With such an alluring price point on Quest 2 during the Black Friday period, it makes sense the headset would sell more than Quest 3. But what will it mean for the company’s effort to make mixed reality the main selling proposition of its headsets?

Twitter user JustDaven pointed out that Amazon reveals some coarse sales figures in certain cases, including for Quest 2 and Quest 3. We thought it would be interesting to look at all of the major Amazon territories where Quests are sold to find out what the numbers look like.

Across all major Amazon territories (just one of many places where the headset is sold), we found that Meta has sold some 240,000 Quest headsets. What’s more interesting than the raw number however is that Quest 2 is outselling Quest 3 nearly 3:1.

Even though Quest 3 is the hot new model that’s getting all the marketing, it’s not surprising how this happened.

The Quest 2 had a pretty stellar Black Friday discount with a sticker price of $250, including a $50 gift card (pricing it effectively at $200). Compare that to the lowest sticker price for Quest 3 which was $500, including a $15 gift card and a copy of Asgard’s Wrath 2 (pricing it effectively at $425).

Considering the Black Friday sticker prices ($250 vs. $500), people will naturally ask: “At twice the price of Quest 2, is Quest 3 twice as good?”

What It Means

In any case, the cheaper headset appears to be the clear winner so far this holiday season. But what does this mean for Meta—which has been trying to pivot from pure VR to mixed reality with its last two headsets?

Demeo Mixed Reality mode | Image courtesy Meta

Meta has pushed mixed reality as the primary use-case for both the Quest Pro and Quest 3. But while developers still need time to build killer apps and use-cases for mixed reality, a fresh surge of Quest 2 users is about to hit—a headset which just barely supports mixed reality experiences with a grainy black & white view.

This creates a difficult decision for developers: build for the new-fangled headsets with their greater power, better visuals, and much improved mixed reality capabilities? Or cater to the much larger audience of Quest 2 users?

'Laser Dance' Hands-on: Forget 'the floor is lava'—You've Got Lasers Now

This is of course always the case when game developers need to choose when to shift their focus to a next-gen game console. But this is different.

Between PS4 and PS5, for instance, there is no significant difference between the consoles that compares with the difference in mixed reality capabilities between Quest 2 and Quest 3. For PS4 and PS5, it’s comparatively easy for developers to build a single game and tune it to run well on both systems.

That’s arguably the same case for Quest 2 to Quest 3, but only if we’re talking about pure VR apps.

But a great mixed reality game built for Quest 3 is really going to struggle to provide a good experience on Quest 2; not only because of the lower resolution and black & white passthrough view, but also Quest 2’s lack of depth-sensor—a critical component for creating reasonably accurate maps of the player’s environment to truly mix the virtual and real worlds.

Quest 2 is already three years old. That’s not long for a typical console generation, but it is in the much faster moving landscape of standalone VR headsets.

A new surge of users for the last-gen headset will inevitably slow the transition to the next generation. That means developers will stay focused on the broader Quest 2 audience for a longer period, leaving Quest Pro and Quest 3 with less content that truly takes care of their main differentiator of higher quality mixed reality.

Image courtesy Meta

Ever since Quest Pro, Meta has focused its Quest marketing very heavily on mixed reality, giving customers a sense that there’s lots of great mixed reality content for the devices. But that’s far from the truth as things stand today. Mixed reality games and apps are still barely gestating, with most simply attaching a passthrough background to an existing game. Sure, that might make those games better in some cases, but it doesn’t really make use of the headsets’ mixed reality capabilities.

So while Meta would apparently like to see developers accelerate their transition to Quest Pro and Quest 3’s unique capabilities, the market is incentivizing them to decelerate that transition. That puts the platform and its developers at odds, with customers stuck somewhere in the twilight zone between.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Naruto Uzumaki

    There was no point for me to buy the quest 3 I’m just playing quest 2 ports

    • Nevets

      Agreed. There is hardly anything significant to substantiate getting the quest 3 at the moment.

      • shadow9d9

        The lens clarity is a world apart. Ringless controllers are way better. Higher resolution is noticeable. Once you go pancake clarity you’ll never go back.

        • JakeDunnegan

          Yeah, I’m not understanding this whole “no reason to get the Quest 3” business unless you like substantially less quality in the graphics, having (as mentioned in the article) a grainy B/W pass through as opposed to a very workable color one, slower processing power, smaller FOV, etc.

          And I have to repeat: the graphics are SO much better.

          This is, in effect, getting an upgrade to your GPU and your monitor at the same time for your PC.

          • Oldboy

            What are these games that have so much better graphics on Quest 3? Cause most of the time i see devs doing the bare minimum bumping up the resolution or some minor changes in lod. The only games i see a significant improvement from Q2 to Q3 are Into the Radius and that golf game i cant remember the name. Also the Walking Dead S S was promising something big for Q3 but so far nothing. And im not the only one feeling underwhelmed , some of those graphics comparison videos like AC Nexus Q2 vs Q3 you see many comments indicating theres not enough difference to warrant a purchase.
            Why buy a Quest 3 if games atm are barely scratching the surface of what the hardware can do.

          • Kamala

            Most people who upgraded to a Q3 have PCVR, geo-11 or VR mods in mind. As for standalone I would give the device a year then ask the same question as it is still new.

          • Oldboy

            A year from now i expect some games finally approaching psvr1 level.
            More specifically racers. Cause right now with the Quest port of Grid
            Legends we are at ps2 level at best.

          • ViRGiN

            i demoed psvr1 in 2016, and the racing game they had there looked worse than Grid on Quest 2.
            PSVR1 had 960p resolution per eye max; not hard to run more complex stuff at non-existent resolution.

          • ViRGiN

            IDGAF about pcvr, i’ve played it for years prior and there is zero anything interesting coming out ever anymore; pre ordered Q3 the day it was announced.

            get woke. nobody cares about PCVR. get out of your bubble.

