Meta has changed its mind on VR headset pricing yet again, with the announcement of new, cheaper Quest and Quest Pro units starting next week.
As you can see here, Meta has slashed the price of the 256GB Quest 2 by $70, now down to $429 per device, while the Quest Pro has been slashed a whopping $500, bringing it to under $1,000 per unit brings.
That’s a big change, especially considering Meta actually increased the price of both just six months ago amid rising costs and falling ad revenue.
It appears that Meta is now more confident about its future in that regard, as its ad business gets back on track, allowing it to invest more in the VR future and expanding the Metaverse as a new paradigm for users.
That’s far from reality, but in order for Meta’s VR environment to become the all-consuming, all-purpose, and ubiquitous experience that Zuck and co. envision, it needs human participation, and that’s impossible to get that full experience without a VR headset.
In the past, Zuckerberg has talked about lowering barriers to entry, including cost, to allow for a wider reach for its VR tools, which essentially means it’ll likely have to eat up at least some of the price of headset sales to do so to achieve that maximize uptake.
Apple’s iOS 14 update changed things in this regard, taking some of Meta’s advertising revenue through reduced performance and data insights. But now that Meta’s AI tools are taking more weight, it seems like Meta is getting back on track with the introduction of VR – and that price drop, particularly for the Quest Pro, could be a big incentive for more people to do this to do Join us.
But will they want?
So far, most of the examples we’ve seen from Metaversum don’t look that inspiring and aren’t exactly a magnet for getting more people to pay up and dive into the experience.
But then again, some recent developments will spark interest, such as Quest’s free availability of the most popular VR first-person shooter, Population: One.
And with the NBA Finals approaching, delivering more NBA games in VR could also be another benefit for the units.
It’s not amazing just yet – Meta’s VR experience is unlikely to blow your mind or change your perspective on what’s possible, at least at this stage. But it’s getting better, and there are progressive, evolving applications of the technology that will steadily improve over time, which will open the door to all new experiences.
Take this update for example:
We continue to work on making Hands in VR a more complete and versatile interaction system. Here’s an update to First Hand showing how hand-based locomotion works. Open source and uses Interaction SDK for developers to check pic.twitter.com/pkmE2ahooT
— Boz (@boztank) February 21, 2023
That might not seem massive, but it’s another step towards simplified gesture controls that will eventually make VR a much more immersive and organic experience.
These changes are important, and as more people buy VR devices and more minor tweaks and updates are rolled out, you can see a future where VR actually plays a more prominent role in our interactive landscape.
It’s early days, but for all the criticism it’s received, Meta’s Metaverse plan could still become a very big deal, especially if it can maximize adoption through wider VR uptake.
Meta’s new Quest pricing will go into effect on March 5th for Quest 2 256GB, while Quest Pro price reduction will be effective March 5th in the US and Canada and all other countries where Meta Quest Pro is supported. comes into effect on March 15.