Meta’s work-focused headset will now start at $999, and one model of its gaming headset is also getting cheaper as a follow-up looms.
Mark Zuckerberg has announced that the Meta Quest Pro, the company’s mixed and virtual reality headset focused on business users, will be getting a substantial price cut, going from $1,499.99 to $999.99. Likewise, the 256GB version of the Quest 2 will be going from $499.99 to $429.99.
Meta says its goal is to “create hardware that’s affordable for as many people as possible” and that it’s lowering the Pro’s price to make its tech “available to even more businesses and professionals around the world.”
According to the company’s hardware roadmap, which was published by The Verge earlier this week, it doesn’t seem like the high-end VR headset is getting a follow-up for at least a few years. Given that context, a price drop of this magnitude makes the most sense if the company’s trying to get rid of its existing inventory.
The Quest Pro’s price drop will take effect on March 5th for the US and Canada and on March 15th everywhere else it’s sold. The Quest 2 is getting cheaper on the 5th in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the UK, and the US.
Since it was announced in October, the Quest Pro has been a tough sell, even despite technically impressive features like face tracking and color passthrough, a solid set of controllers, and more powerful hardware than the Quest 2. Its battery life was unimpressive, its software was worse, and even though it cost as much as a laptop, it failed to meet Zuckerberg’s aim of replacing the traditional PC. By January, Meta had already run sales on the headset that brought its price down to around $1,100.
Four months after its release, it doesn’t seem like the Quest Pro has been a hit. That’s not exactly great news for Meta, a company that’s been pouring billions into trying to make its version of the metaverse happen.
It’s a slightly more confusing situation for the 256GB Quest 2, which has been pretty successful since it launched in 2020. For one, the 128GB version is sticking around but at the same $399.99 price point it’s had since Meta raised its price by $100 in August of last year. (Meta doesn’t really explain why it’s not lowering the price for that version.) If it only costs $30 more to double the storage, it’s hard to imagine many people going for the lower-tier option. Also, Meta’s adjustment for the now $429 256GB model almost knocks it back down to where it was before the hike, which happened less than a year ago.
It’s also worth noting that the successor to the Quest 2 is due out this year for a price that’s “slightly more than the $400 Quest 2,” according to my colleague Alex Heath. From what we’ve heard, the Quest 3 should be a major improvement, with a design that’s significantly thinner and “at least twice as powerful.” It’s possible Meta is trying to set up some pricing strategy that will make sense if it continues selling the Quest 2 or if it’s trying to move units before it replaces the headset in its lineup.
The company is also planning to release another headset in 2024 at “the most attractive price point” it can manage.