Meta’s latest quarterly results show its Reality Labs XR division is again reporting an operating loss just south of $4 billion. Now, for its Q2 2023 results, the company says Reality Labs’ revenue was down by 39% due to lower Quest 2 sales, making for the worst quarterly performance in the past two years.
Meta has been clear about its plan to spend aggressively on XR over the next several years, so it’s again no surprise we’re seeing operating budgets in the billions with only a fraction of that coming back in via Quest 2 hardware and software sales.
In fact, Quest 2 sales play such an important role in Reality Labs’ quarterly performance that Meta has reported $276 million in revenue in Q2 2023, or 39% lower than last quarter.
Meta reported that Reality Labs expenses were $4 billion, which was up 23% since the same period last year. The company says this was due to lapping a reduction in Reality Labs loss reserves and growth in employee-related costs, bringing the XR division’s operating loss to $3.7 billion for Q2 2023.
Meta says it expects continued operating losses in the future, saying losses will likely “increase meaningfully year-over-year due to our ongoing product development efforts in AR/VR and our investments to further scale our ecosystem.”
Meanwhile, the company is preparing to launch Quest 3 in late 2023, the $500 follow-up headset that integrates many of Quest Pro’s mixed reality capabilities. Meta’s $1,000 Quest Pro has also reportedly been discontinued, however (without substantiating that particular claim) Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth implied earlier this month that a Quest Pro 2 isn’t off the table.
Apple’s Vision Pro is also looming, set to launch sometime next year. As rising tides lift all boats, hype around Vision Pro could actually benefit Meta in the short term. Apple’s $3,500 XR headset has attracted new attention to the space, however Meta’s consumer-friendly pricing and extensive game catalogue for Quest 3 may be well positioned this holiday to capitalize on that Apple-adjacent cachet.