          • Rogue Transfer

            Worth noting, there are over 500 Unreal Engine PC games tested as working well getting VR support with the release of the free UEVR Injector(expected in a month) that now supports: 6DOF head & 6DOF motion controller toggling into UE games without any VR support; and can change 3rd person games into first person.

            All easily done from a simple user interface that lets you quickly (visually with an outline) align your controller with the ingame character’s weapon and override control of it.

            So, while releases on PCVR are most of the usual standalone VR ones with usually better visuals, plus a few exclusive PCVR titles, there will soon be a huge amount of higher quality and deeper games available to anyone with PCVR(including Quest 2/3 users with a suitable PC).

            Not to mention a huge selection of UE games launched every month on PC also nearly all working with the UEVR Injector. There’s going to be so much quality content brought into PC VR with easy motion controller support for shooting, that will be a huge miss out!

            So, while you may be ignorant(as your language & attitude shows, which lets you down), many are and will continue to be very interested in PCVR, for so many high quality games to be available to play in proper VR.

            This will benefit retaining Quest 2 & 3 users with a good PC, who are looking for more content inbetween infrequent quality standalone releases. It’ll also allow developers to see how their games are in VR without needing to do any work themselves, which may encourage them to port their games into VR and maybe, even make them keen to do so on standalone VR too. Once they see just what their content plays like in VR with motion controller support on PC.

          • ViRGiN

            Do you hear yourself?
            You sound like a walking advertisment.
            Just because it’s rendered on a vr headset, doesn’t mean it’s a good vr game. Nobody cares about praydog, get real. You’re cultist. We had GTA5 vr mods for years now – nobody cares. Nobody cared about cyberpunk vr either. Wake up sheeple. I’m not ignoring anything.

          • LOL

            Ignorant troll alert.
            Do not feed it..

          • ViRGiN

            Praydog army has arrived…

          • knuckles625

            We’ve been seeing imminent release of that mod for a long time now, right? There’s been teases of it since at least mid 2022. I’d love to be wrong but I still have doubts it’ll come out in 2024, let alone a month

          • LOL

            Ignorant troll alert.
            Do not feed it.

          • JakeDunnegan

            Go google “red matter 2 graphics comparison quest 3”

            It’s a video put out by this site, actually (taken from the Red Matter 2 advertisement on Meta)

            It straight up shows the comparison.

          • Arno van Wingerde

            Do that Google… and than ran the new version of Q2 and Q3: both are much better than the old version with smaller textures, but the differences between Q2 and Q3 is mainly in the way shadows move: certainly nice to have but not nearly the difference shown by those highly misleading comparisons between the new version on Q3 and the old version on Q2! The Q3 is a bit faster, has better clarity and passthrough: all good to have but no reason to switch, unless you are very enthusiastic or simply have the money.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            While Red Matter 2 looks spectacular, I wish people would stop using it as an example every time. Red Matter is a textbook example of excellent game and level design, creating a game that cleverly hides/works around the weaknesses of the platform with pre-rendered light maps, mostly small, closed locations and using only a few interactable items, but these at great quality. This lets the Quest punch way above its weight class.

            But that doesn’t really translate to other games. This is a custom solution designed esp. for a mobile SoC, but people don’t get that, start comparing Red Matter 2 on Quest 3 and PSVR2 and conclude that those are similarly capable. Which they are not. PSVR2 could run Red Matter 2 with dynamic lighting and everything in open spaces, the game just never asks for it, because it uses fine tuned trickery to suggest it does all this already on a Quest 2/3, when in reality they basically painted everything onto the wall. Phenomenal use of the platform, but a very bad example for demonstrating what to expect from future Quest 2 or Quest 3 titles. It’s like suggesting that all PCVR games look and feel like HL:A.

          • Arno van Wingerde

            It may be true that not every game can look as nice as RM2. But this game shows that most developers are actually doing a lousy job and dynamic lighting, just like raytracing is decidedly a better technology again, but mostly to costly to implement. But in both cases you can get pretty similar effects using a lower grade technology well. What counts is what the player sees, not how they got there. Star wars is another game that looks awesome on a Q2, and even better on a PSVR2: fine by me! In a few days we will see how AW2 is doing… Meanwhile crossing my fingers for improved textures fro in death: unchained…

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            Developer’s aren’t doing a lousy job. Vertical Robot wanted to build a castle, but the only available material was paper, so they created a lot of tiny hallways painted like a castle and made sure nobody could ever look behind the walls and had to wear gloves all the time. The result is Red Matter, which looks spectacular.

            But this methods only works for this particular type of game. You can’t do anything open world or multiplayer that way, or something that requires a lot of physical interaction or many moving objects. Which is why it is such a bad example: Red Matter 2 is the best case scenario, they designed the game around the weakness of the Quest. If you want any other type of game, you’ll have to deal with a lot of the limits they brilliantly avoided. An Onward sequel from Vertical Robot would probably look great, but nowhere near as good as Red Matter 2.

          • JakeDunnegan

            All I can ask Christian is – have you tried it? Do you have one?

            I have both (Quest 2 and 3) hanging on the wall behind me less than 3 feet apart, and I see a difference in more than “a few games”.

            On the outside, the thing just FITS better. It’s shallow (less obtrusive on the front of the face), is designed with a better head strap, and the controllers don’t have the ring outside, and have configurable sport straps which are extremely fluid and solid. (Eg. use for sports, etc). Also, better speakers.

            When you put it on, there’s more clarity everywhere. Literally. It’s a color (and useable) passthrough. As someone who walks through my house with a headset on, that can’t be understated.

            The dashboard is cleaner. Your hands look better (there’s a beta program you can opt-into where Meta can learn your hand movements and film your space at better hazard avoidance, etc – I did not opt in ;) ) – and the cameras are designed and do a better job of interpreting your hand motions.

