Hopefully you didn’t spend NZ$2,699.99 on the Meta Quest Pro headset just four months ago. If you did, you’re about to learn a short, sharp lesson about the early-adopter tax and why it pays to wait.
Meta — the artist formerly known as Facebook — has revealed that its crazy-expensive headset is about to get a 33% permanent price cut. It’s dropping from US$1,499.99 to $999.99.
A NZD price wasn’t provided (surprise, surprise), but the post did state that the “price drop will take effect… March 15 in all other countries where Meta Quest Pro is supported”. So hopefully, you’ll be able to buy one for around NZ$1,800 soon.
Meta also cut the price of the 256GB Quest 2, but not for New Zealand, according to the post which patiently listed 20 countries including Australia. We would be more offended, but the price cut still leaves it more expensive than it was last August, so it’s hard to offer more than a shrug, really.
So why is Meta prepared to smack those lucrative early adopters so firmly in the chops? The blog post itself talks about the need to make virtual reality as accessible to as many people as possible, which is no doubt a key business imperative if you’ve bet the house on people putting on stupid-looking headsets for a weird fever dream of a pitch.
But then, that was also true four months ago when the original price was set, so what gives? Two possibilities and both are likely true.
The first is that the Quest Pro probably wasn’t selling very well. Meta hasn’t really explained why the Pro features — impressive as they are — are essential, and the number of people who actually need a high-end virtual reality headset can be counted on one hand of a particularly clumsy butcher. Throw in a global economic downturn, and is it any wonder than Quest Pro headsets aren’t flying off store shelves?
The second is that Apple is about to enter the virtual reality space with a headset that will, in traditional Apple style, reportedly make Meta’s headsets look like the value option. A price tag of US$3,000 (~NZ$4,850) has been mooted, and Meta likely wanted to get in a price cut ahead of the estimated June launch window.
Whether that’ll help sales remains to be seen, but whatever you do, don’t buy a Quest Pro headset until the price cut kicks in on March 15.