Meta’s CTO explains why Quest is only sold in 23 countries

By | August 15, 2023

Image: Meta

Meta Quest would sell better if the headset was available in more countries. But it’s not that easy, as Andrew Bosworth explains.

Meta supports and ships Meta Quest headsets and products to 23 countries, including the United States and Canada, many but not all European Union countries, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan. For a complete list of supported countries and regions, check out the link in the sources below.

In the country where I live, Croatia, Meta Quest is not officially sold, which also means that there are no local support, which can cause a lot of problems in case of a warranty claim (speaking from experience). If I ever see Meta Quest 2 being sold in a store, it’s usually for the price of a Playstation VR 2 or more. Fortunately, there is an option to import devices at the regular price, but again without local support.

Entering new markets is not easy for Meta

It would be beneficial for Meta if the units were available in more countries as this would increase the potential market. However, this is easier said than done.

In his latest Q&A on Instagram, Meta’s Chief Technology Officer Andrew Bosworth explains why Meta Quest is not available in several countries. He was asked by a supporter when Quest units would be coming to Latin America.

“We want to be in every market. So why aren’t we? Well, because it’s not free to just start shipping your devices to every market. It seems like it would be, but it’s not .Once you have hardware, you must support it. You have to have on-site, local, sales support, marketing support, retail partnerships, the right content, the right translations, the right content policy, the right legal framework. And so there’s some overhead and there’s some markets that are too small, too underdeveloped relative to the price of the device for us to really invest in at this early stage.

There are other reasons as well. Political. How will politicians respond to a platform on which there is social activity and speech? What about protectionism? There are many regimes, especially in large Latin American countries, where it is very, very expensive to import a product and it actually makes it prohibitive for the market to develop. The price would be too high, but the manufacturing possibilities are not there, or we are not skilled enough to exploit them. So there are many reasons. We want to be everywhere, but we can’t yet’.

Incidentally, Meta Quest 2 was first released in Germany at the end of 2022. The reasons were political.

Bosworth welcomes another competitor

Bosworth also commented on other VR topics, such as Bigscreen Beyond, the world’s smallest PC VR headset, which will launch in the same timeframe as Meta Quest 3. Bosworth welcomes the competing product, which was developed in part out of a desire to break away from the dependency on Meta’s VR platform.

“I say this every time someone asks about a competitive product: I’m excited about it. I think it’s great to have people exploring the space with immersive technologies. It’s good for all of us. Every time someone makes a different set of trade-offs, we learn from it. With Bigscreen, you add the wire, you can see what big roads you can get if you don’t have onboard compute, thermals to deal with, how it changes the cost profile, how it changes the industrial design. So I think it’s always a good thing to have more people playing around with the different trading rooms you can operate on in our area. I haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but I’ve heard good things.”

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