Tag Archives: Oculus

Germany Investigates Linkage Between Oculus and Facebook Network

Germany’s Bundeskartellmt (which TechCrunch translates as Germany’s Federal Cartel Office), has initiated abuse proceedings against Facebook to examine the linkage between Oculus virtual reality products and the social network and Facebook platform.

Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartllmt wrote:

“In the future, the use of the new Oculus glasses requires the user to also have a Facebook account. Linking virtual reality products and the group’s social network in this way could constitute a prohibited abuse of dominance by Facebook. With its social network Facebook holds a dominant position in Germany and is also already an important player in the emerging but growing VR (virtual reality) market. We intend to examine whether and to what extent this tying arrangement will affect competition in both areas of activity.”

In August, Facebook announced that it was changing the name of the VR business it acquired back in 2014 for around $2 billion – and had allowed to operate separately – to “Facebook Reality Labs,” signaling the assimilation of Oculus into its wider social empire, TechCrunch reported.

Also in August, Oculus announced that users would be required to log into Oculus with their Facebook accounts – beginning in October of 2020. Oculus users who did not have a Facebook account, and who did not want to make one, would eventually be unable to use Oculus.

TechCrunch reported that a Facebook spokesperson sent a statement. “While Oculus devices are not currently available for sale in Germany, we will cooperate fully with the Bundeskartellamt and are confident we can demonstrate that there is no basis to the investigation.”

We will have to wait and see what happens with Germany’s investigation into Facebook requiring Oculus users to have a Facebook account. Meanwhile, Oculus users in the United States, who want to continue using Oculus, are required to have a Facebook account. To me, it seems like if you want to use Oculus, you have to be tied to Facebook forever – or lose access.

Oculus Will Require Users to Log In with A Facebook Account

Oculus announced that users will be required to log into Oculus with their Facebook accounts. This change will start in October of 2020. If you aren’t a fan of Facebook, and don’t want to make an account there, you will eventually be unable to use Oculus.

Starting on October of 2020, everyone using an Oculus device for the first time will need to log in with a Facebook account. Existing users who already have an Oculus account will have the option to log in with Facebook and merge their Oculus and Facebook accounts. Existing users who choose not to merge their Oculus and Facebook accounts can continue using their Oculus for two years.

After January 1, 2023, we will end support for Oculus accounts. If you choose not to merge your accounts at that time, you can continue using your device, but full functionality will require a Facebook account. 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. 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. All future unreleased Oculus devices will require a Facebook account, even if you already have an Oculus account.

Facebook says that it will be possible to log into Oculus with a Facebook account and still create or maintain a unique VR profile. If you don’t want your Oculus friends to find you by your Facebook name, they won’t – if you make it visible to “Only Me” in your Oculus settings.

There are plans for Facebook to enable multiple users to log into the same Oculus device with each one using their own Facebook account. This appears to be aimed at families who want to share the Oculus device. It also may be possible to share an Oculus device with friends.

The Verge reported that Facebook is not rolling out any new ads on the Oculus platform right now. Requiring users to sign in to Oculus with a Facebook account removes the last layer of separation between the two.

To me, it makes Oculus feel even more like a “walled garden” than before. Those who don’t want to make a Facebook account will not have any way to access whatever content Oculus provides. Video game consoles also tend to make their games only accessible on their own platform – with the exception of the ones that are also playable on PC.

The difference is that Facebook has a long history of sketchy behavior in regards to how they treat their users, especially when it comes to security of personal information. I have concerns that everything Facebook users say and do within Oculus will be used by Facebook in unexpected ways.

Oculus Quest is an All-in-One VR System

At Oculus Connect 5, CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced Oculus Quest. It is their first all-in-one VR gaming system. Oculus Quest is intended to be released in the Spring of 2019 for $399 USD (presuming it receives authorization from the Federal Communications Commission). Oculus Quest has a 64GB headset.

Offering six degrees of freedom and Touch controllers, Oculus Quest makes it easy to jump right into the action – with no PC, no wires, and no external sensors. We have over 50 titles lined up for launch, with even more in the works including some of your favorite Rift games like Robo Recall, The Climb, and Moss.

Oculus Quest will ship with Touch, their intuitive controllers. Bundling them means that everything developers have learned about game design for Rift applies to Oculus Quest. This gives users the best VR gaming has to offer.

Oculus Insight was also unveiled. It is breakthrough technology that powers inside-out tracking, Guardian, and Touch controller tracking. In short, it tracks your exact position in real time without any external sensors. Guardian is “to help keep you safer while in VR”.

Overall, I think this is interesting. The ability to use Oculus Quest without having to connect it to a PC makes it easier for people to get into, especially those who are currently playing video games on consoles (and who don’t want to game on a PC).