Facebook says farewell to the Oculus Go, opens 3rd party Quest development

Oculus Go with controller
Oculus Go with controller (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Facebook is discontinuing the Oculus Go and will no longer sell any 3DoF VR headsets.
  • The Oculus Go will continue to receive firmware and security updates through 2022, but new apps will stop being made this December.
  • Oculus Quest development is being further opened up as Facebook will be providing a new way to distribute apps and games outside of the Oculus Store.

While the Oculus Go has been a bit of a controversial product within the VR community, its purposes have finally been fulfilled. This according to an Oculus blog post the covers some major platform updates, including the retiring of the Oculus Go headset. Facebook states that, from the point forward, it will no longer be restocking Oculus Go headsets and, further more, will no longer sell any 3DoF (three degrees of freedom) headsets at all. That's a huge step in the right direction in the eyes of many, as it means Facebook will now only sell 6DoF headsets like the Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S.

6DoF was a massive paradigm shift in major VR headsets like the original Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR when they launched in 2016 and helped people understand that VR can be so much more immersive than simply turning your head in place. The Oculus Go launched on the heels of the demise of the GearVR platform and was thought of as the spiritual successor to that product, offering an inexpensive way to invest in basic VR experiences like watching movies or live sporting events. Oculus states that it will maintain firmware and security updates through 2022 but will no longer be adding new features to the platform. It will also stop accepting new Go apps to the Oculus Store after December 18, 2020.

How to sideload apps on the Oculus Quest

Oculus also used today's blog post to begin the conversation about opening up the development floodgates outside the official Oculus Store. This announcemnent comes hot on the heels of the news that Facebook acquired developer Ready At Dawn, who is known for games like The Order 1886 and several Oculus-exclusive titles like Lone Echo and Echo VR. Aside from setting up a veritable treasure-trove of first-party development studios, Facebook seems to be opening up to the idea that 3rd party developers are just as important to support for the future of the platform.

Oculus has been notoriously stringent in their acceptance of Oculus Quest games to the Oculus Store, with notable rejects like Crisis VRigade utilizing the SideQuest platform to deliver their content, instead. Facebook seems to be recognizing that these developers are continuing to develop outside the official platform and will soon be providing a way for Oculus Quest owners and developers to get these types of 3rd party games and apps outside the Oculus Store without the need for sideloading. Facebook is mum on the details for now but says its expected to launch this new development avenue in 2021.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu