Meta unveils a $25-per-month, interest-free Quest 3 payment plan. Is this deal worth it?

Meta's new payment plan aims to make VR more accessible, but it's not a good deal for everyone.
Written by Artie Beaty, Contributing Writer
Quest 3 headset with blue straps
Jason Hiner/ZDNET

If you've been on the fence about jumping into the world of VR headsets, Meta has a new offer that just might entice you. Pay attention, though, because it's not the best choice for everyone.

Meta yesterday announced a new "Play Now, Pay Later" plan. For $24.99 per month for 24 months with 0% interest, you can get a Meta Quest 3 headset with 128GB of storage, a two-year subscription to Meta Quest+, which provides a library of games similar to Xbox Game Pass or PlayStation Plus, and extended Meta Warranty Plus coverage for your new device.

Paying an additional $10 per month gets you the 512GB version.

Also: Meta Quest 3 review: The VR headset most people should buy in 2024

The payment plan is powered by Affirm, a popular "buy now, pay later" service that's popping up all across the internet, and is subject to approval. "If approved," Meta says, "you'll end up spending less than you would if you purchased each item individually."

Unfortunately, that's not true in all cases. I went through the process of adding the two different bundles to my cart. Here's how the numbers break down.

With everything included, the 128GB headset bundle comes to $599.76. Individually, the headset costs $500, the warranty $40, and the Meta+ subscription $192. Meta says that's a savings of $131.98, but that's not entirely accurate because that Quest+ subscription estimate is for the $7.99-per-month plan. You can pay that, but there's also an option to pay $60 per year. Since you're getting a two-year subscription, it would be more fair to estimate that price at $120 instead of $192.

If you purchase a two-year Quest+ subscription, a 128GB Quest 3 headset and the extended warranty, you'd pay $660. Meta's new interest-free bundle would thus save you $60.

For the 512GB headset, though, the numbers look different. Meta's bundle cost is $840. Adding together the $650 headset, the $120 Quest+ subscription, and the $50 warranty brings you to $820. This means it's cheaper to buy the individual parts if you want the headset with more storage.

For either headset, you have 30 days to change your mind if you don't like it.

Also: Who's afraid of VR? I was - until I tried Meta Quest 3

Is this deal worth it? 

With the 128GB headset bundle, you are saving $60, which is nice. The real appeal, though, is spreading payments over two years with no interest. If you're interested in the 512GB bundle, this deal won't save you any money, but it will let you spread out the payments. 

If you wanted just get the 128GB headset and games subscription alone, you'd be paying $620, meaning the bundle saves you $20 and you get a free warranty thrown in. If you were only interested in the headset and warranty without a subscription, you'd pay $540, meaning the bundle won't save you any money. 

For the 512GB headset, either the headset and subscription pairing or the headset and warranty pairing are cheaper than the trio bundle, which doesn't save you money anyway.

Also: Why I returned my Apple Vision Pro and Meta Quest 3 for these XR glasses

Apple's Vision Pro sparked new interest in VR for a lot of people, and Meta's new deal seems like it's trying to capitalize on that by making it easier to purchase a device that's already a fraction of the price.

If price is still a barrier for you, there is a rumored Meta Quest 3S on the way, a more affordable version of the headset with a stripped-down design.

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