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Yeah, it’s weird that the two-year-old Meta Quest 2 is going up in price

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Meta just made the surprising announcement that it will increase the price of its Quest 2 virtual reality headsets by $100 next month. If you’ve had a double take on seeing that news, we’re sorry — it’s weird that a two-year-old tech consumer product suddenly goes up in price.

We have been conditioned to expect the price of technical products to fall over time thanks to the relentless advancement of technology and more efficient manufacturing processes. But here, the same product you could buy in September 2020 will cost 33 percent more in August 2022.

The official reason Meta is raising prices is that “the costs of making and shipping our products have gone up,” according to a company blog post. only credited to the ‘Oculus Blog’. “By adjusting the price of Quest 2, we can continue to increase our investment in cutting-edge research and new product development that is pushing the VR industry to new heights.”

Prices for many things we cover here on The edge have risen in recent months, such as old Lego sets, your Netflix subscription, and even Teslas. However, if a product costs more than before, it usually comes with something new. Apple’s latest MacBook Air costs $200 more than the older model, but has a new design, a larger screen, a faster processor, and a better webcam. In fact, you get more for more for your money. The Quest 2 you buy in August is not. It’s the exact same product – same screens, same processor, same design – you could have bought when it launched. (Meta did give the base Quest 2 a save boost in July 2021, but it didn’t increase the price at that point.)

The Quest 2’s price hike comes closest when Sonos raised the price of its Arc soundbar, also by $100, in September. In my opinion, though, that’s not really an apples to apples comparison. The Arc is a premium speaker that was already expensive when it launched (original price was $799), while the Quest 2 was designed from the get-go as a more affordable entry into VR hardware, especially since it’s a standalone headset. is the one that doesn’t. no pc needed. Valve’s Index, on the other hand, costs $999 and must be connected to a PC to work.

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

One possible explanation for the new Quest 2 prize is: rising inflation. A lot of things are just more expensive now, and Meta’s blog post alludes to that. (Meta’s head of VR was also open on Twitter about rising costs.) But the higher price could also help the company as it tightens its belt across the board.

Meta’s Reality Labs company, which houses its VR hardware, is now bleeding money. Last quarter, Meta reported a loss of nearly $3 billion for Reality Labs (pdf) – so losing the Quest 2 may be one way Meta is trying to back things up. And Meta doesn’t have the scale of production of established major hardware manufacturers like Apple, so the economies of scale that typically apply over a product’s shelf life may not have that much of an impact on the bottom line.

Quest 2’s price hike also comes at an odd time, as it feels like we’re on the brink of a major change in VR hardware. Sony has been dripping information about its PSVR2 hardware throughout the year, though the company still hasn’t announced when the headset will be released or how much it will cost. Apple is rumored to be launching a high-end mixed reality headset that could be released in January. And Meta has spoken openly about its own high-end headset, codenamed Project Cambria, which will be released later this year — a fact the company mentioned in Tuesday’s blog post.

But with Tuesday’s announcement, it’s clear that Meta doesn’t want the Quest 2 to become as loss-leader as it has been, even if the price hike is just to contain losses and not really introduce a profit margin. The price change goes into effect on August 1, and if you’d like to buy one before the cost goes up, you can go here.


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