Meta is cutting prices for two of its virtual reality headsets as it continues trying to boost adoption for the nascent technology on which it has bet its future.
The company announced Friday that it is slashing the price of its higher-end Meta Quest Pro headset by some $500, bringing its cost to $999, roughly six months after it was released. Meta is also lowering the price of its Quest 2 headset from $499.99 to $429.99.
The price cut for the Quest 2 will go into effect in more than a dozen countries including the United States on Sunday. The Quest Pro price drop will take effect the same day in the United States and Canada and on March 15 in all other countries where it is sold.
“Our goal has always been to create hardware that’s affordable for as many people as possible to take advantage of all that VR has to offer,” the company said in a blog post.
Facebook rebranded as Meta in late 2021 as it outlined a bold vision to build a future, immersive version of the internet called the “metaverse,” powered by VR technology. But more than a year later, its metaverse ambitions still feel far away.
The Quest 2 headset is popular in its category but remains a niche product overall. The Quest Pro launched with a high price tag intended for enterprise customers, making it unlikely to move the needle with everyday consumers. And Meta’s flagship social VR app Horizon Worlds can feel like a ghost town (albeit a ghost town with laser tag).
Meta lost $13.7 billion last year in its “Reality Labs” unit, which houses its VR and metaverse efforts. The company said that Reality Labs revenue fell 17% in the fourth quarter compared to the year prior due to lower sales of its Quest 2 headset.
Those losses may be harder for Meta to stomach at a time when the company is cutting thousands of jobs and focusing on making 2023 a “year of efficiency.” But in the blog post Friday, Meta said it is “committed to building a successful VR market for developers, businesses, and creators to thrive in.”
“VR is a powerful social platform and creative technology, and the more people with access to it, the better,” the company said. “Like you, we’re in this for the long haul.”