            The interface is faster, even just switching between windows is faster. (As it would be, given the faster processor and more and faster RAM.) According to Qualcomm, the XR2 Gen 2 in the Quest 3 has 2.5 times the graphical power as the XR2 Gen 1 in the Quest 2. It has dual LCD vs Quest 2’s single LCD. It adds about a million pixels per eye.

            And then, yes, when you get into games, they ALL look better. Not some, not a few. Some don’t look MUCH better, because the source is crap to begin with. (I’m looking at you, random game that is made out of the 3D equivalent of stick figures.)

            Again, I originally got my Quest 2 to use it for PCVR. I waited till I could verify I could use the Q3 to use it with PCVR. But on its own the Quest 3 is more than just “a little better” or “better at just a few games.”

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            The problem: you already have to be convinced of VR to realize that paying 100% more for the improvements may be a good deal. Regular users only see very similar looking specs: XR2 Gen 1 vs XR2 Gen 2, 1832×1920 vs 2064×2208 resolution, whatever MR is with PR images that look the same as previous gen VR sales material.

            You basically first have to try both Quest 2 and Quest 3 to understand the difference, and very few first time buyers will have done that. Meta has to actively sell the benefits to get someone trying VR for the first time to pay double, and like VR in general, the difference is extremely hard to explain, it has to be experienced.

          • JakeDunnegan

            That’s a fair point. And you’re right – it’s on Meta to start advertising the benefits of Q3 if they want it to actually be the next generation.

            Perhaps they’re waiting until they sell off more of their backlog of Q2 product. (Also, as some have noted, 3 years is a short life for a console, so perhaps they’re trying to extend that a bit.)

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            I doubt they are waiting for more of their Quest 2 backlog to be sold, as they’ll probably just replace it with a cheaper to produce/sell variant. My guess is they also don’t know how to properly communicate the advantages without actually demonstrating them. It’s hard to sell even to enthusiasts.

            Better graphics sounds nice, clearer image sounds nice, hires color passthrough sounds nice, but irrelevant for someone not interested in MR, which is hard to explain by itself. Many have experiences with older HMDs and an idea what improved resolution, performance, graphics or clarity could mean. But it’s pretty difficult to properly describe the impact of pancakes besides “much clearer” and “wouldn’t go back to Fresnel”.

            I absolutely understand why many are doubtful and hesitant to spend USD 500+ for what sounds like a moderate upgrade from their Quest 2 for playing mostly the same games. And many will only be convinced once they had a chance to try it themselves. I have no idea how Meta could even try to make non VR users grasp that. It would be much easier if they had some kind of MR killer app, providing an easy to point to advantage. But so far promoting MR has raised more questions than it provided answers.

          • Stefan

            Honestly, I didn’t consider people just comparing product webpages and in-store spec sheets. But you’re right, of couse, that is what many less tech-savvy people do. Unfortunately, VR is still at a level where a new generation of headsets is improving on the previous generation’s flaws instead of just innovating around a peaked-out core experience.

            With the need to still sell Q2 (because of the Q3 price tag), Meta has really put themselves between a rock and a hard place here: In order to actually promote their higher-tier HMD, they would have to seriously degrade their more entry-level product in ads.

        • Nevets

          That’s what everybody says but I returned mine because the dark shadow on the far side of the lenses, paticularly the right hand side, was both immediately noticeable and immersion breaking. I’m hoping it was a defective unit but I’ve read it’s an issue with pancake lenses. If so, I wouldn’t put it at the same level as the godrays on the original Oculus Rift but it is certainly unexpected and not talked about. I will be getting a replacement soon so I will see.

    • digitaldeity

      Q2 is great, but there’s a noticeable difference in weight when wearing the Q3 and the fov is larger.

    • gothicvillas

      it sucks to be broke

  • Dragon Marble

    Oh my goodness, 100K+ Quest 2 sold last month. Not only is Q2 outselling Q3, it is also out selling PS5! But it must be a short term spike due to the discount. When I checked a month a ago, it was 13K Q2 vs 30K Q3. Q3 sales is not slowing down, though. It stands at 50K right now. In the long run, Q3 is going to dominate Q2 for sure.

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      Do you really think that people who didn’t buy a Quest 2 for USD 299 since 2020 did now because of a USD 50 discount? Isn’t it more likely that this is just the yearly sales peak for Quest HMDs, when people start buying them as Christmas presents? For enthusiasts the extra performance/features of the Quest 3 justify paying USD 499, but for most people a USD 299 HMD is still more attractive than a USD 499 HMD, esp. when they play the same games. And as discussed before, comparing the sales numbers close to the Quest 3 launch makes little sense, as these largely represent enthusiasts upgrading, not the “typical” buyer behavior.

      In the long run, Q3 is going to dominate Q2 for sure.

      Meta just announced we won’t see a Quest 3 price drop for a long time, with rumors of a 2024 USD 200 Quest 2 replacement, probably at Quest 2 performance level. So it is quite likely that Quest 2 class HMDs will outsell the enthusiast Quest 3 for a long time, with developers mostly targeting the vastly larger install base of the cheaper models. Quest 3 could remain restricted to the smaller enthusiast part of the Quest market, never dominating over Quest 2, with Quest 4 being introduced as a new next-gen base model again targeting the mass market and larger sales numbers.

      • Dragon Marble

        I think the discount played a major role. Both PS5 and Q2 got the holiday bump, but PS5 was beating Q2 before the discount, and now it’s Q2 beating PS5 by a lot.

        Before the discount Q3 was beating Q2 as well. Yes, it was Q3’s first month, so we cannot extrapolate those numbers. However, the value of Q3 will grow over time as more and more games look and play better on it than Q2. Once we start to see Q3 exclusives, Q2’s days will be numbered.

