Facebook has announced it is discontinuing the Oculus Go, its least expensive VR headset, to go all-in on Quest as part of the ‘next chapter’ of virtual reality.
An update on the Oculus blog spoke of a ‘fond farewell’ to Go, which will end sales this year, though the devices have been out of stock for some time. The primary reason for its demise, according to the blog, is user demand for more sophisticateed 6DOF (six degrees of freedom) products.
“Just past the one-year anniversary of Quest, we’re humbled by its continued success,” Oculus wrote. “The community response has been overwhelmingly positive, and you’ve told us loud and clear that 6DOF feels like the future of VR. That’s why we’re going all-in, and we won’t be shipping any more 3DOF VR products.”
Oculus Go won’t be bricked entirely, as bug fixes and security patches will continue through 2022. Yet it is Quest which will be seen as the future, a platform ‘where people have confidence in the quality of titles they’re buying and developers know their investments have a strong chance of success’, as Oculus put it. Upon the one year anniversary of Oculus Quest and Rift S in May, the company said more than $100 million had been spent on Quest content.
With this in mind, a further strategic tweak was announced with regard to Quest’s ecosystem. Starting at the beginning of 2021, Oculus said, developers will be able to share their apps without having to be accepted into the Oculus Store. While further details were thin on the ground, the original plan for the Oculus Store meant developers who saw their apps rejected would look to ‘sideload’ the applications through unofficial channels. The announcement of an ‘alternative distribution model’ will look to end this practice.
Facebook also announced the acquisition of Ready at Dawn, the creators of the Lone Echo game, earlier this week. Carrying on the theme of acquiring gaming studios – Beat Games, bought in November last year, springs to mind – Mike Verdu, VP of AR/VR content at Facebook, said ‘the future of groundbreaking content in VR has never looked brighter.’
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