Tomorrow marks the launch of the Oculus Quest 2, and it will be impossible to ignore that it's a Facebook product. As previously announced, the Quest 2 will make new users register their device with a Facebook account instead of an Oculus account. Oculus account support is still set to vanish in 2023, but now we have some more details on how older Oculus devices will continue to work without Facebook accounts.
Over the weekend, Facebook released a new guide on how linking Facebook accounts with Oculus VR devices will work. The long and the short of it is that if you want the most out of your Oculus device-whether it's a Quest 2 (where you need a Facebook account, period), Quest, Rift, or other model-you'll need to register a Facebook account. There are privacy settings to shield your real name in VR and keep separate friends lists, but you're still pooling all that social network and VR data together for Facebook no matter what.
As previously confirmed, older Oculus gear will continue to work after Jan. 1, 2023 without a Facebook account, but it seems the actual functionality limits will vary depending on the content people try to access. "We will take steps to allow you to keep using content you have purchased, though we expect some games and apps may no longer work," Facebook says. "This could be because they include features that require a Facebook account or because a developer has chosen to no longer support the app or game you purchased."
In the latter case, a developer simply may not keep up support for their VR game or app anyway, Facebook account or no. Considering the strong backlash to the announcement of the Facebook account transition in the first place, it also seems unlikely that many third-party Oculus VR developers will build in features that require Facebook accounts unless they absolutely have to. In other words, if you're happy with your Rift or Quest now and don't want to link a Facebook account, do try to hold off for a while.
Now, given that Facebook owns top Oculus titles like Beat Saber and Lone Echo, most users already have games in their library that will likely require Facebook accounts down the line. VR tech also iterates fast enough that it may not make sense for devs to support older headsets like the Quest and Rift S come 2023, but at the very least, some legacy content should still work on those without Facebook accounts.
Beginning with the $299 Quest 2, Facebook is also moving away from focusing on PC-only VR tech. While the Quest 2 still supports Oculus Link for playing Rift-compatible games while hooked up to a PC, Facebook is ending sales of Rift headsets next year.