Recently, my partner and I met up with some friends to enjoy a summer barbeque – making the most of the good weather while we could. But, as is often the case in the UK, it wasn’t long before the sun hid behind the clouds and our outdoor party was rained off.
Looking for a way to keep everyone entertained, our host pulled out their parents’ Oculus Quest 2 and we took turns to crush Beat Saber tracks and earn high scores in Resident Evil 4 VR’s The Mercenaries mode. The people who didn’t regularly use VR seemed impressed with what the headset could do and were keen to pick up one for themselves.
Knowing that I regularly write about and use this kind of tech, a couple of them reached out to me to ask about the best VR headsets to go for – with a particular interest in the Quest 2 they had enjoyed using at the barbeque.
But as I told them and am now telling you, it couldn’t be a worse time to pick up an Oculus Quest 2.
More expensive than ever
As you may have heard, Meta recently decided to increase the price of its hugely popular VR headset. The 128GB storage model is now $400 / £400 / AU$630 (up from $299 / £299 / AU$479) and the 256GB version is $500 / £500 / AU$790 (instead of $399 / £399 / AU$639).
While the 128GB Quest 2 has been at this price before – until Meta dropped the price in July 2021 – at the time, it was sold alongside a cheaper 64GB version. When the 128GB headset dropped in price, the 64GB version was phased out.
This means that for the first time ever you can’t pick up a new Oculus Quest 2 for less than $400 / £400 / AU$630.
The price increase is likely to stick around for a while, so why is it worse to buy a Quest 2 today than it might be in a few weeks or months?
Something old? Something new!
Well, for starters, we’re not far away from seeing Meta and its rivals launch new VR headsets. Mark Zuckerberg (Meta CEO) has been teasing Project Cambria for nearly a year and has frequently promised it will launch in 2022 – he only has a few months left to keep this promise. Sony is teasing the launch of its PlayStation VR 2 headset as well, and while it seems likely to drop in 2023, we could see it launch before December this year.
Last but not least, we have ByteDance’s Pico 4 headset. The recently leaked VR device will be the company’s first to launch in the US. If it gets the price and feature set right, we could be looking at a solid rival to the more well-known names in the VR space.
These headsets could launch for less than the Oculus Quest 2 or offer better specs for the same price, and with Project Cambria out in the wild, Meta may decide to drop the price of its older Quest 2 model. Though, this latter idea seems unlikely as it would alienate any consumers that paid for the Quest 2 during this high-priced period.
That doesn’t mean the Quest 2 isn’t likely to see a price drop at all in 2022, but we’ll have to wait for the right time.
Whether during Black Friday or an independent deals event hosted by a local store, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Quest 2 went on sale.
The Oculus Quest 2 has rarely been discounted – you’re more likely to get it bundled with discounted accessories. One of the only proper deals we’ve seen on it was during the 2022 Amazon Prime Day when US customers could get a $50 gift card with their purchase.
However, with the Quest 2 now at an all-time-high price, I feel there’s a chance we’ll see Meta’s headset get a limited-time discount that’s at least as good as the free $50 Amazon gift card. This is especially possible during Black Friday, as it would make this must-have gadget an even more appealing present to pick up and place under the Christmas tree.
So with all this in mind, I’d recommend holding fire on buying an Oculus Quest 2 if you can.
If you’re desperate to play the best Oculus Quest 2 games and best VR games out there today, you likely won’t completely regret buying one right now. But with new headsets likely to drop in the near future and discounts a very real possibility, you could be kicking yourself in a few months.