        Regardless, I think we are missing the real story here. Who cares if its Q2 or Q3. A VR platform is vastly outselling a console platform in terms of hardware!

        • Christian Schildwaechter

          Again, Quest has always sold most during the holiday season, so a lot of that performance could be just the usual, yearly cycle. And a VR platform is outselling a console platform on Amazon, but we don’t know how well the PS5 sells over more traditional sales channels like Target or Walmart.

          It is a little bit too early to declare a victory, since victory will be mostly decided by how many users keep using the platform and esp. continue to buy games/software for it. That’s pretty much the only thing really relevant for the platform to prosper, as it attracts more developers and investors, with the new titles those create then attracting more users.

          • Dragon Marble

            Exactly who’s winning is not the point. The point is that we shouldn’t call VR a niche anymore. In my circle of friends more people own a VR headset than a console or PC.

            The retention problem is real. But let’s not downplay the power of an already impressive install base. Even a headset in the closet is part of the addressable market. The devs always have the chance build the next great app to entice that user to take the headset out. Maybe it’s the next Assassin’s Creed, or maybe it’s the next Gorilla Tag. Innovation on the software side hasn’t stopped.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            Devs have to very optimistic to expect the reactivation of closeted HMDs. The “impressive install base” isn’t quite that impressive. Monthly numbers from late 2022 showed 6.37mn active users for ~17mn sold Quest 1/2, so 62.5% were unused, with no more apps bought. Surveys show that many still active use their Quest only once or twice per month. And dividing Quest store revenue by sold HMDs came to just USD ~100 in total app sales per Quest. 30% Meta’s 30% wouldn’t even cover the difference between production and sales price.

            I don’t care who is winning, I care about VR surviving. Ideally thriving, requiring at least 2x the active users, 4x the app sales. And I’m not as optimistic as you regarding VR no longer being a niche. It will survive, largely thanks to Meta’s billions, but their attempts to grab more eye balls with the Metaverse in 2022 and Mixed Reality in 2023 didn’t really work out. Everybody is now hoping for AVP to push XR, but USD 3500 and only 200K units in 2024 will limit the impact. Once AVP is released, hope will shift to a Quest 3 lite, but I’d expect that to be mostly a cost reduced Quest 2 with color passthrough for USD 50 less than today, not enough rally the masses. I see the temporary or cyclical effects, but nothing indicating significant, sustained growth, not enough to attract large game developers or make the market self-sustainable.

          • shadow9d9

            6 million active users is a massive increase over active pcvr.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            That’s true, and comparing the number of reviews for games released on both Quest and PCVR hints that the ratio is about 4:1. But success for VR doesn’t depend on which VR platform has the most active users, but which platform has enough users to attract developers. And then the comparison is less with PCVR and more with Playstation or Xbox that get 1st class support from all the AAA studios. It doesn’t help if Quest passed PCVR and PSVR for a huge lead among the VR platforms, when to qualify you have to be in the global top 5, while no VR platform made the top 10.

          • Dragon Marble

            We don’t have to focus on the empty half of the glass. The original Quest put the VR market on a trajectory that continues today. There are more newcomers, and old indie studios are growing their teams and releasing bigger and better sequels.

          • Arno van Wingerde

            And there are more and better games coming out than ever before… but that may be a problem as well: I tend to buy lots of games in the hopes of liking a few, but now there are so many games on my head set I haven’t even played properly, that I will hold on on AC, even though it looks really good.

    • Arno van Wingerde

      Nope, I am with Christian on this: the ratio could even get worse, as I suspect the majority of sales are from Q2 upgraders, rather than from people new to VR – many of those people got the Q3 on or near day 1, of those that are not convinced yet, some will switch to Q3. Until Q3 lite, the user base for the stronger processor is so small, that most developers will not put too much effort into making full use of the Q3v- lessening the appeal over the Q2.

      • Dragon Marble

        That’s why I included PS5 as a benchmark, and tracked the data over time. Both Q3 and PS5 got a normal holiday bump; Q2’s jump was not normal. The discount on top of the price cut must have been the main driver.

        • Arno van Wingerde

          That, or a slew of attention-grabbing new games that start to show the potential a bit better than the first attempts we have seen too many of to date.

      • Christian Schildwaechter

        I actually thing that developer support for Quest 3 will be strong, but not because of large sales number. I was rather impressed that Meta announced during the Quest 3 launch that 100 developers would enhance their apps for Quest 3. This could only have worked if Meta had pulled a lot of strings in the background, and actively supported those developers for months to ensure Quest 3 wouldn’t launch with no apps showing what it is capable of. That support for developers may have been technical and/or financial.

        But this now sets a baseline of Quest 3 support that others will have to follow, if they want to avoid getting review bombed by Quest 3 owners complaining about a lack of visual upgrades for their HMD, when 100 other developers managed to offer them shortly after launch. Developers may not make back the money for the required extra effort through more sales to Quest 3 owners, but many will have to do it anyway due to some clever tactics by Meta. This will hit games going for a realistic look much harder than cartoonish or stylized titles like Job simulator, both because of higher expectations and lots of additional work to upgrade the graphics.

  • ViRGiN

    Never bought anything on Amazon the past few years.
    And for Meta stuff, I’ll always order from Meta directly.

    • Arno van Wingerde

      Where you buy it does not really matter – unless people buying from Meta are more inclined to buy the Q3, which is certainly possible, but I expect a similar 3:1 ratio as at Amazon.

  • impurekind

    Totally makes sense given the huge price difference.

  • kool

    I guess I’ll pick one up since I got a laptop now the 3 isn’t worth it yet but I do want to play pcvr for cheap

    • JakeDunnegan

      Now that I’ve gotten the Quest 3, I couldn’t imagine playing on the Quest 2 again.

      It’s like going from 720p to 1440p. It’s also far more responsive, etc.

