- Facebook parent Meta Platforms (META) announced that it would reduce selling prices for its Quest virtual reality (VR) headsets.
- The move comes amid a decline in Meta's VR shipments and pressure from activist shareholders to improve the financial picture of its metaverse division.
- Meta shares moved 6% higher following the announcement.
Meta Platforms (META) shares jumped 6% after the tech giant announced big price cuts for its virtual reality (VR) headsets.
Meta said the cost of the Quest 2 will drop $70 to $429.99, while the price of the higher-end Quest Pro will be slashed to $999.99 from $1,499.99. The changes for the Quest 2 begin Sunday, March 5. The reductions for the Quest Pro start March 5 in the U.S. and Canada, and on March 15 in other countries where it is supported.
The company explained that its goal has always been to "create hardware that's affordable for as many people as possible to take advantage of all that VR has to offer." It added that VR is "a powerful social platform and creative technology, and the more people with access to it, the better."
Jitesh Ubrani of market research firm IDC pointed out that Meta's year-over-year VR shipments plunged 93% in the fourth quarter, while those of Pico from rival ByteDance rose 110%. He argued that this was "one of the big reasons behind these price cuts."
Metaverse Unit Losses
Meta has also been feeling pressure to improve the finances of its Reality Labs, the company's metaverse unit, which includes the VR headsets. Activist investor Brad Gerstner, founder and CEO of tech-focused hedge fund Altimeter Capital, sent an open letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg in October calling for a pullback in metaverse spending. Meta reported in February that Reality Labs lost $13.72 billion in 2022.
With the gains posted on March 3, Meta Platforms shares are up 54% this year.