Facebook is officially killing off the Oculus Rift line – ProWellTech
Facebook is officially killing the Rift.
The company showed off its latest headphones at its recently renamed Facebook Connect online event today, but also revealed that it would stop sales of the PC-based Oculus Rift S early next year. Facebook will soon sell only the new Quest 2, and prompting users interested in PC VR to connect their headsets to a PC using Oculus Link software, which the company debuted last year.
A statement from an Oculus spokesperson to ProWellTech fully confirms the collapse of the PC VR line, “… we are fully focused on the Quest platform as the best of both worlds for all-in-one and PC gaming, so we won’t make any futures. Rift earphones or PC only. “
After a publicized campaign on Kickstarter, a Facebook acquisition, several developer kits, and some delays, the original Oculus Rift began shipping its first units in early 2016. In subsequent years, the arm’s hardware strategy Facebook’s virtual reality has intertwined dramatically.
Since CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the company’s three distinct product lines in 2018 (Oculus Go, Oculus Quest, and Oculus Rift), the company has moved on to negotiate its product offerings and go all-in on its standalone offering. which does not require a PC or smartphone to function. This year, Facebook announced the end of both the Go and Rift lines. The narrowing of device offerings is part of the feature expansion for the latest Quest 2 headphones, but it also comes after months of crippling product shortages for the company’s entire line of VR headsets, including its heavily advertised Quest headset, which was not available or in low stock for most of 2020.
In 2018, ProWellTech reported that Oculus had suddenly canceled Rift 2’s in-house development and that Oculus co-founder Brendan Iribe was leaving the company, in part, due to his frustrations with managing the company’s PC-based hardware. company and the shelf of the “complete redesign”. We later reported that Oculus had plans to release a more modestly updated headset called the Rift S, which would adopt the Quest’s tracking capabilities.
When Facebook unveiled the Rift S months later, they shared that unlike the Quest, which was developed entirely in-house, the PC-based headset was designed and developed with Lenovo. At the time, Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell, who has since left the company, classified the device as “more of a Rift evolution than a revolution,”” indicating that the device was not a full sequel.
It’s clear from today’s announcement that Oculus intends to completely double down on standalone VR, allowing gaming PC users to continue to access existing content and titles built for platforms like SteamVR.
It’s unclear how important it is for Oculus to consider PC-based VR for the company’s future. While Quest 2 can be connected to a PC via its Oculus Link software (due out of beta soon), it seems unlikely the company will continue investing in PC-based content at the same pace it has in the past. When asked during a pre-briefing if the company plans to reduce its investment in PC VR content, Oculus Head of Developer Strategy Chris Jurney pointed to the ongoing development of previously announced PC titles, noting that the creation of games for Quest “took the lead from the developers. “