Mark Zuckerberg has also shared a Facebook clip of himself rocking a (heavily censored) Project Cambria headset.
All that looks and sounds expensive, if vaguely like a second-tier episode of Black Mirror. Internet sources speculate “Project Cambria” will be released in September and retail for “more than $799.” If this is accurate, raising the price of the Quest 2 might make sense from a consumer psychology perspective: Spending $800 for a new thing when I can get the old, almost-as-good thing for only $300 seems wild to me. But upgrading to an $800 device when the old one will already cost me $400 seems more sensible. Relatively.
Whether anyone actually wants their laptop to be replaced by work-based VR remains to be seen—to me, the technology seems better suited to cutting people’s heads off with swords and watching pornography. But either way, it’s a win-win for consumers. We’d all like a VR device that fully delivers on the promises of the technology, but if it doesn’t work out for Meta, we’ll at least get to enjoy watching Mark Zuckerberg fail.