Meta Quest 2 Just Got An Unwelcome Price Hike

Electronics consumers are used to hardware prices going down as time goes on, but going up? That's not something typically associated with devices that aren't being at least incrementally improved in some way. But that's exactly what's happening as Meta has announced plans to bump up the cost of both the 128GB and 256GB versions of its Meta Quest 2 VR headsets despite the device being on the market since October 2020.

This is supposedly due to a need to "keep driving the VR industry forward with best-in-class hardware, action-packed games, and cutting-edge research." That said, it's not a common tactic when it comes to hardware sales as video game consoles are often sold at a loss, with software sales making up for it. Even the recently released (or technically still-being-released) Steam Deck is theorized to have a pretty small profit margin.

Rising costs of both manufacturing and distribution are cited as the primary factors for the price hike, though the Meta Quest 2 is hardly a special case in that regard. So why the extra cost for both models, and why is it the same flat rate increase for each of them? Maybe the hope is to encourage a jump in sales as more potential customers who were on the fence decide to grab a headset now and save some money. Perhaps it's an attempt to recoup some of the company's billions in Q4 2021 losses. Whatever the reason, it's happening.

How much more you'll pay for the Quest headset

For the moment, both Meta Quest 2 models are still available for their original MSRPs: $299 for 128GB and $399 for 256GB. But starting August 1, 2022, both versions will be getting a $100 price bump, bringing the new baseline MSRP for each up to $399 and $499, respectively. Additionally, Meta will be increasing the prices of refurbished models and headset accessories. Oh, but it will include a free copy of "Beat Saber," a game that came out in 2018 that currently retails for $29.99, with each purchase! The perk will only be available for a limited time; after December 31, 2022, it will stop being a pack-in freebie.

The general response to the news has been a bit mixed, with some users expressing understanding and others consternation. There are arguments that point out that paying $399 for a starter VR headset is still a more affordable foot-in-the-door for newcomers. Fence sitters are expressing disinterest due to the added $100. Some even think this could be an attempt to clear out current stock before the announcement of an all-new model. There's no way to know for sure how this new pricing strategy will pan out until it goes into effect, but it does conflict somewhat with the stated goal of being an affordable entry-level VR option.