Facebook raises the price of an affordable VR headset

Mark Zuckerberg brings the Quest 2 VR headset to the stage in 2019.

A photo: Amy Osborne (Getty Images)

Typically, the prices of play equipment go down over time. But Meta resists this trend and raises the price of its entry-level Quest 2 VR headset for 100 dollars. The company formerly known as Facebook says it’s helping pay for innovation, a move that comes as Mark Zuckerberg’s social network struggles to fend off TikTok’s rise and recent billion-dollar losses.

Starting in August, Meta Quest 2 will cost between $300 and $400 for the 128GB model and $400 to $500 for the 256GB model. Meta wrote in post announcing the change that the company has “invested billions of dollars in developing a thriving virtual reality ecosystem” since the early days of PCs and mobile devices, and that the dramatic price increase “will help [it] continue to invest in the long term.”

The point of Meta Quest 2’s low price from the start – the same as the Nintendo Switch, but for a wireless VR headset – was to actively encourage early adoption and help lift a market that has stalled for years. With a $100 boost, the Quest 2 will still be the cheapest headset on the market, but the resulting 33% increase will still put entry-level technology out of reach for many people.

While a hard pill from a company that earned over $7 billion in profit last quarter, the temporary retreat is not shocking in the face of recent market turmoil. Meta’s share price has halved since the start of 2022. The new privacy changes introduced on Apple devices have reportedly cost the company some money. $10 billion in revenue. An overhaul of the Facebook and Instagram apps to try and copy TikTok has sparked a public outcry. Kardashian.

The Meta has spent billions over the past couple of years promoting virtual reality technology, but as his empire faces existential challenges, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is now preparing employees for a more brutal era of corporate austerity. Instead of slashing research and development funding, raising prices is one way to keep your bet on the lucrative VR metaverse.

“We can either cut funding for future projects or suffer a little less profitability,” he told employees last month between threats of termination. according to edge. “It is more constitutionally painful for me to slow down the progress we are making in the long term than to have a short-term difficult period.”

Meanwhile, Meta is getting ready to launch its higher-end Project Cambria headset later this year. In the meantime, partnership projects such as Splinter Cell VR were recently canceled Ghostbusters, Among usas well as The Walking Dead VR games are on the way. So too Sony’s New PSVR 2 Headset. Still without a price or launch date, the PS5 maker continued tease with new details about updated technology.

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