      Of course, if you’re budget is $250, then it is what it is, but if you can spring for the Quest 3, it’s absolutely worth it. (Many of the Quest 2 games are getting graphics updates, and even those that aren’t still look better on the Quest 3.)

      • Arno van Wingerde

        I play a lot of VR and have the money, so I went for Q3. I find it nicer, but decidedly no 720p to 1440p. Compare Red Matter 2: sure it is somewhat nicer, but hardly a must-have.

        • JakeDunnegan

          In the end, most upgrades are rarely “necessary” until they are actually needed for compatibility or repair.

          And, I only mean it’s “like” going that much difference (720p, blah blah) – b/c it’s a very noticeable difference. (The literal numbers are far less noticeable as Christian has pointed out around here somewhere.)

          I’ve done upgrades on my PC and TVs from 1080p to 1440p, for instance, and done them from 1080 to 4k, etc. I’ve changed monitors/GPUs multiple times. The changes on all these things (as well as the Q2 and Q3) aren’t just the pixilation, but also the refresh rate.

          In the end, some upgrades are more noticeable to layman users (say for instance, my kids) than others.

          In my experience, this is one of them.

          Your mileage, obviously, will vary.

      • kool

        I probably will eventually buy one but it’s not a must have yet. Ill get the 2 to try out a bunch of games and see what I like then get a 3 when the price drops and make it multiplayer! I need more games to come out first. I still want a psvr2 and maybe a ps portal this year, I only have time to experiment right now anyway but thx!

        • JakeDunnegan

          Hey, I can always appreciate an enthusiastic adopter. ;) I have the PSVR1, but not the 2 – yet. I also have a couple of Quest 2s – and I do like the idea of multiplayer, but it hasn’t panned out as much as I’d hoped yet. Primarily b/c I buy all my games on one account and have only bought a couple copies of a few games.

          Speaking of which, that’s something I wish Meta would do – allow a single copy of a game to be played on more than one headset (at least locally, anyway). Kind of a kick in the nads to buy 2,3, 4 copies of the same game.

          If your option is no quest or a Quest 2- by all means, it’s still a serviceable unit – particularly for those games that aren’t as graphics intensive, like Beatsaber and the like. 100% worth it.

  • digitaldeity

    This isn’t good news for Apple who’s planned cheaper Vision Pro model coming out in 2025 is rumored to be in the range of $1500 to $2500.

    • Arno van Wingerde

      That is a very different market: if GM has trouble selling there higher models, it does not have to impact Ferrari’s sales. Apple has shown many times it can sell very expensive hardware, provided the experience is good enough. For “business uses” the price is much less of an issue than for gaming. An iPad can set you back $1000, but they sell probably more than Amazon’s Fire tablet at 1/10 of the price.

      • digitaldeity

        That must explain why everyone is rushing to buy the overpriced Apple Homepod.

  • Christian Schildwaechter

    PS4 and PS5 are different generations with ~4x CPU/5x GPU boost. Quest 3 offers 260% the GPU performance of Quest 2, but the CPU only 16% extra in GPU heavy apps. Games can look better on Quest 3, but can’t implement more complex physics/show more NPCs. Which makes Quest 2/3 one generation like PS4/PS4 Pro, with the mid-cycle model targeting enthusiasts with better graphics and some new features at a much higher price. Quest 3 won’t replace Quest 2. Unlike the jump from Quest 1, Meta said they’d sell in parallel. The base model still targets the budget sensitive masses buying Quest as Christmas presents.

    A 2024 USD 199 Quest 2 replacement would widen the price gap to 150% more for better graphics, lenses and mixed reality, which Quest 3 pushed from unusable to bearable, adding comfort, but still far from useful. Quest 4 could be a generational jump with compatibility braking features like much higher resolution and UI requiring eye tracking and working ETFR. Until then devs will appreciate Quest 2 and 3 being a single platform, most targeting the 20mn+ Quest 2 and some adding extra graphics for Quest 3. This was probably Meta’s plan, as a new HMD for 67% more outselling its predecessor wouldn’t happen, and expecting developers to support two separate HMDs in a small market would be pretty much platform suicide.

    What will it mean for the future of Quest?

    That the Quest platform has a future, that all Quest currently sold form a single development target, so the platform won’t be fragmented, making developers more willing to support it. It also means that things are going according to Meta’s plans, and that we shouldn’t confuse Meta hyping MR for attention (and against AVP) with Meta believing their latest VR HMD will be used mostly for MR.

    • VrSLuT

      Kneejerk passthru pivot into Apple’s (virtual) reality distortion field. Did you just get a job at Meta now helping them rationalize throwing good money after bad?

