Meta Quest 2 could have a longer lifespan than expected
When Meta Quest 3 launches later this year, what will happen to Meta Quest 2? Meta's CTO hints at a change in strategy.
Meta Quest 2 replaced the first Meta Quest after it released in late 2020. With the launch of Meta Quest 3 this fall, Meta may be moving away from this strategy.
In his most recent Q&A on Instagram, Meta's CTO Andrew Bosworth addressed the market lifespan of Meta Quest Pro and Meta Quest 2, saying the following:
"I think the Quest Pro’s going to be in-market a good long time. That’s actually how we designed it. We wanted it to be in market a good long time. By the way, the Quest 2 will continue to be in-market a good while longer as well. More on that later."
Bosworth seems to be hinting that Meta Quest 2 will remain on sale after the launch of Meta Quest 3.
Meta Quest: possibly three price points by the end of 2023
The reason could be that Meta Quest 3 will "cost slightly more" than Meta Quest 2 according to a leaked internal presentation.
The price of Meta Quest 2 was increased from $300 to $400 last summer. If Meta Quest 2 were to be replaced by a more expensive Meta Quest 3, the cost of entry for Meta's consumer model would increase even further, negatively impacting sales. For this reason, Meta may keep Meta Quest 2 on the market for a while longer. Possibly at a reduced price to create a larger price gap to the Meta Quest 3.
The same report leaked that a more "accessible" headset, code-named Ventura, is in development for 2024 that, whose goal is to offer "the most attractive price point in the VR consumer market". It is likely that this model will finally replace Meta Quest 2.
Meta's headset portfolio could therefore soon consist of three price points: a Meta Quest 2 for 400 US dollars or less, a Meta Quest 3 starting at 500 US dollars and Meta Quest Pro for 1,000 US dollars.
Meta Quest 3: A new chip might drive the higher price
One of the factors contributing to the higher price of the Meta Quest 3 could be its new chip. According to the aforementioned report, the Meta Quest 3 will be "at least twice as powerful" as the Meta Quest 2, suggesting a new Snapdragon XR2 chip.
Former Oculus CTO John Carmack might have talked about this chip at last year's Meta Connect 2022.
"We are working closely with Qualcomm on a really next generation XR2 chip," said Carmack. "Qualcomm has been a great partner to work with and there are several very custom VR specific features going in that I'm excited about in the future, beyond just the normal CPU and GPU advances that you're pretty much expecting. I do kind of worry though that it's a very high-end chip and we may need something low-end targeted for inexpensive VR headsets in the future though."
If Carmack is indeed referring to the as-yet-unannounced Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2, rather than a future chip, this should help explain the higher price of the Meta Quest 3 - while also raising the question of what chip will power the Ventura headset planned for 2024.