In a move that surprises no one but infuriates many, Oculus have finally announced that in order to use their products and their platforms, users are going to need to integrate it with their Facebook account. In the process, Oculus is also ending support for their own accounts system, making this a mandatory ‘use it or lose it’ situation.
The full details of the announcement was outline in a blog post on the Oculus website, but basically here’s what you need to know. Starting from October 2020, new users to the Oculus platform will be required to use a Facebook account to sign in and will not be able to create a new Oculus account. Existing users, on the other hand, can choose to put off the integration.
For two years, anyway.
Starting from January 2023, support for Oculus accounts will be completely terminated, though it promises it’s currently taking the steps to allow people who have bought games and software through the Oculus platform to keep what they’ve bought, though they can’t guarantee just how functional it will be, given a lot of it will have updated and require a Facebook login regardless.
The headset itself can also still be used, though again, support will be minimal at best. At this stage you might be left with something slightly above ‘brick’ and more along the lines of ‘brick that you can still use and is probably going to receive a lot of mods for, because that’s the only way your brick will still work good’.
As you can imagine, people aren’t thrilled at the prospect of their incredibly expensive VR headset no longer working as intended. Where some people aren’t fussed and see it as just another account they need to have, or many users already having Facebook accounts, others are worried about the negative impacts of their privacy, or the comment 6 years ago from Oculus founder Palmer Lucky, and various other legitimate reasons.
Considering Facebook’s various controversies, ranging from its refusal to ban Nazi’s and various other bigots, through to taking money to promote entirely false information to the point of influencing world politics, not to mention the privacy concerns, it’s pretty darn understandable a lot of folks aren’t into the idea.
Which is unfortunate, given I own a Rift S and was, and still am, absolutely in love with it.
Personally, I’ve made the choice to integrate my Facebook and to continue to use my Rift S as per normal, because it was a lot of money and I can’t just switch headsets (if I could I would. Wink. Wink wink wink. Winking directly at other VR companies who want me to review things for them).