    • Andrey

      Well, if that’s true and Q2 and Q3 are parts of the same generation and Q4 will be a “generational jump”, then there is a very important question – what will stop Q4 from being in the same situation as Q3 is right now? The Q2 playerbase will only grow larger because of the factors you’ve mentioned (+ there will be more Q2 sold on the secondhand market as some people will upgrade to Q3 through time). So let’s imagine that we are three years in the future – it’s 2026, Q4 is announced during Meta Connect 2026. But there are still 30 – or even more by then – millions of “active” Q2 users and let’s say even 10 millions of Q3 users + some amount of rumored Q3 Lite users. Developers all this time were targeting Q2 or, at the very least, made their apps with Q2-compatibility in mind so it would work there as well because of the huge playerbase.
      Again, let’s imagine how Q4 will be – a new SoC (let’s say it will have 2x graphical power of Q3 and somewhat better CPU/more RAM), bigger screen resolution (most probably still LCD though). Controllers and lenses are the same. Not sure about AR capabilities (depth sensor and RGB cameras) – either it still will be there, but it won’t affect the total price of the device as much as it affected it in case of Q3, or will be removed because Meta will realize that for most Quest users (=gamers) it was nothing more than a gimmick they never really used after first couple of months. Finally, there should be “an innovation” part and, imo, it finally will be eye tracking time to shine for mainstream Quest device lineup (because if Q4 won’t have it by 2026, it will be a DOA headset by then).
      Knowing Meta by the last couple of years (how they stopped trying to make VR mainstream and started to sell hardware without loosing much money – at least trying to do that), Q4 definitely won’t cost 300$. 400$? Maybe if AR functionality will be thrown away and for the base model will less storage space… But I still think it will be the same 500$, more of “enthusiast grade” kind of device.
      What I am trying to say – why people would upgrade to Q4 from Q2 or even Q3, especially if everything will be as you’ve mentioned (all applications will be created with Q2 in mind, so Q3 true potential won’t be revealed or, at least, apps won’t be as good as it could be if it were Q3 only)? Everyone will be taught by experience that all the games for Q4 will still support Q2 or at least Q3/Q3 Lite, so buying a completely new device – especially for 500$ and for ones who already have a headset – only for some new feature that is not something exceptional and hypotetical 2x processing power that won’t be used that much is a pretty doubtful action.
      The only way to resolve this problem, in my opinion, is a very strong lineup of Q4 exclusive games with announcments on the day of Q4 reveal. And I can’t emphasis this much enough – very strong lineup. Something like Call of Duty, GTA and Skyrim games announcements at the same time, even if it will be just ports. But again, knowing Meta, I don’t think everything is happening according to their plan right now and that it will be like I said above in 2026. Just like they rushly removed depth sensor from Quest Pro and suddenly decided to change direction from social VR to gaming not so long ago (and still didn’t do anything about that really), I think all of that is nothing more than a bad desicion making and trying to play on two fields (AR/MR and VR) at the same time + trying to fight Apple with their future AVP early on with purpose of taking the mass adoption of a AR niche in mind while saving the face of AR/VR pioneers.
      “Content is a king” (c) but there is just no content (if we are talking about AAA and somewhat AAA-like experiences) – Assassins Creed just released, Asgard’s Wrath 2 will be released pretty soon. After that we will need to wait until 2024 MQGS that can happen even in June and not during springtime – so another half a year without announcements – and even when MQGS will take place, it still will be just a bunch of trailers with future releases while all the juice stuff – like the poor GTA SA VR – will be announced with a very distant future in mind.
      So, even if I am agree that Quest platform has a future, I don’t think all of us will need shades because it’s definitely won’t be the brightest one, at least in the coming 3 years of somewhat stagnation. But, again, only future will tell and I will be happy to be wrong.

      • Christian Schildwaechter

        Quest 3 sells way above Meta’s USD 300 impulse buy threshold, which they pushed hard to keep Q2 below. A high Q3 price forces Meta to keep Q2 as baseline, taking away Q3 sales. So Meta stopping Q2/Q3 sales should help, once Q4 has launched for USD ~300 with depth sensor, color passthrough and eye tracking. Zuckerberg said they don’t try to make money from (baseline) HMDs. Q4 would run all apps for Q2/Q3, still targeted first by devs. But Q4 could grow faster with a lower (subsidized) price, no internal competition and significantly improved features, making Q4 exclusive apps more attractive.

        IMHO the expensive Q3 parts Q3 are optics and SoC. Tracking/passthrough cameras are cheap, and Sony sells the TOTL AVP depth sensor for USD ~7. The issue is processing power needed for all the sensor data, with power the main problem, making MR works better on Q3 than QPro, and tanking battery life. I’d expect Q4 to be much faster (Q3 severaly underclocks the CPU) to handle eye tracking/ETFR etc., allowing new features to become actually useful, and Q4 hardware like pancake lenses, displays to get cheaper.

        Lineup: no AAA without a much larger active user base, requiring low cost hardware. Quest store sales/ratings don’t even support Meta paying for AAA, most users buy casual games, and RE4/MoH neither sold great nor boosted the platform. Like Q3, AAA seems mostly a VR enthusiats thing.

      • Arno van Wingerde

        A really simple difference for Q4 would be OLED, combined with some CPU/GPU/RAM gains. Voila: everything looks much better automatically, especially stuff with blacks, such as horror/space stuff. PSVR2, while being a horrible device otherwise, clearly shows the difference. Then add streaming games and the enthusiasts will flock to it, whereas “normal” people start with the simple option to see whether they like that VR thingy. I was in a way dismayed how excellent Red Matter 2 with new textures looks on Q2: Q3 is nicer, but not enough to recommend people to shell out extra money to start with a Q3: try a Q2 and upgrade to Q3 if you really like it.

        • Andrey

          The problem is that, as far as I know, pancake lenses need a very bright displays to work correctly and, f.e. PSVR2 or even Quest 1 OLED displays won’t work with it. So the only real alternative is MicroLED displays and Meta wasn’t able to add it even in 1500$ device, so I highly doubt that it will appear in Q4. Maybe in QPro 2 or whatever it will be called (the one that will be created in partnership with LG), but most probably not in a 300-500$ device. Though if during those 3 years displays will evolve and there will be relatively cheap MicroLED/bright OLED displays availible, I will be very happy if Q4 or even QPro2 will have real black color and not this muddy dark grey of Q2/Q3.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            Large OLED panels won’t work with pancake lenses, but micro OLED displays do. The basic problem is always that pancakes lengthen the optical path through internal reflections/refractions, controlled by polarizing lens coatings and losing about 90% of the light.

            OLED displays consist of lots of self-illuminating pixels, radiating in all directions. So only a small part of the light even hits the pancake lens, which would then lose another 90%. That is less of a problem with LCD, where a uniform white backlight is reflected mostly in one direction through adjustable polarizing color filters, causing more light to reach the lens, and more brightness from the backlight than OLED.

