When Oculus was bought by Facebook, many worried the social media platform would be forced onto HMD owners. Now it's finally happening.
Today Oculus managed to agitate most of its playerbase by confirming that Facebook accounts will be required to log in to use the HMDs. Oculus is merging its internal Oculus accounts with Facebook. All new Oculus owners will have to sign in with their Facebook accounts to set the hardware up, but existing owners won't be forced to use Facebook to sign in...yet.
Oculus says that current VR headset owners have 2 years before their Oculus accounts are no longer supported. On January 1, 2023, all Oculus account sign-ins will be discontinued and users will have to sign in with their Facebook accounts. Current owners have the option to merge their Oculus and Facebook accounts together to avoid any issues later down the road.
All future Oculus products will also require Facebook accounts. So if you buy the new Quest headset, you'll still have to use your Facebook to log in.
Oh, and some games, apps, and content may no longer work with the new Facebook-Oculus merger once the Oculus account sign-ins are shut down.
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.
The motivation for this change is to completely overhaul social interactions in VR. Oculus wants to use Facebook to find, interact, and play with friends while utilizing the social media platform's specific feature set (and monetization, of course).
Some examples of social features that Facebook provides on Oculus include:
- Chats - Chat with friends in or out of the headset, and quickly hop into games together
- User and developer-created events - Organize tournaments or multiplayer games with friends
- Livestreaming - Share gameplay to your Facebook timeline from VR
- Sharing to Groups - Post to VR-related Facebook Groups under your VR username
- Parties - Create open parties to meet up with friends in-VR