In an unprecedented move, Meta has announced that it will increase the price of its normally affordable Quest 2 headphones by $100 starting August 1. the virtual reality industry even more”, I remain skeptical about the plausibility of that result. The move will not only hurt VR fans’ wallets, it will potentially hurt Meta’s goals in its attempt to turn the Metaverse into a mainstream experience.
That’s bad news for technology advocates who are already struggling to convince users of the idea. Ever since companies like Meta made it a buzzword, the Metaverse has generated its fair share of skepticism. Meta’s aggressive marketing push has often come off as underdeveloped and overconfident, especially considering the concept has been around for literal decades through titles like Second Life or even Fortnite. Now combine that cavalier pitch with the fact that Meta has been in trouble since its Facebook days following multiple lawsuits related to privacy issues.
The Metaverse had already gotten off to a bad start with the company’s target audience; now it’s going to cost those skeptics more money to even get access to it with Quest 2.
Growing Metaverse Concerns
The price hike seems fundamentally at odds with what Meta wants to achieve with VR. The company wants to make the Metaverse accessible to everyone via VR headsets, specifically the Quest 2. Now the price of entry has risen from the $300-400 range to $400-500, greatly limiting people who they will be interested (or even capable). ) in the purchase. $400-500 seems like a lot to test technology that you don’t really expect. break even until at least 2027, especially considering it used to be $100 cheaper.
With people already feeling uneasy about Meta’s ability to properly handle something as potentially invasive as the Metaverse, the extra $100 it will cost to enter could be the final straw for those already on the fence about it. Also, the Quest 2 price hike has raised a lot of questions about the price of future Meta hardware.
Nothing has been officially announced in regards to other hardware that Meta could eventually release that will be compatible with the Metaverse, but if the company is willing to introduce such a drastic increase in the price of a piece of hardware that is almost two years old , there is nothing to stop you from doing something similar with other products in the future. It sets an unusual precedent for whatever comes next for Meta’s VR plans, hurting the company’s already scant goodwill with users.
From an outside perspective, the price hike looks arbitrary, which certainly won’t help. distrust of the general public towards the company. The Quest 2 isn’t getting any new features or tweaks that would justify the price increase from a hardware standpoint. The company’s reasoning is that it needs the extra $100 with each purchase to invest more in VR, but that seems slim on paper. goal not need more money to do anything.
It was recently announced during an earnings report that Meta lost $2.8 billion on Reality Labs, the company that runs Meta’s VR efforts. while that is much of money to lose on a line of business, in the grand scheme of Meta’s overall earnings, it’s not that much. The same report announced that Meta had earned $28 billion in the second quarter of 2022, putting the loss into perspective. On top of that, Mark Zuckerberg made it clear that Meta is still doubling down on VR and the Metaverse despite the loss. He said he believes “even more strongly now that the development of these platforms will unlock hundreds of billions of dollars, if not trillions over time.”
Losing $2 billion is a big deal for any business, but looking at Meta’s earnings, it’s clear there’s still a lot to be done if she’s as committed to her pivot as she says she is. The Meta Quest 2 is already the most popular VR headsets ever made. If Meta continues to support it, it should further grow its reach unless the general hunger for VR wears off. Meta clearly believes in Quest 2 and for good reason, which is why raising the price of it across the board seems like a backwards move that can only hurt the momentum of the hardware, and in turn, the future of its Metaverse ambitions. .
Following the announcement of the Quest 2 price increase, it’s clear that the current list of consumer concerns clouding the Metaverse’s view of the company isn’t going to go away any time soon. The company needs users to fill its virtual rooms and hangouts more than it needs cash right now, its earnings reports show. If the ticket to enter the gate is too expensive for users, it could spell disaster for the Metaverse before it even gets off the ground.