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In context: Low-end VR headsets like the Oculus Go are officially dead for Facebook, which believes the future of VR is in full positional tracking and more powerful, standalone hardware with AI-based gesture recognition and an overall experience centered on gaming. This was an easy decision given the company's Oculus Quest brought in $100 million in revenue as of writing.
If anyone needed proof that low-end VR is dead, Facebook just announced it will stop selling the Oculus Go headset and instead focus its attention on improving the variety of software and games that run on the more powerful Oculus Quest.
For those of you who missed it, Oculus Go was released in 2018 as Facebook's first foray into the VR market. The social giant targeted a relatively low price point of $199, and positioned it as a happy medium for non-gaming applications like video. However, the whole VR cinema idea faltered and the company slashed its price to $149 earlier this year to get rid of the remaining stock.
Facebook says it's retiring the Oculus Go after noticing overwhelming positive feedback on the Oculus Quest's more advanced positional tracking with Six Degrees of Freedom (6DoF) and AI-based gesture tracking. The company won't be shipping any more 3DoF VR products like the Go, and quietly stopped doing so in January. App updates will still be approved until December 4, 2020, and new apps will be approved until December 18, with bug fixes and security patches for the system software being stretched to at least 2022.
The Oculus Quest sells for $399 and is not quite as comfortable to wear as the Go, but Facebook wants to direct all its efforts towards the gaming-oriented Quest and Rift headsets, especially after acquiring three of the biggest VR-focused game studios - Sanzaru Games, Beat Games, and Ready at Dawn. Even the company's upcoming Horizon social network is only supported on the Rift and Quest headsets.
In the meantime, Facebook is rumored to be preparing a lighter, more powerful Oculus Quest 2 with a better display capable of higher refresh rates.