$1,000 Valve Index becomes 2nd most popular VR headset on Steam

zakislam

Posts: 52   +1
Why it matters: The Oculus Quest 2 has been available for nearly a year on the market, where it's cemented its place as the most used virtual reality headset on Steam. That's not too surprising given its attractive price point of $300, but what is curious is the much pricier VR device that's managed to climb to second place in the charts.

Valve revealed (via Road to VR) that its Index headset is now used by 17.5 percent of virtual reality users on Steam. It replaces the discontinued Oculus Rift S, which falls to third place with a 17.21 percent share. Facebook's Quest 2 displays its staying power as the most used VR headset with a 33.19 percent share.

As for the Index specifically, it's an impressive feat when considering its high price point. Released more than two years ago, consumers will have to shell out $1,000 to get their hands on the headset because of the associated extras -- controllers and base station -- required for it to function fully.

The Index was used by 17.63 percent -- its record high thus far -- of virtual reality users in October 2020, placing it third behind the Rift S at 24.64 percent, followed by the original Vive at 19.17 percent. The pricey device nearly rose to a second-place spot in January 2020, but the Oculus Quest 2 took it instead due to its data debuting -- base models starting at $300 makes it a much more affordable option.

Valve's headset has also never been discounted from its $1,000 price tag. Coupled with the fact that it’s more than two years old, for it to reach second place at all is quite remarkable. It overcame supply issues as well earlier on, with demand remaining consistent since its mid-2019 launch -- regularly occupying a space among the ten highest-grossing products on Steam.

The number of users utilizing a VR headset on Steam grew from 1.74 percent to 1.8 percent. That slight uptick in growth shouldn't come as too much of a surprise when considering VR headset adoption has been fluctuating since May. The slowdown could be attributed to the lack of any major VR game releases since Half-Life: Alyx launched in March 2020. Still, Valve could be working on another headset codenamed Deckard.

Related reading: AMD bounces back in latest Steam survey

Another reason why the technology hasn't quite had a major impact yet is the health implications; a developer experienced in the VR field warned of severe eyesight damage. However, with tech giants like Apple reportedly working on their own devices, the emerging tech could be here to stay.

Virtual reality might be missing its moment, but Valve's next foray in the consumer hardware market is one that may change the landscape of handheld gaming forever: anticipation mounts for the Steam Deck, due for a release in December. With PC gaming coming out of the shadow of the console market, the upcoming handheld gaming system is looking to replicate the immense success Nintendo has enjoyed with the Switch.

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DZillaXx

Posts: 413   +530
Just wait until a Quest 2 Pro is released.

The biggest downside of the Quest 2 is the LCD screens and the poor black levels. A pro device would be a instant buy from me.

I'll never go back to a wired VR Headset. The Quest 2 works so well over a wireless connection.

Valve needs to focus on a wireless Headset.
 

Shaun2312

Posts: 50   +44
Just wait until a Quest 2 Pro is released.

The biggest downside of the Quest 2 is the LCD screens and the poor black levels. A pro device would be a instant buy from me.

I'll never go back to a wired VR Headset. The Quest 2 works so well over a wireless connection.

Valve needs to focus on a wireless Headset.

The BIGGEST down side, is that it's owned by Facebook.
 

ikesmasher

Posts: 3,131   +1,537
Used a quest 2 and a Rift S. moving to a wireless Vive pro ASAP unless Valve releases something new. Having to use the oculus software is a PITA and I'll 1000x over, buy games on steamVR instead of oculus for compatibility with like 10x the headsets.
 

y6Tq2RGXEejb

Posts: 29   +36
Used a quest 2 and a Rift S. moving to a wireless Vive pro ASAP unless Valve releases something new. Having to use the oculus software is a PITA and I'll 1000x over, buy games on steamVR instead of oculus for compatibility with like 10x the headsets.
You know you can get a proper WiFi access point, install Virtual Desktop and use your Quest 2 as a great SteamVR headset, right?
I own both a Quest 2 and a wireless Vive Cosmos Elite with a pair of Index controllers, and I still sometimes pick up the Quest to play certain games that require longer runtimes on battery. The Vive only lasts for slightly over 2 hours and then you have to swap the battery and restart SteamVR. Not to mention, Quest 2 has far sharper screens, far better lenses, and much nicer controllers.

Please hold onto your Quest and wait for the next Valve headset if you're so eager to ditch it.
 

