If you’re looking to buy a VR headset stop what you’re doing. In a few days, Meta’s best VR headsets are getting a permanent price drop, and the savings are significant.
Meta announced that on March 5 its budget-friendly Oculus Quest 2 256GB model will see its price fall to $429.99 / £429.99 / AU$719.99 – $70 / £70 / AU$70 less than its current cost. Even though the device is over two years old its Snapdragon XR2 chipset, 6GB of RAM, and 1832 x 1920 pixel resolution per eye display make it a very capable headset – one that’s still deserving of the four-and-a-half-star score we gave it in our Oculus Quest 2 review.
We should note however this isn’t the best deal we’ve ever seen on the Quest 2, its 256GB model has been cheaper. Before a major price hike in July 2022, the model cost £399 / $399 / AU$639. Plus, during Black Friday 2022, you could buy the device for $429.99 / £429.99 and get two great games for free (Beat Saber and Resident Evil 4 VR). The Quest 2 also has a less expensive 128GB model for $399.99 / £399.99 / AU$629.99, though this is currently unaffected by the price drop.
The much better bargain to be had is with the Meta Quest Pro. On March 15, this headset will see a permanent price reduction to $999.99 / £999.99 / AU$1,729.99 – a whopping $500 / £500 / AU$720-off what you’d pay to buy it at the time of writing.
In our Meta Quest Pro review, we originally awarded the gadget three-and-a-half stars. Its upgraded specs over the Quest 2 – such as its Snapdragon XR2 Plus chip, 12GB of RAM, and miniLED display – as well as its improved design, make the Quest Pro feel like a major enhancement over what Meta has produced before. However, these improvements didn’t quite justify its original $1,500 / £1,500 / AU$2,450 price.
Its exclusive features – full-color passthrough (which allows the wearer to see the real world in full color), eye-tracking, and face-tracking – could have helped make its original cost feel more reasonable. Unfortunately, these tools feel more like gimmicks than worthwhile upgrades. There are very few mixed-reality apps that make color passthrough feel necessary, and even fewer pieces of software that rely on eye or face tracking.
The new $999.99 / £999.99 / AU$1,729.99 price feels a lot more appropriate for what the device is capable of, and that’s why we’re altering our review to award the Meta Quest Pro headset four stars.
Why are Meta’s VR headsets becoming cheaper?
Speaking to a Meta representative, the price change is being introduced to make Meta’s hardware more attractive to people who are on the fence about VR – as well as those weighing up their options of which of the best VR headsets they should buy.
For the past couple of years, the Oculus Quest 2 has dominated the VR space in terms of market and mind share, though several rivals are now threatening its rule. The Pico 4 is a budget-friendly Quest 2 alternative that boasts slightly better specs (albeit with software that’s not as impressive but has been improving rapidly since its 2022 launch), while the PlayStation VR 2 headset is pricey but delivers incredible gaming performance (our sister site TRG awarded it four stars in its PSVR 2 review). At the same time, upcoming headsets like the HTC Vive XR Elite and the rumored Apple VR headset are expected to challenge the Meta Quest Pro, with a better price and better specs respectively.
By reducing its headsets’ price, Meta’s hardware will be able to compete better with its competition. The Quest 2 256GB model will be cheaper than the equivalent Pico 4, and the Quest Pro’s new price will make it more affordable than the Vive XR Elite (which will launch at $1,099 / £1,299 / around AU$1,625).
The PSVR 2 will still sit between Meta’s offerings at $549 / £529 / AU$879 if you simply compare headset prices. However in real terms, when you factor in the price of a PS5 – which is needed to make PSVR 2 work – the Meta Quest Pro's new cost will make it about the same price as Sony’s hardware. Together a regular PS5 and PSVR 2 would set you back $1,048.99 / £1,008.99 / AU$1,678.95, or cost $948.99 / £918.99 / AU$1,528.95 if you opt for a PS5 Digital Edition (which lacks a disc drive).
Looking for other ways to save on VR tech? Meta could be getting its own VR software subscription service.