The Obsolescence of Oculus Quest 1: An Unfortunate Reality

The Oculus Quest 1, a device that was launched in 2019, is already facing a phase-out. In May, new apps released in the Quest Store will no longer be playable on the Quest 1. This decision does not stem from a lack of power in the Quest 1 to run these apps but rather from a strategic move by developers. Meta, the company behind Oculus, announced this planned obsolescence last year, signaling an end to the Quest 1 era in the virtual reality landscape.

Starting from April 30th, new apps developed solely for Quest 1 compatibility will not be accepted in the Quest Store. Developers will be unable to upload new Quest 1-specific apps, and even builds that support multiple headsets, including Quest 1, will have Quest 1 support blocked. This means that Quest 1 users may soon find themselves limited to existing apps, as new updates and releases phase out their device.

Meta revealed last year that support for Quest 1 was coming to an end, with security updates and bug fixes scheduled to cease by August of this year. Additionally, Quest 1 users have already experienced a loss of certain social features, adding to the growing list of limitations for these users. The Oculus SDK stopped supporting Quest 1 in April 2023, further isolating early adopters of this VR headset.

The situation surrounding the Quest 1 raises concerns about planned obsolescence in the virtual reality industry. Unlike traditional console generations that offer clear graphical upgrades and longer lifespans, the Quest 1 is facing premature retirement after just five years on the market. The release of the Quest 2 only 18 months after its predecessor adds to the frustration for Quest 1 users, who are now being nudged towards an upgrade in a seemingly abrupt manner.

Meta’s approach to phasing out the Quest 1 raises questions about the value proposition for users. Instead of a clear incentive based on technological advancements, Quest 1 owners are being pushed towards an upgrade with diminishing support for their current device. This lack of transparency and consumer choice highlights the need for more ethical practices in the VR industry. As users are left pondering their next move, the question remains: What about Valve’s new Index headset?

Gaming

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