Kotters

Posts: 354   +254
As an owner of a Quest, a CV1, an Index, and having played with FBT, VD, and Air Link, wireless is overrated. It's nice, but I use my Index far more often than my Quest.
 

DZillaXx

Posts: 413   +530
The BIGGEST down side, is that it's owned by Facebook.
So... Who cares who owns it, as long as it works well.

You don't need a facebook account to setup a Quest 2 anymore, and for those that did you can remove your facebook account easily.

The Software is pretty much topnotch, and using virtual desktop you can use any game platform you'd like. Even though there is a new wireless oculus link option, and I believe you can still get to stream VR from it as well. Just not as clean and easy as virtual desktop, and performance is pretty much identical.

Being owned by Facebook has only allowed for Oculus to operate without worrying about money.

There is a big difference playing wireless vs wired. The constant hassle of the cord is a big issue for me. With my quest 2 and a USB battery pack in my pocket with a thin light cord ran to the unit, I've been able to play HL2 Alex for 4-5 hours without the device going below 50% battery life. After about 4-5 hours of pure VR time, your body just needs a break. So works great.


Used a quest 2 and a Rift S. moving to a wireless Vive pro ASAP unless Valve releases something new. Having to use the oculus software is a PITA and I'll 1000x over, buy games on steamVR instead of oculus for compatibility with like 10x the headsets.

Yeah you can do everything you just complained about just fine with the quest 2, and could be done from day 1. Playing games from SteamVR was popular even back with the Original Quest.

The Oculus software is pretty solid though.


As an owner of a Quest, a CV1, an Index, and having played with FBT, VD, and Air Link, wireless is overrated. It's nice, but I use my Index far more often than my Quest.

I have an entire room in my house dedicated to VR. Pretty much an empty room with a Wireless AP on the wall. But have shown the VR unit off using my Laptop and the link cable. The Experience is just so different.
 
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Kotters

Posts: 354   +254
So... Who cares who owns it, as long as it works well.

You don't need a facebook account to setup a Quest 2 anymore, and for those that did you can remove your facebook account easily.

Being owned by Facebook has only allowed for Oculus to operate without worrying about money.

Oculess has been around for a while now, and describing it as "you don't need a Facebook account anymore" is disingenuous given the limitations of the device afterward.

As for why being owned by Facebook is a problem, I'm sure you're quite aware of the privacy and tracking concerns surrounding Facebook lately, and how much more data a VR Headset collects in order to function. I won't go on about that, but here's a small list of issues related to the Facebook Account link:

Developer access allegedly restored within 24h https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQuest/comments/jw4rua/_/gcocp8i
User banned right away, now has an expensive paperweight. https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/jm379b/_/gcq2m34
Bought tons of games, then banned. Then quickly unbanned after contacting support. https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/k2bl4x
Account locked, Facebook asks for ID. Not resolved yet as of this writing. https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/k2c8q7/_/gdtjmtd
Can’t make an account, web page says user’s (real) last name is fake. User returns Quest2. https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/k2c8q7
Two oculus accounts, unable to merge. https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQuest/comments/k2scob/oculus_merging_with_facebook_issues/

Account disabled https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/k1jjb0/comment/ge13ttx?context=3

Banned after a few days https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/jzu8zu/comment/ge149p1?context=3

New legit account, instantly disabled https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/k1ge9m/facebook_account/

“This is a joke”: account disabled after period of inactivity. https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/k1pqke/this_is_a_joke/

“Suspended for no reason”, then reinstated later. https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQuest/comments/jzdukd/facebook_account_suspended_for_no_reason/

Facebook account suspended https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQuest/comments/k37van/facebook_account_suspended_what_do_i_do/

Brand new account insta-banned https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQuest/comments/k499ka/instant_banned_for_making_a_facebook_account/

ID still not reviewed after 47 days https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQuest/comments/k42q12/47_days_and_500_later_your_issue_isnt_urgent/

Can’t play for 2 months https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQuest/comments/k50q1z/getting_super_pissed_logging_in_issues_with/

(32 days since last email from support, my 10yo cannot play. https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/k50fm2/facebook_issues_and_logging_on/ )

Two brand new legit accounts, banned. https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/k4zebq/facebook_account_help_needed_warning_for_parents/

No help for over a month https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQues...facebook_account_disabled_over_a_month_later/

Account unbanned, here is how https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/k5lzsc/was_your_facebook_account_banned_after_linking_it/

Account is locked every few weeks, must reverify identity (not Quest related) https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQuest/comments/k7n31i/am_i_safe/

