Sunday, May 26, 2024

In a metaverse play, Meta permanently drops price of Quest 2 VR headset to $199

HomeTechIn a metaverse play, Meta permanently drops price of Quest 2 VR...

In a bold move to expand its virtual reality userbase, Meta has permanently slashed the price of its popular Quest 2 headset to just $199 – half of the original $399 launch price back in 2020. The company is also discounting accessories like the Elite Battery Strap by 50%.

This aggressive pricing strategy comes as Meta aims to solidify its position in the rapidly evolving VR market, even as it rolls out its new premium $500 Quest 3 headset. Analysts view the price cut as a strategic play to convert more consumers to Meta’s VR ecosystem and drive software sales.

“The Quest 2 was already an incredible value proposition, and at $199 it becomes essentially an impulse purchase for curious consumers,” said Anshel Sag, a tech analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. “Meta is clearly willing to take a hit on hardware profits to expand its installed base and potential revenue streams from the Meta Quest store and ecosystem.”

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The Quest 2, while lacking some advanced features of the newer Quest 3 like color passthrough mixed reality, still offers an immersive standalone VR experience capable of playing the full Quest game library with the exception of a single Quest 3-exclusive title. Its ability to stream games from PCs and cloud gaming services like Xbox Cloud Gaming further augments its value.

“For most consumers, the Quest 2 at $199 will provide an amazing introduction to quality VR gaming and experiences,” said Mercedes Cardenas, managing director at ABI Research. “The affordability removes a huge barrier for people to get into VR.”

While the Quest 3 surpasses its predecessor in areas like comfort and visual immersion, the $300 premium may be too steep an asking price for many consumers, especially in the face of economic headwinds. The dramatic Quest 2 discount provides a more accessible entry point.

“My biggest concern with Quest 3’s pricing was that it would slow overall adoption of Meta’s VR ecosystem by pricing out a lot of the mass market consumers that Quest 2 catered to so well,” said Brian Tong, host of the Ntitled Tech Podcast. “The new $199 Quest 2 pricing alleviates those worries significantly.”

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Long the bestselling VR headset, the Quest 2 had already found over 20 million buyers as of early 2023 before being usurped by the Quest 3. However, its popularity during the pandemic was so immense that Meta had actually raised prices in 2022 amidst supply constraints before walking that back.

While gamers eagerly await to see how long Meta will continue releasing major games and updates for the aging Quest 2 platform, the company’s commitment to supporting the latest Quest 2 features like “lying down” modes bodes well in the near-term.

“For people looking to get into VR gaming on a budget, the Quest 2 at $199 looks like an absolute no-brainer purchase,” stated Mr. Tong. “Even if we’re only talking 12-18 more months of primary support, that’s plenty of time to get immersed in some incredible VR experiences for a low upfront cost.”

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Meta’s strategy could pay off by onboarding a whole new wave of consumers to its VR ecosystem who may eventually upgrade to future higher-end headsets. But it will need to ensure there is a robust pipeline of compelling new software to keep that installed base engaged and spending.

“Price alone won’t beparamont,” cautioned Ms. Cardenas. “Meta now has to double down on courting great third-party developers and rolling out killer app software that makes owning a Quest an absolute must. Otherwise, all those new headset owners could quickly lose interest.”

Industry eyes will be closely watching if Meta’s bold consumer play pays off in growing its metaverse ambitions. But for now, the steeply discounted Quest 2 stands to be 2024’s holiday VR hardware hit for the masses.

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Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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