The Oculus Go could soon pave the way for an Oculus Quest without Facebook
Try using an old video game console like an N64, and as long as the power source is intact, it will perform like decades ago. But with newer consoles and games, it’s not always clear if it will continue to perform well once the developer stops supporting it. Once the manufacturer shuts down the servers for over the air updates (OTA) and in-store purchases, it is limiting console uses, especially for a digital-only console like the Oculus Go, which has been discontinued. in 2020 and will lose support after 2022.
It doesn’t matter to most VR superfans, who by now have switched to the Oculus Quest 2 and packed their Gos years ago. But for the people who want the option to try something with the old headset a few years from now, Friday’s news from Oculus Consulting CTO John Carmack is a blessing.
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Carmack says that Oculus “will make available an unlocked OS version for the Oculus Go headset that can be side-loaded to gain full root access.” This operating system will ensure that your Oculus Go is fully up to date for any games you own; more importantly, you can “reuse the material” for whatever you want.
For those of us who don’t have the drive to root and ROM hack our devices, that may not mean much. But modders can use an unlocked Oculus Go for all kinds of cool uses that Facebook probably never considered when it launched in 2018. And as Carmack said in a response tweet, he wants “the early days. of VR [to be] explored as history, “and that would allow virtual reality historians to access the technology more easily in years to come.
Will this apply to future (or past) Oculus devices, such as the Oculus Rift or the Oculus Quest? Carmack tweeted that “I hope this is a precedent for unsupported headsets in the future, but damn it, getting all the permissions needed for that involved SO MUCH more effort than you might expect.” So there is no guarantee that this will happen for current helmets, and it certainly won’t happen before. after these devices are no longer for sale.
For now, you can at least side-load Quest 2 apps or content onto your Quest 2 fairly easily, so this is by no means an entirely restrictive ecosystem. But there was certainly some initial controversy about requiring a Facebook account to use the Quest 2 – especially when that means a Facebook ban or deleted account would mean loss of access to the Quest 2. your entire game library.
Could a hypothetical, rooted Oculus Quest 2 let you play VR games without a Facebook account? We know the Facebook login for Quest 2 is here to stay, and it seems unlikely that Facebook will ease this restriction over time. But in theory, an outdated but unlocked Quest 2 would allow you to use it for other purposes without Facebook, even if you can no longer access the best Oculus Quest 2 games.
Rooted Access will have to wait, but it’s a good sign that – with a little encouragement – Facebook is ready to support open access to old VR hardware down the line. The same applies to the company’s recent switch to OpenXR and the backward compatibility of older VR games on new hardware (like the Oculus Quest 3).
If you have an Oculus Go and plan to take advantage of it, Carmack says the unlocked version of the operating system will likely be placed on the Oculus website, but final distribution plans have yet to be decided.
Facebook only for the moment
Oculus Quest 2
Side loading remains an option
You can get root access to the Oculus Go, but this 3DoF headset isn’t exactly state of the art these days. For a fully immersive virtual reality with excellent motion controls and a wide range of games, the Oculus Quest 2 is your best bet, even if it has a smaller operating system.
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