Inside of Facebook, Oculus is going through a rebranding. Today, the social media and tech giant announced that its augmented and virtual reality team will be called Facebook Reality Labs moving forward, shedding the Oculus name. The change will also be reflected in a renaming of Oculus' annual AR and VR conference to "Facebook Connect," but the brand isn't going away for its products or VR game division.
In a statement to USgamer, a Facebook representative confirms that the new Facebook Reality Labs branding "is just being used in place of the 'AR/VR team at Facebook'" moving forward. Oculus Studios, Facebook's VR publishing division that also encompasses Ready At Dawn (Lone Echo) and Beat Games (Beat Saber), will keep its name, as will the Oculus VR product line and Oculus-branded applications like Oculus Venues.
Joining Oculus under the Facebook Reality Labs umbrella are Spark AR (the tools behind Instagram's augmented reality filters) and Portal from Facebook (the company's smart home video calling products). At next month's Facebook Connect conference, it's likely that we'll see news for all three product lines.
For VR gamers, the question for the next Connect is whether or not Facebook will unveil a new version of the Oculus Quest. Back in May, Bloomberg reported that a new version of the standalone headset was being targeted for a release either later this year or in 2021. The new headset revisions in testing reportedly weigh less and feature faster refresh rates, which suggests they have significant comfort advantages over the already-popular model released in 2019.
The bigger news for Oculus users is still that Facebook accounts are becoming required for use of the company's VR products. Seeing the Facebook Reality Labs logo on the side of an Oculus box or a headset is one thing, but requiring that owners sign up for Facebook accounts in order to use their devices is another.