Repeated account suspension (owns a Quest) https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQuest/comments/k7weob/repeated_facebook_suspension/

New account banned https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQues...ou_need_a_facebook_account_to_play_nonoculus/

Old Facebook account randomly disabled. Made new one, now banned. https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/k87c8a/quest_2/

Account disabled out of the blue. Complains on Instagram, Instagram suddenly blocked too. https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQuest/comments/k8fjii/the_oculus_quest_elephant_in_the_room/

Facebook account banned after installing PC app. Then made a second account and that one got banned quickly. https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/k8ahqq/facebook_locked_my_account/

New accounts disabled, returning four Quests. https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQuest/comments/k8fjii/comment/gexzmgm

30-day suspension for calling someone a grammar n... https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/jxd3tl/comment/gcvxv06?context=6

New account, disabled. https://www.reddit.com/r/virtualreality/comments/k8lt6x/ah_yes_not_a_problem_at_all/

Facebook account disabled, all games gone, cannot get account back. https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/k9i6gq/facebook_deleted_my_oculus_account/

Account merge gone wrong, not resolved 37 days later. https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/kc09hk/what_should_i_do_new_quest_2_has_account_merge/

10 years old account banned - was only source of income. Support is not responding. https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQues...st_2_nightmare_come_true_facebook_account_of/ Edit: account restored.

Made second account, got quickly disabled. https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQuest/comments/kd2uis/facebook_account_problem_why_not/

Account banned. https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/kdnrpk/how_do_you_change_the_facebook_account_from_your/

Banned, no word from support after 7 days. https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQuest/comments/kec5yz/account_banned_one_week_and_still_not_returned/

Account disabled. https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/kf8bb7/facebook_account_disabled/

“Robbed by Facebook” (new account banned, lost $150 in games) https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQuest/comments/kfyykd/literally_got_robbed_by_facebook/

“After posting about breaking my neck, my account was randomly deleted.” https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/kg1761/after_posting_about_breaking_my_neck_while/ screenshot showing disabled account: https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/kg1mov/updated_after_posting_about_breaking_my_neck/ Restored: https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQues...nk_you_all_for_sharing_and_helping_me_get_my/

Unused account suspended, then re-enabled. https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQues...urce=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf

Banned again, no reason given besides “broke tos”. https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/kglgmf/update_to_my_last_post_i_have_been_banned_again/

FB taking over 3wk to verify ID, can’t use new headset. https://www.reddit.com/r/virtualrea...cebook_taking_over_3_weeks_to_verify_my_id_i/

“Oculus disabled me” https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/kgym8w/oculus_disabled_me/

Banned for forwarding an adult image in a private message; Quest games all blocked. https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQuest/comments/ki1a3z/my_new_paper_weight/

Facebook account disabled for no apparent reason, restored after sending copy of ID. https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/kidtbm/heads_up_about_this_scummy_unavoidable_facebook/

There is a big difference playing wireless vs wired. The constant hassle of the cord is a big issue for me. With my quest 2 and a USB battery pack in my pocket with a thin light cord ran to the unit, I've been able to play HL2 Alex for 4-5 hours without the device going below 50% battery life. After about 4-5 hours of pure VR time, your body just needs a break. So works great.


I have an entire room in my house dedicated to VR. Pretty much an empty room with a Wireless AP on the wall. But have shown the VR unit off using my PC and the link cable. The Experience is just so different.

This is a highly subjective take, not something universal. In my 9ft/3m x 9ft/3m space, the cable is a non-issue. I've suspended my cable from the ceiling from day 1 with my CV1 in 2017. I've played VR long enough that I had to plug in my Index controllers to continue, which is roughly 8 hours or longer. The problems of latency and video compression, even with a powerful WAP a few feet away on the ceiling, make streaming less impressive in actual gameplay. Native Quest games are far better, but there's nothing groundbreaking about the experience. Most games hardly use more space than your armspan, anyway.
 

DZillaXx

Posts: 413   +530
Oculess has been around for a while now, and describing it as "you don't need a Facebook account anymore" is disingenuous given the limitations of the device afterward.

