Oculus, a virtual reality company that is owned by Facebook, announced today that its devices will soon require a login for the social media network. A tweet today confirmed first-time Oculus users will need a Facebook account.
Starting this October, Oculus devices will prompt existing Oculus users with the option to log in using a Facebook account and merge it with their Oculus account. Should they choose not to do so, Oculus says users can still use their account for two years.
Then, after Jan. 1, 2023, support will end for Oculus accounts. After this point, if users choose not to merge their account with a Facebook account, the device will still be operable but "full functionality" will require a Facebook login.
"Giving people a single way to log into Oculus—using their Facebook account and password—will make it easier to find, connect, and play with friends in VR," said Oculus on Twitter.
Facebook bought Oculus for a tidy $2 billion in 2014, and the company has frequently been on the forefront of VR pushing forward. Its Oculus Quest device is arguably the best step toward VR for mass consumption, providing a set that's both accessible and (relatively) affordable.
There are obvious reasons for why a mandated Facebook login would be a problem for most. Facebook has had issues with data privacy and protection, not to mention more recent concerns over the company's questionable tools.
Mandating users join a social media service they don't want to join, just to use a headset, seems like a bad move, and response has already been overwhelmingly negative. This may just inadvertently boost the profile of other VR options, rather than encourage any sort of in-Oculus, Facebook-facilitated fraternization.