Facebook and Oculus announced today that they will discontinue their Oculus Go VR headsets to allow the company more room to work “in the next VR chapter.”
The announcement came in a blog post on the Oculus website, as well as an email to Oculus owners who thanked them for their interest in the headphones and gave them a schedule of when the headphones will be released to greener pastures. .
Oculus will continue to maintain system software with bug fixes and security patches until 2022, according to the publication. However, it also says it won’t add or update apps and games after December 4, 2020.
If you have one, now is the time to load it with software.
While it’s disappointing to see Oculus launch a device that helped trigger the virtual reality revolution, the company says it relies on user feedback from the audience that says loud and clear that 6-DOF headphones like Oculus Quest feel like the future of virtual reality and, to that end, “will double to improve our offerings” in the future.
The Death of 3-DoF Headphones
Much of the Oculus Go cancellation has to do with inside-out tracking software that could only detect three degrees of freedom (3-DoF), basically just turning the head but not the actual body movement.
The Oculus Go was one of the most popular 3-DoF VR headsets to use the technology in conjunction with the Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream, all of which have been discontinued by their respective manufacturers and replaced by six-degree-of-freedom headsets like the Oculus. Quest, HTC Vive and Valve Index.
Although it was less immersive than its 6-DoF counterparts, the Oculus Go offered entry-level VR enthusiasts affordable access to the medium without a large investment, a niche we hope to see replaced in the future.
We’ve heard rumors that Oculus Quest 2, codename ‘Del Mar’, is in development now, but its release date has been pushed back to 2021 at the earliest.
We will miss our early and inexpensive portal to virtual reality, but like the transition from 8-bit to 16-bit or HD to 4K consoles, the march of technology is inevitable and, most of the time, the best.