            Micro-OLED uses a backlight consisting of individually controlled white OLEDs that send light through color filters like with LCD, but more efficient, as brightness is controlled directly on each single micro OLED with high contrast like regular OLED panels. The light is directed forward through the filters, and tiny lenses on top of these focus the light even more, so most of it makes it to the pancake. To further increase brightness, Apple uses two stacked layers of white micro OLEDs, currently leading to horrible yields and USD 350 per display, and each AVP needs two. These prices should come down over time.

          • Leisure Suit Barry

            PSVR is overly bright though, most people have to turn the brightness down.

  • Kenny

    Asking gamers to buy a new console every 3 years is a big ask. See Sony / Microsoft for a more reasonable release schedule. I get that VR is changing rapidly but still…

    • ViRGiN

      Nobody asked. It’s simply an offer.

    • philingreat

      people buy smartphones every year or every other year for a $1k

      • Hokhmah

        Yes but normally people just extend their mobile contracts and pay for their new smartphone as part of the monthly fee instead of whipping out $1k on the spot.

      • Christian Schildwaechter

        Depending on survey, ~10-20% buy a new phone yearly, more than 50% only every 3-4 years. Much depends on whether they get a “free” phone with every new 24-months contract, but in general people now upgrade less frequently due to smaller improvements. The average US consumer smartphone cost USD 823 in 2023, up from USD 560 in 2020, when prices started to shoot up. USD 1K is expected by 2025. Interestingly enterprise phones plateaued at USD ~830.

        Some people buy USD 1K phones each year, but that’s a small minority. And it’s not a good argument for high prices/frequent updates of other electronics devices. Today phones are essentials, consoles/VR HMDs are not. You’d have to at least compare price per hour of usage. Given ~40% retention rate for Quest and the yearly increase in VR activity after Christmas, followed 2-3 months later by a similarly large drop, a USD 299 Quest 2 is statistically a worse investment than excessive phone upgrades. 100h of total usage time for a (not enthusiast) Quest 2 is very optimistic, dividing live user counts by devices sold gives much lower numbers, while people now spend 3h+/day with their phone. Someone replacing a USD 500 phone every 4 years pays USD ~0.11/h, USD 1000/yearly costs USD 0.87/h, compared to USD 3.00/h or 27x/3.4x for the average Quest 2.

  • Blaexe

    Not hard to predict Christmas 2024. Quest 3 Lite will outsell Quest 3 by far. Price is king.

    • Johna

      I second this. And what will be the main difference between q3 and q3 lite? Right: no mixed reality. Maybe the whole point of this article isn’t really on target. At least not short to mid term. I personally would put the emphasis on the 2,5 factor of gpu capability of the new ship… the excellent pancakes and mr will be reserved for the fewer customers willing to pay more.

      • shadow9d9

        And pancake lenses, which is the biggest feature of the Q3.

  • Maus07

    As a Quest 3 owner, I’am worried for this Quest 2 sales. Not for the sake of MR (like this article suggests), but the time it will take before developers will unlock the full potential of the Quest 3 and Quest 3 Lite chip.
    Funny how the above article does not seem to mention Quest 3 lite and the suspected lack of good MR features. The Quest 3 lite might actually slow MR development a lot more in the future then the Quest 2 does this black friday.

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      Most people expect the Quest 3 lite to be a Quest 3 without MR features, but there is no way they could do that for USD 200. Qualcomm priced the SD8 Gen 2 rather high, so an XR2 Gen 2 will probably also be rather expensive, while the extra sensors for MR are rather cheap.

      It is much more likely that the Quest 3 lite will basically be a cost reduced Quest 2 with added MR features. So it would keep the Quest 2 performance level, possibly even the XR2 Gen 1, stick with Fresnel lenses, but replace two of the lowres b/w tracking cameras with hires color cameras. These add very little cost, and with some clever redesign and updated components this might allow to push the production price of the by then almost four years old Quest 2 plus minor upgrades to below USD 200. Such a device would replace a more expensive to produce Quest 2 while running the same apps at similar performance, and in addition could run many new MR apps in bearable fashion. Not as well as Quest 3, but it could sell in much larger numbers than Quest 3 for 2.5x the price, quite important to get developers to support MR.

      • Arno van Wingerde

        Hm… wouldn’t the Gen 2 price come down after a bit, particularly if you are such a big customer and ask really nicely? Like is the gen 2 actually much more expensive to produce or were these mainly development costs?

        • Christian Schildwaechter

          Qualcomm offers the previous top SoC cheaper once a successor is available, but the XR2 line is not frequently updated. They probably lower the XR2 prices over time, but AFAIK they didn’t lower the price for their smartwatch SoC (already outdated at launch) for five years. Nobody else offered watch SoCs, so everybody had to buy Qualcomm’s ancient crap anyway.

          Production costs aren’t known, but Qualcomm charges USD 160 per SD8 Gen 2, which is a lot. Apple’s A16, produced on the same 4nm TSMC process with similar complexity costs USD 110. Production costs for both should be similar.

          The reason is Qualcomm being dicks, because they can. They blackmail the mobile industry into buying expensive modem chips, and there are horror stories about Snapdragon SoCs intended for Windows ultrabooks. The chips were fine, but Qualcomm forcefully bundled them with power converters for higher margins. The bundled ones were for low power phones, several were needed per notebook, requiring more expensive PCBs with added layers. Manufacturers couldn’t even trash the converters and use decent ones due to a proprietary protocol. In the end Qualcomm had to compensate manufacturers for the extra cost their greed had caused. And they did that to much larger customers than Meta.

          • Arno van Wingerde

            OK, I take that as a “no”.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            It’s not really a “no”, more a “don’t count on Qualcomm being nice”. It could be Qualcomm’s strategic interest to ensure that everyone releasing XR HMDs will (continue to) use their SoCs. So they might be willing to sell those much cheaper to Meta, though the price of Quest 3 doesn’t look like that.

