The Quest 2 will cost you just $200 now. Do we even need a Quest Lite anymore?

The Quest 2 will cost you just $200 now. Do we even need a Quest Lite anymore?
The Quest 2 walked so that the Quest 3 could run. Both of these Meta-made gizmos have joined the ranks of the best VR headsets of recent times. The best part? When the Quest 3 released, Meta didn’t just leave the Quest 2 in the dust. It still sees updates and game releases regularly.

Meta also did a very smart thing in lowering the Quest 2’s price when the Quest 3 launched. I mean, if someone was casually interested in checking out VR, this way they would have a go-to alternative, right? Well, to make it a more tempting deal, Meta then slashed the Quest 2’s price again.

And now, yet again: a third, seemingly permanent price cut to the Quest 2. The headset is now priced at just $199.99 for the 128GB model. And while this goes nicely with my theory that 2024 is the year to get into VR, I’m an inquisitive lad, so I must ask: is this actually a clearance sale?

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This is the original release trailer for the Quest 2, which came out about four years ago.

Now, before we dive deep into conspiracy theories — you can start preparing your mixed-reality tinfoil hats, by the way — let’s give some context as to this price cut:

  1. The Quest 2 came out in October of 2020
  2. It launched for $300 for the 64GB model and $400 for the 256GB model
  3. In 2021, Meta discontinued the 64GB model and replaced it with a 128GB, without bumping up the price
  4. Ever since the release of the Quest 3, the 256GB model fo the Quest 2 has been sold out pretty much everywhere

And now, with that little bit of extra context, we can officialize it: getting a Quest 2 with 128GB of storage for $200 is totally worth it, even in 2024. Most standalone apps and games will run on it and it can even grant you access to some of the best PC VR games out there.

But, if you ask me, the real question is “What does the Quest 2 not have?”. Because if we manage to figure that out, we can sort of guess what’s coming down the line. After all, if the Quest 2 is selling out, Meta is going to need another entry-level headset on offer, right?

Is there really a need for a Quest Lite?

In short: yes. And I can explain why. 

So, a while back there was talk about Meta’s XR hardware roadmap. It seemed quite the informative and elaborate plan, however: a lot of things have changed since then. This roadmap had to be conceived back when Meta and Tencent were still set to work together for a Quest Lite.

Only Zuckerberg went back on that deal. So, a natural question arises from the situation:

  • Is the Quest Lite now off the table?

Logic — and market demand — dictate that it should not be. If this latest discount on the Quest 2 is indeed a way for Meta to clear stock (and make room for something new), then the Quest 3 remains as the only viable option for XR newcomers.

And the Quest 3 is great. But it costs $499. And very few enthusiasts would pay that much in order to try a technology for — likely — the first time.

I mean, this isn’t like getting a phone from a different brand, right? All of them are candy bars with different flavors, so you kind of know what to expect. But despite being around for awhile now, VR is still a pretty new concept to most folk, even techies.

With the Quest 2, Meta had the perfect getaway product. That was the case for two primary reasons:

  • Getting a Quest 2 didn’t break the bank
  • It left room for more to be desired

As in, you could try VR and if you happened to decide that you like it, getting a Quest 3 was your next step. After all, in order to try VR, you have to invest in a couple of apps and games, right? Maybe some of them standalone, stuck on Meta’s platform… Don’t you just love software ecosystems?

So, I’m making the conclusion simple:

Why ruin an ecosystem that already practically worked? Instead, Meta could just refresh it so it keeps being functional.


What could a Quest Lite do that a Quest 2 can’t?

If I had to respond immediately, I’d say: XR. But there’s a lot more to it than that, so bear with me.

Based on what we knew about the Quest Lite when the Meta x Tencent thing was still, well, a thing, the concept for the headset was rather simple:

Combine the Quest 3’s Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chip with the Quest 2’s fresnel lenses and voilà: you’ve got a great idea. Why? Well, here’s a couple of reasons:

  • The Quest 2’s lenses are still pretty great, even in 2024
  • The updated chip will allow a headset to play all sorts of games at higher resolutions
  • Oh, and it will allow users to experience mixed-reality

So, have you got your tinfoil hats on? Good. Here’s my theory:

Do you remember Augments? These are mixed-reality widgets, seemingly inspired by the Vision Pro’s spatial capabilities, which were promised to come to the Quest 3. But what if Meta is holding off on releasing them, so that the feature can launch alongside a new piece of hardware?

I mean, imagine Meta announcing a new budget-friendly VR headsetand advertising through its mixed-reality capabilities. That would be pretty radical, right? And, practically, a first of its kind. 

Some of this is based on rumor, some of it: on logical thought, but none of this is confirmed. The fact of the matter is that until Meta actually spills the beans, we won’t know for sure. The company has a habit of teasing products before big showcases, the latter typically happening during online events.

As of the time of writing, we don’t know how things will play out. But if I am right, and this latest permanent discount on the Quest 2 turns out to be a clearance sale, then maybe we’ll be set for a pretty exciting Meta Connect around September of 2024.
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