The Oculus Quest 2 is about to get a lot more expensive.
From August 1, 2022, one of the best VR headsets out there is going to see its price jump up to $400 / £400 / AU$630 for the 128GB version (up from $299 / £299 / AU$479), and $500 / £500 / AU$790 for the 256GB model (instead of $399 / £399 / AU$639).
That means if you want to grab the Oculus Quest 2 (now officially the Meta Quest 2) before it sees a massive price hike you’ve only got a couple of days left. Meta has warned that the price increase will also impact the best Oculus Quest 2 accessories and refurbished units – giving you even fewer reasons to hold off making a purchase if you've been on the fence.
According to Meta, despite the incredible success its VR hardware has seen – with an estimated 15 million Quest 2 headsets being sold, and over $1 billion being spent on Meta Quest apps since launch – the price hike is necessary to combat increasing operational and development costs. This argument is similar to the one used by Amazon earlier today (July 26) when it announced that the price of Amazon Prime was going up in the UK and Europe.
Every cloud has a silver lining, though – sorta. In this case, if you purchase a new Quest 2 between August 1 and December 31 2022 you'll be able to snag a free copy of Beat Saber – one of the best Oculus Quest 2 games – worth $30 / £23 / AU$47.
To get the free game you’ll not only have to buy the headset within the time frame above, but activate it before January 31, 2023, using an account that doesn’t already have Beat Saber on it. Do that and you’ll have 14 days to buy and download Beat Saber at no cost – though you’ll still have to pay for DLC like the Fall Out Boy and Billie Eilish song packs.
Analysis: Bring back the 64GB Oculus Quest 2
While the Quest 2 is going to become more expensive starting next month, it’s actually just going back up to the price it originally was, at least in the US and UK – for those of you in Australia it’s going to be a whole AU$10 cheaper than it was at launch.
When the Quest 2 first launched you couldn’t buy a 256GB version of the console. Instead, the 128GB model was the more expensive option at $399 / £399 / AU$639, with a cheaper 64GB headset available for $299 / £299 / AU$479. That changed about a year ago when Meta decided to scrap the 64GB model, reduce the price of the 128GB one, and brought in a new 256GB version.
However, the big issue with Meta reverting to its original pricing is that there’s now no $299 / £299 / AU$479 Quest 2 – and that’s a problem.
Sure, the Quest 2’s $399 / £399 / AU$639 price still makes it a fair bit cheaper than rivals in the VR market (like the Valve Index),but it’s nevertheless a tough pill to swallow. That’s especially true when you look at gaming as a whole.
The full-powered PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles are only fractionally more expensive in some parts of the world at $499 / £449 / AU$749, while the diskless PS5 ($400 / £360 / AU$600) or the Xbox Series S ($300 / £250 / AU$500) are actually cheaper in some regions.
You might not get the unique VR experience, but you’ll get access to a much large selection of great titles, and next-gen upgrades for some of your favorites from the PS4 and Xbox One-era.
To combat this, Meta needs its cheaper VR headset – it needs the 64GB version of the Quest 2.
In a recent teardown of why you shouldn’t buy the Oculus Quest 2 256GB model, we explained that large amounts of storage aren’t necessary for VR games. They top out at about 8.8GB for Resident Evil 4 VR, and most are under 2GB, so even with the 128GB model you still have plenty of space for lots of games.
And, based on our experience, the 64GB version is also fine. We actually still use our 64GB headset, and while we do have to delete and swap out games it’s not much of a hassle. Plus, our headset’s hard drive is only full because we have quite a few games that we've reviewed; most people won't be pushing the limits of their hardware’s storage anywhere near as much.
At this time Meta has yet to announce plans to relaunch a 64GB headset for its original $299 / £299 / AU$479 price, but we hope this changes. VR is really starting to take off, and a big reason for that is that the Quest 2 is a relatively inexpensive gadget for people to pick up.
If cheaper rivals can come to market, Meta could see its status as top dog in VR world threatened – and that wouldn't bode well for its future VR projects like the upcoming Project Cambria headset.
We’ve previously posited that Meta’s downfall would be more likely to come from its own mistakes rather than the success of its competitors – and today’s news lends weight to that theory.