If you’re looking for a VR headset, stop what you’re doing. In a few days, the best VR headsets from Meta will get a permanent price drop and the savings will be significant.
Meta announced that on March 5, the price of the budget-friendly Oculus Quest 2 256GB model will drop to $429.99 / £429.99 / AU$719.99 – $70 / £70 / AU$70 less than the current cost. Although the device is over two years old, its Snapdragon XR2 chipset, 6GB of RAM and 1832 x 1920 pixel resolution per eye view make it a very capable headset – one that still deserves the four and a half star rating we gave it in our Oculus Quest 2 review.
We should note, however, that this isn’t the best deal we’ve ever seen for the Quest 2, the 256GB model was cheaper. Before a major price hike in July 2022, the model cost £399 / $399 / AU$639. Plus, during Black Friday 2022, you can buy the device for $429.99 / £429.99 and get two great games for free (Beat Saber and Resident Evil 4VR). The Quest 2 also has a cheaper 128GB model for $399.99 / £399.99 / AU$629.99, although it’s currently unaffected by the price drop.
The much better bargain is with the Meta Quest Pro. On March 15, this headset sees a permanent price cut 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 moment of writing.
In our Meta Quest Pro review, we originally awarded the gadget three and a half stars. The improved specs over the Quest 2 – like the Snapdragon XR2 Plus chip, 12GB RAM and miniLED display – as well as the improved design make the Quest Pro feel like a big improvement over what Meta has produced before . However, these improvements didn’t quite justify the original $1,500 / £1,500 / AU$2,450 price.
The exclusive features – full color passthrough (allowing the wearer to see the real world in color), eye tracking and face tracking – could have helped make the original price feel more reasonable. Unfortunately, these tools feel more like gimmicks than valuable upgrades. Few mixed reality apps make color pass-through seem necessary, and even less software that relies on eye or face tracking.
The new $999.99 / £999.99 / AU$1,729.99 price feels much more appropriate for what the device is capable of, which is why we’re amending our review to give the Meta Quest Pro headset four stars.
Speaking to a Meta representative, the price change is being introduced to make Meta’s hardware more appealing to people hesitant about VR – and those weighing their options as to which of the best VR headsets they should buy.
In recent years, the Oculus Quest 2 has dominated the VR space in terms of market and mind share, though several rivals are now threatening its reign. The Pico 4 is a budget-friendly Quest 2 alternative with slightly better specs (albeit with software that’s not quite as impressive but 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, offering better price and specs respectively.
By lowering the price of the headsets, Meta’s hardware will be more competitive with the 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 launches for $1,099 / £1,299 / about AU$1,625).
The PSVR 2 still sits between Meta’s offerings at $549 / £529 / AU$879 if you simply compare headset prices. But in real terms, when you factor in the price of a PS5 – which is necessary for PSVR 2 to work – the Meta Quest Pro’s new cost will be about the same price as Sony’s hardware. Together, a regular PS5 and PSVR 2 would cost you $1,048.99 / £1,008.99 / AU$1,678.95, or $948.99 / £918.99 / AU$1,528.95 if you opt for a PS5 Digital Edition (which has no disc drive).