As for why being owned by Facebook is a problem, I'm sure you're quite aware of the privacy and tracking concerns surrounding Facebook lately, and how much more data a VR Headset collects in order to function. I won't go on about that, but here's a small list of issues related to the Facebook Account link:

Developer access allegedly restored within 24h https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQuest/comments/jw4rua/_/gcocp8i
User banned right away, now has an expensive paperweight. https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/jm379b/_/gcq2m34
Bought tons of games, then banned. Then quickly unbanned after contacting support. https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/k2bl4x
Account locked, Facebook asks for ID. Not resolved yet as of this writing. https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/k2c8q7/_/gdtjmtd
Can’t make an account, web page says user’s (real) last name is fake. User returns Quest2. https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/k2c8q7
Two oculus accounts, unable to merge. https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQuest/comments/k2scob/oculus_merging_with_facebook_issues/

Account disabled https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/k1jjb0/comment/ge13ttx?context=3

Banned after a few days https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/jzu8zu/comment/ge149p1?context=3

New legit account, instantly disabled https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/k1ge9m/facebook_account/

“This is a joke”: account disabled after period of inactivity. https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/k1pqke/this_is_a_joke/

“Suspended for no reason”, then reinstated later. https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQuest/comments/jzdukd/facebook_account_suspended_for_no_reason/

Facebook account suspended https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQuest/comments/k37van/facebook_account_suspended_what_do_i_do/

Brand new account insta-banned https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQuest/comments/k499ka/instant_banned_for_making_a_facebook_account/

ID still not reviewed after 47 days https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQuest/comments/k42q12/47_days_and_500_later_your_issue_isnt_urgent/

Can’t play for 2 months https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQuest/comments/k50q1z/getting_super_pissed_logging_in_issues_with/

(32 days since last email from support, my 10yo cannot play. https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/k50fm2/facebook_issues_and_logging_on/ )

Two brand new legit accounts, banned. https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/k4zebq/facebook_account_help_needed_warning_for_parents/

No help for over a month https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQues...facebook_account_disabled_over_a_month_later/

Account unbanned, here is how https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/k5lzsc/was_your_facebook_account_banned_after_linking_it/

Account is locked every few weeks, must reverify identity (not Quest related) https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQuest/comments/k7n31i/am_i_safe/

Repeated account suspension (owns a Quest) https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQuest/comments/k7weob/repeated_facebook_suspension/

New account banned https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQues...ou_need_a_facebook_account_to_play_nonoculus/

Old Facebook account randomly disabled. Made new one, now banned. https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/k87c8a/quest_2/

Account disabled out of the blue. Complains on Instagram, Instagram suddenly blocked too. https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQuest/comments/k8fjii/the_oculus_quest_elephant_in_the_room/

Facebook account banned after installing PC app. Then made a second account and that one got banned quickly. https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/k8ahqq/facebook_locked_my_account/

New accounts disabled, returning four Quests. https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQuest/comments/k8fjii/comment/gexzmgm

30-day suspension for calling someone a grammar n... https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/jxd3tl/comment/gcvxv06?context=6

New account, disabled. https://www.reddit.com/r/virtualreality/comments/k8lt6x/ah_yes_not_a_problem_at_all/

Facebook account disabled, all games gone, cannot get account back. https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/k9i6gq/facebook_deleted_my_oculus_account/

Account merge gone wrong, not resolved 37 days later. https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/kc09hk/what_should_i_do_new_quest_2_has_account_merge/

10 years old account banned - was only source of income. Support is not responding. https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQues...st_2_nightmare_come_true_facebook_account_of/ Edit: account restored.

Made second account, got quickly disabled. https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQuest/comments/kd2uis/facebook_account_problem_why_not/

Account banned. https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/kdnrpk/how_do_you_change_the_facebook_account_from_your/

Banned, no word from support after 7 days. https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQuest/comments/kec5yz/account_banned_one_week_and_still_not_returned/

Account disabled. https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/kf8bb7/facebook_account_disabled/

“Robbed by Facebook” (new account banned, lost $150 in games) https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQuest/comments/kfyykd/literally_got_robbed_by_facebook/

“After posting about breaking my neck, my account was randomly deleted.” https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/kg1761/after_posting_about_breaking_my_neck_while/ screenshot showing disabled account: https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/kg1mov/updated_after_posting_about_breaking_my_neck/ Restored: https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQues...nk_you_all_for_sharing_and_helping_me_get_my/

Unused account suspended, then re-enabled. https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQues...urce=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf

Banned again, no reason given besides “broke tos”. https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/kglgmf/update_to_my_last_post_i_have_been_banned_again/

FB taking over 3wk to verify ID, can’t use new headset. https://www.reddit.com/r/virtualrea...cebook_taking_over_3_weeks_to_verify_my_id_i/

“Oculus disabled me” https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/kgym8w/oculus_disabled_me/

