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With just one upgrade ahead, Meta recently announced that it will no longer provide support for its original Meta Quest VR headset. In an email sent to Meta Quest 1 users and later shared on Twitter, the company made it clear that the device will no longer receive future content updates. By 2024, it will no longer receive bug fixes or security patches.
Changes for Quest 1 Users
Users of the Quest 1 will experience a loss in significant functionality. Although they can still use the headset and access installed games and apps, certain features will no longer be available. For example, they will no longer be able to join parties or enjoy Meta’s feature product, Horizon Home, starting from March 5th of this year. Activities such as inviting others to their virtual homes or visiting another user’s home will also be disabled.
Behind the Scenes
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg first introduced what was initially known as the Oculus Quest in 2018 as the leading wireless VR headset. The company officially launched the headset in 2019, which means that Meta’s claim that it was “over four years ago” is not entirely accurate. However, the Quest 1 does rely on technology that is now four years old, which could explain Meta’s decision to discontinue support for the aging hardware.
A Shift in Strategy
The Meta Quest 2 was initially marketed as a budget-friendly entry-level VR headset, but this approach to adoption, while incurring losses, caused issues for Meta in Q3 of the previous year. Consequently, Meta raised the prices of the Quest 2 to $399 for the 128GB version and $499 for the 256GB edition.
In comparison, the original Quest was launched at $399 for the 64GB version and $499 for the 128GB version. However, you can still find cheaper versions of the headset being sold online. While the discontinuation of the Quest 1 means there will be one less affordable headset on the market, there are no new releases currently available as a replacement.
The Future of Entry-Level VR
The end of support for the Quest 1 signifies that entry-level VR will become more expensive for the average consumer. Pico, a company owned by TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, introduced its own headsets priced at $425 and $499 last year. However, the company was not present at CES 2023, and there is no information regarding a U.S. release.
Furthermore, there has been minimal emphasis on budget-friendly VR options recently. Meta released the $1,499 Quest Pro last year, which received mixed reviews. Additionally, HTC launched its VIVE XR Elite mixed reality headset for $1,099 at CES. Gizmodo had the opportunity to try it out and share their thoughts.
Lastly, Sony’s PlayStation VR2 is on the horizon. Although the company had planned to showcase the device at CES, scheduling difficulties prevented Gizmodo from a demo experience. We eagerly await the release of Sony’s $549.99 headset in February to see what it has to offer.
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