            I suspect that Meta’s previous attempts to create their own chips were largely driven by wanting to reduce costs, as it was very unlikely that they’d manage to quickly produce faster SoCs than Qualcomm with decades of experience. But both companies have now entered a long-year partnership, so maybe the threat of the biggest HMD manufacturer leaving helped Meta to negotiate very favorable terms. I really don’t know.

            I’d still expect a Quest 3 Lite to use a (now cheaper) XR2 Gen 1, or maybe the XR2+ Gen 1 from Quest Pro, as Meta would have to pay USD ~100 for each XR2 Gen 2 just to cover Qualcomm’s production costs, which isn’t feasible for a USD 200 HMD.

    • flynnstigator

      You don’t have to wait for devs to unlock the full potential of the Q3. Quest Games Optimizer is $13 and you can pretty much max out the resolution and framerate of most games. It’s a night and day difference, to the point where I haven’t used my PC for VR at all since I installed QGO. Eventually I’ll go back and finish Half-Life: Alyx and other PCVR-only games, but I don’t bother booting up the PC for cross-buy games anymore.

      • eadVrim

        Games are not only “the resolution”

  • eadVrim

    I think most people don’t differentiate between Quest 2 (VR) and Quest 3 (VR-MR). Buying it thinking they could play games and experiences in Mixed Reality.

    • Arno van Wingerde

      Well, things may change someday, but MR is not even in my top 10 of resons to prefer the Q3 over the Q2: are you really enjoying first encounters that much? One day, the may be slewes of excellent MR games, but for now I am not impressed.

      • eadVrim

        Eleven Table Tennis was in the (trash) of my Steam Library since 2017, Now cause of MR I play it mostly everyday. Mixed Reality was too the top marketing reason of the Q3 and it is a great added value. (Sketchfab Flimin XR, Youtube SBS, The cabin XR, Pool XR …)

        • Arno van Wingerde

          Fascinating! I got the Q3 for its better lenses, more storage, faster CPU/GPU, better pass through etc. MR is not anywhere close to that for me, but I hope to be surprised one day. For instance the cabin XR sounds like fun…. if they would bother to update the graphics for a more adult public!

          • JakeDunnegan

            Same here – I love the Q3 – but MR wasn’t even remotely what I was thinking about when I got it.

            When it evolves, it may end up being something cool – but, I’m perfectly fine to wait and enjoy it for what it is.

  • Marc-André Désilets

    Whatever people say that’s still a lot of people buying meta headsets! In both cases it’s a win win for them

  • Bram

    It’s going to be interesting to see if the quest 3 will actually have a substantially larger retention rate than the quest 2, which might actually happen for two reasons: the quest 3 is a much better and attractive hmd in daily use (better graphics, lenses,larger fov, more comfortable wearing etc) and also the people buying the quest 3 and spending already more money on it initially are the more serious enthusiast users more devoted to VR. Meta will surely notice this and if the case it might affect their strategy for the positive of higher-end premium hmd’s.

  • VR5

    Having a heterogeneous audience is not a problem really. The main software market for Quest currently is VR games and they can be played on all three recent headsets. Media consumption is also possible on all devices.

    Mixed reality kind of requires the Quest 3 and a slow adoption doesn’t help its emerging market of MR apps. But that also ensures it won’t eclipse the other market any time soon. Of course it’s vital to capture a larger mainstream market beyond games (because many are alienated by the isolating aspect of VR) but having both passthrough apps and VR can ease that audience in and get them hooked on fully immersive apps also. You don’t actually need that many or that high budget/meaty MR apps to appeal to the mainstream audience if it it mainly serves as a gateway.

    MR on Quest 3 is like VR on Quest 1, early days/test run. Create a hype and give devs time to figure out the possibilities. Quest 3 will also get another push from AVP if that is received well.

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      VR on the 2019 Quest 1 was already pretty advanced. MR on Quest 3 is more like VR on the 2014 Rift DK2: not as bad and grainy as on DK1/Quest 2, but still lacking real room tracking or hand controllers. MR on Quest 3 currently can’t do object occlusion, which is pretty essential. You cannot connect multiple guardians, so you can’t define an extended playing field that devs could use for dynamic level design. You can’t have obstructions like chairs dynamically appear in your VR session, instead you still have to mark a large, obstacle free area first.

      You can attach virtual things to the walls, or have objects come out of the walls, but what most MR apps offer is actually just color passthrough, there is no interaction with your actual environment, it just serves as a different type of horizon. I agree with the early days/test run, only think that these are the very early days, where the tech is basically not anywhere near consumer ready, and useful only for some comfort features and experiments.

  • Well, since the launch of Quest 3 I’m saying everywhere that people do not know the value of mixed reality, so they will not be interested in it. And I’m not the only one saying that, also the god John Carmack is. So am I surprised by these numbers? Not at all. The moment we will start having 2-3 popular MR applications, things may change, but that day is not today.

  • Martin

    Everyone’s broke. This is a surprise?

  • Nicholas

    At such a low price you might as well get a quest 2, and if you fall in vr love you just trade it in later for a quest 3. Personally I am going to keep my quest 2 and wait for another model that has eye tracking.

  • Ardra Diva

    it’s a fire sale but those people are going to be delighted with what they get for that price point. I’ve moved on to Quest 3 because the AR content is really the killer feature and a peek into what’s truly “next” in the entertainment world.

  • Average Gamer

    People just want something they can plug into their laptop or desktop and play VRChat or their sim games with. No body care about MR or the improved SoC in the Quest 3. The people who care counts for such a small minority.

    This is why Meta need to pray that Valve does not release their standalone HMD at $500 or lower cause it will kill the market for people who buy the Quest for it ability to connect to Steam.