Meta cancels F8 because it has its hands full with the Metaverse
Meta's developer conference F8 will not take place this year. This eliminates a possible date for the Cambria unveiling.
Meta announced the event's cancellation on its developer blog today. Meta, it says, is focusing on new initiatives tailored to the next chapter of the Internet and the company: building the Metaverse.
Last October, Facebook announced it would rename itself to Meta and radically focus on the Metaverse. The Facebook social network thus became one Meta product among others.
It was predictable that the Facebook developer conference F8 would lose importance as a result. The company's most important conference is now Connect for VR and AR products.
F8 would have been a good stage for Cambria
Facebook bought Oculus in 2014 and has been using the F8 platform to promote its VR and AR products ever since. Hardware has also played a major role there in the past. For example, the launch of Oculus Go was announced on the F8 stage in 2018, and just one year later, pre-orders for Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S began at the same location.
In 2020 and 2021, the developer conference was held online-only for pandemic reasons and didn't bring much news regarding virtual reality and augmented reality.
Meta deferred developers to the recently announced Conversations conference, limited to the company's messaging platforms and scheduled for May 19, and pointed to the next Connect for news on Meta's VR, AR and Metaverse products.
Project Cambria: No official news since the announcement
The company is launching a new VR headset this year. The device, codenamed Cambria, was unveiled at Connect last October. Since then, there have been many rumors about the VR headset, but no official information at all.
Cambria is technically the company's most sophisticated VR hardware to date. The device is packed with new technologies and is expected to become an important building block of the Metaverse, according to Meta.
With the cancellation of the F8, it is unclear when the new hardware might be unveiled in detail. A possible alternative would be the Meta Quest Gaming Showcase, which will take place on April 20.
That would be a bit unusual: For one, Cambria probably doesn't have a gaming focus like the Meta Quest 2, and for another, Meta will want to avoid Cambria stealing the show from gaming highlights. Hopefully, we won't have to wait until the next Connect in the fall for the hardware reveal.