Oculus and sony boost production of gaming devices
Who can foresee this? Oculus is the manufacturer of virtual reality headsets such as Oculus Rift, Oculus Go, and Oculus Quest. They announced that in the near future, all their headsets will require a Facebook account to pair with them in order to continue to be fully functional. The stated reason for this change is "to make it easier to find, connect and play with friends in VR", although I wonder if there is more. Oculus was acquired by Facebook in 2015, and many of its users want to know how Facebook has a future that affects the business.
Is it really for the convenience of contacting friends? I think it will be easier to connect with friends if the Facebook integration is provided together with the integration of various other networks and platforms.
Here is how these changes are implemented:
Starting in October, any new users of existing Oculus VR hardware will need to log in with their Facebook account to use their device. At this point, existing users will be asked to merge their existing Oculus account with their Facebook account. If they choose not to merge their accounts before January 2023, they can still use their headsets, but the functionality will be limited.
For newer devices, Oculus stated:
"All future unreleased Oculus devices require a Facebook account, even if you already have an Oculus account."
This will have multiple consequences. Perhaps this means that Oculus' hopes of selling equipment in China are dashed, and unless they cancel this requirement specifically for the Chinese market, Facebook will be banned. For users who do not want or cannot use a Facebook account, or at least do not want to pair it with Oculus, it is unclear if there will be any officially supported resources. Perhaps the information given to these people is simply buying a VR Headset from another company.
To me, this seems to be a considerable barrier to entry. In the blog post where Oculus announced the news, they described a completely ridiculous scenario involving sharing headsets with different users:
"We plan to introduce the ability for multiple users to log into the same device using their own Facebook accounts, so that the people can easily Share their headsets with friends or family at the same time and separate their information. ”
If I want to share virtual reality headsets with different people, it can include tech enthusiasts who are curious about this new technology. The only thing to do is insist that they log into their Facebook account first (if they have one) and wear virtual reality headsets.
Oculus has detailed how and when these changes will occur, but in my opinion, they have not provided a compelling reason to explain the reasons for these changes. Under the rhetoric of "sharing" and "connection", the main driving force of this change seems to be to advance the corporate strategy of its parent company. There is nothing inherently wrong with this. Of course, Facebook seeks to maximize their revenue, and we really shouldn’t expect them to do anything else. It is strange to see such a transparent attempt to take control from the user without really providing any meaningful rewards. The problem is, if you don’t pair your Facebook account, your device will no longer work properly. What is the carrot...? Sharing and connecting on Facebook is really not enough for me.
In the end, I don’t think this will cause people to throw away their Oculus earbuds, and I don’t think this is the most important factor in people deciding which earbuds to buy, but I do think we can record it. This is an entry in the "disadvantages" list of Oculus headsets. Valve Index, HTC Vive Cosmos and various Windows Mixed Reality headsets do not have the same limitations.
Personally, I feel that to some extent, Oculus is challenging the hacker community of their own origin. For a long time, Oculus was a small company operating in a circle of enthusiasts and enthusiasts. I suspect that these people will be prompted to develop some kind of workaround, perhaps a custom firmware for Oculus devices, which will completely bypass the need to log in via Facebook. When Zuckerberg's money was taken away, Oculus may have put on a corporate suit and tie, but there are still many hardware hackers just out of enthusiasm for VR, rather than promoting company strategy. It will be interesting to see what happens, because Oculus seems to have forgotten its roots in this matter.
How do you feel when you are forced to use your Facebook account to use virtual reality headsets? Will you accept it, or will you look at other headsets without the same restrictions? Let us know in the comments.