When Facebook took over a budding VR company called Oculus in 2014, they promised that it would remain an independent entity. Now the tech giant is officially turning Oculus into a Facebook-branded VR experience.
Users of Oculus VR headsets will sooner or later be forced to create a social media account on Facebook if they want to keep using their devices to the full extent, Facebook subsidiary Oculus has announced. Existing customers will have until January 2023 to continue playing without Facebook.
Come 2023, however, support for all Oculus accounts be discontinued.
New customers and newly purchased Oculus headsets will already be bound to Facebook from October onwards. If you don't have a Facebook account, you'll have to create one.
VR fans who don't want to be on Facebook will have to pick a different VR gaming platform like Sony's PlayStation VR.
Facebook fans, meanwhile, will be able to log into Oculus with their Facebook account before 2023 to merge the two, but you don't have to – yet.
Those who still do not agree to merge their accounts in 2023 can still use their glasses in principle – including purchased content – according to the information provided.
However, full functionality will only be possible with a Facebook account. Without a Facebook account, Oculus says it can't guarantee that all games and apps will continue to work.
Facebook is justifying its plans by saying that this step will make it easier to log in and find other VR players and to connect and play with them.
If you don't want your Oculus friends to know your Facebook name, you'll have to actively change this in the Oculus settings.
Every player will be able to decide for themselves what gaming activities will be public on their Facebook profile or timeline – either in the settings or by limiting the visibility of such automatic posts to certain groups.
How Facebook plans to use data on your gaming behaviour and your use of the platform is described in an FAQ on the Oculus homepage. – dpa
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