Trapped In The Matrix?
The transformation from successful KickStarter program to Facebook appendage may have garnered the creators a lot of money but it certainly hasn’t made them popular. The decision seems to have only exacerbated the issues faced by VR headsets, adding a ridiculous dependency on top of onerous computer hardware requirements and the price of entry; not to mention a space to move in and a stomach that can handle the occasional stutter.
That dependency, currently only for the Oculus Quest but coming in 2023 to other models, was made very blatant earlier this week for anyone who wanted to take solace in VR while they experienced withdrawal symptoms caused by their virtual heroin social media addiction during the Facebook outage. Anyone who tried starting up their Oculus Quest found that their entire catalogue of apps was unavailable, even if they were downloaded and installed locally. The few that chose the Facebook outage as a reason to finally set up their headset for the first time also found they were unable to activate it, as without that connection to Facebook the Quest becomes a very expensive and ineffective pair of glasses.
The benefit to this outage, apart from the enforced face to face social interaction that temporarily became a thing again, is that the existence of Oculess hit the news again. This software allows you to make use of at least some of the features of your headset without needing a Facebook umbilical, supporting SideQuest apps and the Firefox Reality web browser. You will need to put your Oculus Quest in developer mode, which you can do by following these steps, if you would like alternatives to talking to people the next time there is an outage.
This vividly highlights the problem with having to connect to Facebook's services to gain access to apps -- the WiFi connection was fine. Even all the ones downloaded and taking up actual storage space didn't show up. It's why some VR fans began boycotting the company when it made all mandatory that all Oculus Quest 2's had to be affiliated with a Facebook account.