Let’s talk about this.
Brendan Iribe, Oculus co-founder and former CEO, has announced that he is leaving Oculus (a division of Facebook) after six years.
TechCrunch reports that his departure is a result of Facebook’s cancellation of the “Rift 2” VR headset, which Iribe’s team had been working on. This was denied by Facebook, who told Variety that they are continuing plans for a future Rift headset.
With their recent announcement of Oculus Quest (a new standalone, wireless VR headset) has Facebook effectively killed off “tethered” VR devices? With the launch of Oculus Go earlier this year, and now the Quest (planned for next year), the company appears to have re-focused on standalone mobile headsets.
Facebook aims to make VR more accessible and affordable, but killing PC-based VR would severely limit their ability to deliver high-quality content that’s only possible with a powerful PC and graphics processor.
Here is Iribe’s Facebook post announcing his departure.
See below for more on this story from various sources:
According to Variety, Facebook’s VR subsidiary Oculus is looking to invest in location-based VR. They expect that partnerships with out-of-home virtual reality providers will help to sell VR headsets for home users.
Since acquiring Oculus in the spring of 2014, Facebook has focused mainly on development of VR hardware such as the Oculus Rift, Oculus Go, and Oculus Quest. With this new approach, the company is officially embracing the out-of-home VR market. This is consistent with an overall trend in the VR marketplace, as home usage has still not reached mainstream adoption levels.
Oculus has for some time worked with a few marquee partners in location-based entertainment. Most notably, Disney-backed VR startup the Void has been using modified Oculus headsets for its VR experience centers. Oculus further validated that partnership by inviting the Void to last week’s Oculus Connect conference, where the startup showed off its latest “Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire” experience to attendees.
That experience could also be a blueprint for how Oculus is going to approach location-based entertainment: Instead of just offering scaled-down versions of those experiences for users at home, the company may rely on companion pieces to tie in-home and out-of-home VR together.
This is an exciting development for VR overall, as a combination of in-home and out-of-home experiences can only provide more options for customers.
Variety‘s article can be found here.
Yesterday at Oculus Connect in San Jose, Facebook unveiled a new standalone virtual reality headset, the Oculus Quest. Calling it their first “all-in-one VR gaming system,” the Quest will not require a connected PC. It will include two Touch controllers (similar to the Oculus Rift), as well as provide six degrees of freedom (the ability to look and move in any direction in a virtual environment).
Priced at $399, the Quest will be available in Spring 2019 (no specific date announced yet). It will have the same resolution as Oculus Go: 1,600 x 1,440 pixels per eye, and include 64GB of onboard storage. It will use “inside-out” positional tracking via the use of four external cameras on the headset itself.
According to Facebook, the Quest completes their first generation of headsets:
With the introduction of Oculus Quest, we’ve completed our first generation of best-in-class VR headsets. Oculus Go remains the easiest and most affordable way to get into VR, while Oculus Rift leverages the power of your PC to push the limits of what’s possible. Thanks to Oculus Quest, we’re now able to combine the best of both worlds and welcome even more people into the VR community.
The new headset was previously known as “Santa Cruz” in earlier demos. More information is available at the Oculus website.