Banned for forwarding an adult image in a private message; Quest games all blocked. https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQuest/comments/ki1a3z/my_new_paper_weight/

Facebook account disabled for no apparent reason, restored after sending copy of ID. https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/kidtbm/heads_up_about_this_scummy_unavoidable_facebook/



This is a highly subjective take, not something universal. In my 9ft/3m x 9ft/3m space, the cable is a non-issue. I've suspended my cable from the ceiling from day 1 with my CV1 in 2017. I've played VR long enough that I had to plug in my Index controllers to continue, which is roughly 8 hours or longer. The problems of latency and video compression, even with a powerful WAP a few feet away on the ceiling, make streaming less impressive in actual gameplay. Native Quest games are far better, but there's nothing groundbreaking about the experience. Most games hardly use more space than your armspan, anyway.
The Quest 2 works fine offline. If privacy is your thing. You could setup a private VLAN just for your VR setup if you really wanted. Facebook issue is no more of an issue than any other Brand. I could list tons of problems even with Steam... If you want to be Anti Facebook/Google/Apple/Microsoft, go ahead. I don't have a problem with Google on my phone, nor do I with Facebook on my Quest 2.

Also Wireless Streaming on the quest 2 is no different latency wise than using the USB-C Cable. And Video Quality is also just as good. PC VR Games are fluid @ 90hz, but the new updates allow for 120hz and no game that runs natively on the device performs better or looks better than the desktop version at 120hz. Including beatsaber.

I simply don't like getting twisted up in the cords, it really breaks the immersion. In a Game like Half Life Alyx I find myself moving around quite a bit. Had an extra 12x12 bedroom in my home I didnt need, PC is located on other side of home. I don't think my use case is rare, I'd think for most their PC location and the best area for one to play VR are two different areas. Most people don't keep their PC in the living room/family room. Which for most are their bigger spaces to play VR.

My only issue with the Quest 2 is the LCD screens vs OLED. The Blacklevels are bad, I'm guessing they are IPS screens as they have bad IPS glow in dark scenes. In bright scenes they look great.
 

ikesmasher

Posts: 3,131   +1,537
You know you can get a proper WiFi access point, install Virtual Desktop and use your Quest 2 as a great SteamVR headset, right?
I own both a Quest 2 and a wireless Vive Cosmos Elite with a pair of Index controllers, and I still sometimes pick up the Quest to play certain games that require longer runtimes on battery. The Vive only lasts for slightly over 2 hours and then you have to swap the battery and restart SteamVR. Not to mention, Quest 2 has far sharper screens, far better lenses, and much nicer controllers.

Please hold onto your Quest and wait for the next Valve headset if you're so eager to ditch it.
I spent lots of hours and money trying to get it working. Ultimately, even with interference removed, a very high quality access point with line of sight, etc, I was unable to get latency and frame drops to an acceptable amount. I tried virtual desktop, ALVR, oculus' wireless link beta, etc. The valve implementation uses wigig which tends to be much less problematic for most (not all) people assuming the technical setup isnt a problem. Not to mention I can avoid using facebook.

The Vive wireless battery can be replaced with much higher capacity ones as well which is part of the plan. Though 2 hours is rarely if ever going to be a problem for me.

I was generally unimpressed with the quest tracking (It has since been given to a friend) and am eagerly awaiting any next gen effort from Valve.

That there are people defending Facebook and oculus' practices in this thread is bizarre. Not sure why anyone would ever want to tie their Facebook account to any activities outside of Facebook after all of these years. Use your oculus if you want, but there isn't really an argument to be made that Facebook integration has somehow made the VR experience better short of "I can virtually interact with the 3 other people I know on facebook who have oculus". Once they stop letting me use my non-facebook oculus account the Rift S is never getting plugged in again.
 

y6Tq2RGXEejb

Posts: 29   +36
The Vive wireless battery can be replaced with much higher capacity ones as well which is part of the plan. Though 2 hours is rarely if ever going to be a problem for me.
Keep in mind that depending on the headset, you may need a 21W Quick Charge 3.0 battery. I searched high and low, and was unable to find anything I could actually order, and as a result I'm having to juggle the default powerbanks (which I have three of) for extended sessions.

P.S.: Not sure what to say about your wireless Oculus issues, but I can say that in my case both Virtual Desktop and Vive Wireless work equally well with my desktop connected via Cat 5E cable to a gigabit switch that the 5GHz wireless access point is also plugged into. As for the facebook, Oculess now allows to fully remove facebook account requirements from both Quest models.