Oculus is dead – long live Meta says Facebook (sorry, Meta)

We’re probably still going to call it Oculus (pic: Oculus VR)

As part of Facebook’s big rebranding, it’s also ditching the Oculus name in favour of Meta VR.

In case you missed it, Facebook will no longer be called Facebook. Going forward, the company and brand will be known as Meta. This is a part of Mark Zuckerberg’s new goal to create an online metaverse, basically a virtual space people can meet in using a VR headset, and certainly nothing to do with the Facebook brand taking a savage beating from recent scandals.

The new name won’t apply to all its platforms (the Facebook social media platform and Instagram will stay the same), but Oculus will be changing. According to Andrew Bosworth, the vice president of augmented and virtual reality at Facebook (sorry, Meta), the company is ditching the Oculus name and brand.

‘We’re bringing our brands and products closer to Meta, which is the umbrella for all our products and services,’ says Bosworth in a Facebook post. ‘When people buy our products, we want them to clearly understand that all of these devices come from Meta and ladder up to our metaverse vision.

‘That’s why we’re evolving our brand across our current lines of hardware in-market, as well as for all future products, in order to bring more consistency across the portfolio and more transparency to consumers.’

The change won’t come into effect until early 2022, with the Oculus Quest to be renamed Meta Quest and the Oculus App to become the Meta Quest App. The news isn’t that surprising as Facebook (sorry, Meta) has been gradually phasing the Oculus brand out anyway. However, Bosworth insists that ‘Oculus will continue to be a core part of our DNA and will live on in things like software and developer tools.’

Bosworth adds that one of Facebook’s (sorry, Meta’s) main priorities for 2022 is to give Oculus Quest owners the means to log in without a Facebook account. At the moment, a Facebook account is mandatory, which means if the site goes down (like it did only yesterday), you can’t use your Oculus Quest headset.

‘As we’ve focused more on work, and as we’ve heard feedback from the VR community more broadly, we’re working on new ways to log into Quest that won’t require a Facebook account, landing sometime next year,’ says Bosworth. ‘This is one of our highest priority areas of work internally.’

The ability to use the VR device without needing to sign up for a Facebook account would certainly be a welcome one and may even help push sales. Whether or not people will call it by its new name or insist on calling it Oculus is another question entirely.

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