Meta's CTO explains why Quest is only sold in 23 countries
Meta Quest would sell better if the headset were available in more countries. But that is not so easy, as Andrew Bosworth explains.
Meta supports and ships Meta Quest headsets and products to 23 countries, including the United States and Canada, many but not all EU countries, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan. For a complete list of supported countries and regions, check the link in the sources below.
In the country I live, Croatia, Meta Quest is not officially sold, which also means that there is no local support, which can cause a lot of trouble in case of a warranty claim (speaking from experience). If I ever see Meta Quest 2 sold in a store, it's usually for the price of a Playstation VR 2 or more. Fortunately, there is an option to import devices for the regular price, but again, without local support.
Entering new markets isn't easy for Meta
It would be beneficial for Meta if the devices were available in more countries, as this would increase the potential market. However, this is easier said than done.
In his latest Q&A on Instagram, Meta's Head of Technology Andrew Bosworth explains why Meta Quest is not available in more countries. He was asked by a follower when Quest devices would be coming to Latin America.
"We want to be in every market. So why aren't we? Well, because it's not free to just start shipping your devices to every market. It seems like it would be, but it's not. When you have hardware, you have to support it. You need to have on the ground, locally, sales support, marketing support, retail partnerships, the right content, the right translations, the right content policy, the right legal frameworks. And so there's some overhead and there's some markets that are too small, too underdeveloped relative to the price of the device for us to really invest in at this early juncture.
There are other reasons, too. Political. How are policymakers going to react to a platform that upon which there is social activity and speech? What about protectionism? There's a lot of regimes especially in major Latin American countries, where it's very, very expensive to import a product and it makes it actually prohibitive for the market to really develop. The price point would be too high, but the manufacturing capabilities aren't there, or we're not skilled up enough to take advantage of them. So there's a lot of reasons. We want to be everywhere, but can't yet."
Bosworth welcomes another competitor
Bosworth also commented on other VR topics, such as the Bigscreen Beyond, the world's smallest PC VR headset, which will be launched in the same timeframe as Meta Quest 3. Bosworth welcomes the competing product, which was developed in part out of a desire to break away from the dependence on Meta's VR platform.
"I'm saying this every time someone asks about a competitive product: I'm excited about it. I think it's great to have people exploring the space of immersive technologies. It's good for all of us. Every time someone takes a different set of trade-offs, we get to learn from it. With Bigscreen, you add the wire, you can see what big paths you can get if you don't have onboard compute, thermals to deal with, how it changes the cost profile, how it changes the industrial design. And so I think it's always a good thing to have more people playing with the different trade spaces that you can operate on in in our area. I haven't had a chance to try it yet, but I have heard good things."