Meta heralds end of original Oculus Quest

Meta heralds end of original Oculus Quest

Oculus Quest’s days are numbered: Support ends next year and there will be no more new features.

Meta sent the news via email to owners of the original Quest.

We launched Quest 1 over four years ago and we are grateful to the Quest 1 community for pushing VR forward. As we look to the future, we remain committed to supporting the community of Quest 1 users and will continue to support the headset with a few changes:

  • You will still be able to use your Quest 1 headset and available apps.
  • We won’t be shipping new features to Quest 1.
  • We plan to continue maintaining the system software with critical bug fixes and security patches until 2024.
  • Quest 1 users will no longer be able to create or join a party.
  • Quest 1 users who currently have access to Meta Horizon Home social features will lose access to these features on March ‌5, ‌2023. You won’t be able to invite others to your Home or visit someone else’s Home.

The slow end of Oculus Quest

Oculus Quest launched in May 2019 and was replaced in October 2020 by the much-improved Oculus Quest 2, which has been officially called Meta Quest 2 since Facebook renamed it Meta in October 2021. That in turn is expected to be replaced by Meta Quest 3 this year.

If support for Oculus Quest lasts until the end of 2024, the device would have had a lifespan of almost five years. However, the fact that it was no longer the focus of Meta’s attention became apparent much earlier: The first Quest 2-exclusive titles appeared just one year after Meta Quest 2’s market launch.

That said, many of the new features that the newer headset received over time also came out for Oculus Quest at the same time or with a bit of a delay.

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In the summer of 2022, Meta announced that the Battle Royale game Population: One, developed by an internal studio, would soon no longer be playable with Oculus Quest – a first in Meta’s store policy.

At the same time, Meta was said to be working on giving third-party developers a way to retroactively disable support for VR apps on Oculus Quest. But Population: One remained a one-time thing.

Meta Quest 2 will follow the same path starting this year

The fact that Meta is announcing the end of Oculus Quest after almost four years is anything but surprising: The device’s chip, a Snapdragon 835, was already obsolete in 2019 and slowed down app development for Meta Quest 2, as VR studios optimized most of it for both systems, i.e. the lowest common denominator, until 2021. In the meantime, many new VR games will be released only for Meta Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro.

The same fate will befall Meta Quest 2, especially if Meta Quest 3 becomes a runaway success. If Meta keeps the same schedule, the first exclusive Meta Quest 3 titles that use the full power of the chip could be released as early as late 2024.

If the rumors so far are true, the VR headset will get a brand new SoC that will outshine Meta Quest 2’s Snapdragon XR2 and provide VR studios with new tools and capabilities.