Facebook is Discontinuing the Rift Product Line in 2021, Will Focus on Standalone VR Headsets
Image courtesy of: Oculus
With the reveal of the Oculus Quest 2 at the newly renamed Facebook Connect online event today, the company also announced that it plans to discontinue the sale of the Oculus Rift S early next year to focus its efforts on standalone VR headsets instead.
While Oculus has confirmed that it will no longer continue the development of its Rift product line, the company says that this does not mean that it’s the end of the Rift platform. Oculus believes that it can achieve the best of both worlds with the Quest 2 and future “all-in-one” standalone headsets via the Oculus Link cable, which allows it to tether to a PC for high-end VR experiences.
“We’re going to focus on standalone VR headsets moving forward. We’ll no longer pursue PC-only hardware, with sales of Rift S ending in 2021. That said, the Rift Platform isn’t going anywhere,” the company announced. “In fact, we’ve seen significant growth in PC VR via Oculus Link, and the Rift Platform will continue to grow while offering high-end PC VR experiences like Lone Echo II and Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond well into the future.”
However, for Oculus, it is the end of an era for the Rift VR headset. Kickstarter backers pledged nearly $2.5 million toward the original prototype of the Rift in 2012, which ushered in the beginning of the modern age of VR. Facebook ultimately acquired Oculus for $2 billion in 2014, which soon led to the first consumer Rift (CV1) in 2016, becoming, in many respects, the industry standard for high-end PC VR headsets on the market. Facebook eventually launched its first 6DoF standalone headset, Oculus Quest, in 2019. And last year, the company released its second iteration of Rift, the Rift S, which would adopt Quest features like built-in cameras on the headset that enable inside-out tracking.
With the success of the original Quest, Facebook says that it is “doubling down” with Quest 2 to bring standalone VR to a much wider audience by combining the performance that gamers and enthusiasts want with the flexibility that people need at a much lower price point.