Should You Buy a Quest 2 VR Headset for $300 Now, or Wait?
With the new Quest 3 coming soon and Sony PSVR 2 available now, here's what you need to know.
Scott SteinEditor at Large
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
ExpertiseVR and AR, gaming, metaverse technologies, wearable tech, tabletsCredentials
Nearly 20 years writing about tech, and over a decade reviewing wearable tech, VR, and AR products and apps
If you want a VR headset, now is the best and worst time. The Meta Quest 2, the most popular VR headset -- and still our favorite -- recently got a price drop to $299. Meta also launched a subscription game service for the Quest 2, called Quest Plus. And with Amazon Prime Day and other sales coming up, there could be even better deals. Right now, there is no better standalone VR headset than the Quest 2 at this price. But better options at higher prices are just around the corner -- and future sales could offer bigger discounts for the Quest 2 when those headsets arrive.
The Quest 2, which arrived in the fall of 2020, is still a great self-contained VR game console, fitness device and PC accessory. It's also a flexible tool for experimental uses like work, art or social apps like VRChat. There are lots of accessories that work with it, too, and Meta keeps updating the OS and features.
Meta's Quest Plus service, which will offer two games a month for $8 a month (or $60 a year), could be a way to bring the price for VR gaming even further. We haven't used Quest Plus yet, but the first four games already look promising.
The upcoming Quest 3, however, is a true next-gen update to the Quest 2 headset. Expected this fall, the Quest 3 will be more expensive at $500, but will also have a better processor and smaller redesigned controllers, and it will be able to scan the real world to blend VR into it to create mixed reality experiences. Those experiences could be like lower-res versions of what Apple's far more expensive $3,499 Vision Pro headset promises to deliver when it arrives sometime in 2024. The Quest 3 also looks like it'll do a lot of what the more expensive Quest Pro headset promised (minus the eye tracking) for a lot less.
I don't think any VR headset coming this fall, even on sale, will be as affordable and give you as much as what the Quest 2 does right now. In that sense, if you're a budget shopper, go for it. The Quest 2 still isn't something I'd recommend for kids, but there are lots and lots of parents I know who have their kids happily using the Quest 2 regardless. Meta has gradually been adding better parental controls, and has lowered the age for kid accounts to 10. You'll need to supervise your kids and make sure games are appropriate to try, but the Quest 2 is a fun family device if used properly and with safe supervision.
Do you want to spend $500? Consider the PSVR 2 or Quest 3
If spending more isn't an issue, there are other great options. The best possibilities are Sony's PSVR 2 and the upcoming Meta Quest 3. The latter will work as a standalone headset but will also double as a PC-connected one for PC VR gaming. The PSVR 2, which requires a PlayStation 5, runs a variety of more advanced games and also has added eye tracking and force-feedback game controllers. The PSVR 2 has a cable connecting it to the PS5, though, while the Quest 3 can work entirely on its own. And there are also plenty of strictly PC-connected VR headsets if you're looking mainly for PC VR.
Facebook likely won't support the Quest 2 forever, but it still seems committed to supporting it for a while (along with a new subscription gaming service). Plus, the Quest 2 shares the same app library as the Quest 3. As an entry ticket to experiencing VR, the Quest 2 is about as reasonable as you'll find. That's why it's still my top VR pick right now, and with Apple's multi-thousand-dollar device arriving next year, it only makes Meta's Quest pricing seem more reasonable for a superior VR experience.