Thinks appear to be problematic in the Oculus space at the moment. Not only is Facebook making users of the VR hardware nervous with all the data they own about them and a focus on turning the device into a big marketing gimmick rather than a VR experience, but now it seems to be affecting the core experience for many.
Facebook had already announced how it wanted to remove Oculus’s’ own user-profiles and replace them with Facebook accounts, which people need to connect to in order to access their headsets. Most VR users could already see a problem with this the moment it was announced, amd now with the release of the Quest 2 in the US last week, there are reports that Quest 2 owners are getting locked out of their Oculus devices as a result of the new Facebook account requirements.
UploadVR has reported how several users have complained of account suspension during the setup process while a poster on the Oculus subreddit is claiming their device has stopped working the moment they created a Facebook account and tried to lock down their profile to prevent the company form accessing certain information:
I logged into Facebook’s website to lock down my profile, as I had no intention of using the social media site more than was needed, and within minutes of merging accounts and changing profile settings my account was banned without any reason given or cause I can think of.
All this has turned the new Oculus headset into an expensive paperweight for many and points to serious problems with the company’s approach to using their Facebook accounts and tracking their data as a result.
It gets worse for gamers though, as people who were hoping they could get the same experience that they had on the now-discontinued Oculus Go were left disappointed when no Go titles were available for selection. CTO John Carmack confirmed that this came down to a decision to not support backward-compatibility, something which he was against.
The Oculus VR headsets may feature some fantastic technology but it appears it may be getting ruined by some of the corporate politics at Facebook (which should surprise no one). When even the CTO goes public revealing that he is against a core design decision, it’s an indication that things are not healthy in the boardroom either. The company has reportedly resolved many of the login issues since, but it appears that it is out of touch with the needs of the customers at present and it’s only a matter of time before users ditch the device or people start leaving the company unless this flawed design process is addressed soon.
The Oculus was supposed to launch us into a bright VR future, but it may just become a reminder of the dangers of capitalism and the unchecked powers of many tech companies.
Last Updated: October 19, 2020