If you’ve bought a Meta Quest 2 (or an Oculus Quest 2 back when it was called that) sometime in the past year or so, you aren’t the only one who has.
Meta’s best VR headset has been hugely popular over the last two years, rising to the top of the Steam users’ hardware survey stats, and (according to the latest IDC report) given Meta near-total dominance of the VR market.
The International Data Corporation (IDC) tracks and regularly publishes market data for various sectors including VR. Their latest information indicates that Meta now controls 90% of the VR market worldwide thanks to the roughly 14.8 million people who have bought a Quest 2 since its launch in late 2020.
Quest 2 sales haven’t just helped Meta, the whole VR market has surged. Global shipments grew by 97% in 2021 compared with 2020, and in the first quarter of this year (January to March) headset shipments were up 241%.
But while it’s great that you’ll have more people than ever to play the best Quest 2 games with – like the new epic shooter Wands Alliances – can Meta’s dominance last?
Analysis: Can the Quest 2 be caught?
The numbers make it clear, Meta has a commanding lead over the competition in the VR space. While there are other headsets out there – like the Valve Index – they just don’t seem to be anywhere near popular enough to stand up to this behemoth.
Unfortunately, upcoming headsets might not fair much better than what’s come before
Many are excited for the eventual launch of the PSVR 2 – which is yet to get a release date – but this device already has a distinct disadvantage: platform exclusivity. To use it, you’ll need a PS5.
While an estimated 20 million PS5s have been sold, to outpace the Quest 2’s popularity Sony would need over 75% of owners to buy its headset. That’s a really high adoption rate, and an expensive piece of hardware isn’t likely to be that popular – we don’t yet know the PSVR 2’s cost but the original was $499 / £399 (about AU$650) at launch.
Case in point, a report back in 2019 suggested 4.2 million PSVR headsets were bought by players but that’s only 4% of the 94 million PS4s that were believed to have been sold by that time (via Ars Technica). With the PS5 costing more than the PS4 did – especially if you were tricked by a scalper into shelling out more than its $499 / £449 / AU$749.95 rrp – players may be less keen to fork out even more for an add-on.
Apple could also compete, but its long-rumored Apple AR/VR headset is likely to suffer from being too darn expensive to be a rival to Quest 2. Instead, it’ll likely compete for dominance of the more business-centric VR space against Meta’s own Project Cambria headset.
The Apple headset is rumored to cost at least $1,000 / £1,000 / AU$1,500 – but potentially more. Unless it has some killer games and apps that can rival Quest exclusives Resident Evil 4 VR and the upcoming GTA San Andreas VR (among many, many others) then gamers will have an easy choice. Plus, with the cost of living as high as it is right now, wannabe VR enthusiasts will likely find it even easier to choose the Quest 2 which costs only £299 / $299 / AU$479.
We can’t call it on either PSVR 2 or Apple’s headset until they’ve actually launched and had a chance to do battle against Meta’s Quest 2, but we rank the reigning champ as the favorite in both bouts. Maybe Sony or Apple has a trick up its sleeve and one of the devices will surpass expectations, but at this stage the only headset that might beat the Quest 2 is the Meta Quest 3.