Oculus is ending the sales of its Oculus Go VR headset this year. The Facebook subsidiary announced the plans on its official website earlier this week. The company has also sent emails to Oculus Go owners, thanking them for their interest. It will now focus on building "the next chapter of VR."
While existing Oculus Go owners can continue using the headset, it will no longer receive new features from here on.
Facebook will also stop accepting new apps or app updates for the device after December 4, 2020. New apps won’t be published to the store after December 18, 2020. The company, however, promises to offer bug fixes and security patches to the headset through 2022.
Oculus Go is dying because 6DOF is the future
The Oculus Go was launched in May 2018 as an entry-level standalone VR headset. It supported three degrees of freedom (3DoF) and featured a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chipset and a 5.5-inch LCD panel with a 1280×1440 resolution and up to 72Hz refresh rate.
Facebook followed it with a far superior Oculus Quest in 2019. It features an OLED display with 1440×1600 resolution, a faster Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, and most importantly, 6DOF tracking.
This technology not only tracks the movement of your head but the actual body movement as well. And as per the company, consumers have made it clear that "6DOF feels like the future of VR".
Other similar offerings with 3DOF, such as the Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream have also been discontinued by their respecting manufacturers in the recent past. So this move from Oculus makes sense too.
Oculus says it'll no longer make 3DOF VR products. The company is doubling down on improving its Quest and Rift products instead. Reports are that a faster, smaller, and lighter Oculus Quest 2 is already in development.
It was initially planned for a late 2020 release but the current global health crisis may cause a delay. The second-generation Oculus Quest VR headset is now likely to arrive sometime next year.
Oculus announces a new way to distribute apps
In addition to announcing the end of Oculus Go, Facebook also announced that it is working on a new and easier way for developers to distribute Quest apps outside of the Oculus Store. Starting sometime in 2021, developers will be able to share their apps to anyone with a Quest headset.
The apps don't need to be accepted into the Oculus Store, neither users need to sideload it. Of course, apps distributed through this channel won’t qualify for the same technical standards as official Oculus Store apps. However, it will present developers with an easy way to test their apps in the early stage of development.
Facebook says it'll share more details on the new app distribution system later this year.