Meta is planning to stop supporting the original Quest VR headset with new software updates, and soon anyone using the older hardware will be locked out of some social features.
Several users on Reddit and Twitter, along with journalist Janko Roettgers, have posted screenshots of an email saying the company will stop shipping new features to the Quest 1 and that some features are going away. The headset will, however, be getting “critical bug fixes and security patches until 2024.”
The email says that original Quests will keep working, but users won’t be able to “create or join a party” and that users “who currently have access to Meta Horizon Home social features will lose access to these features on March 5, 2023.” Those features appear to include the ability to go to someone else’s home or have someone visit your home.
The Quest, which was released under the Oculus brand in 2019, is a predecessor to the popular Quest 2 headset, which came out in late 2020. For years, the two headsets have largely gotten the same new features, despite having substantially different hardware.
The Quest 2 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2, a chip released in 2020 specifically for AR and VR headsets. Meanwhile, the original Quest is powered by the Snapdragon 835 / Kryo 280 platform — a chipset from 2017. It’s possible that Meta is having trouble developing new features that work with the platform’s capabilities, doesn’t want to keep spending money on old hardware as it tightens its budget and lays people off, or that Qualcomm is ending development support on its side.
Notably, before John Carmack’s recent departure from Meta, he had some sharp words about how the company is underutilizing its hardware.
While the move will be a disappointment to Quest 1 owners, there were signs. Last year, Meta made it so the battle royal game Population: One would no longer run on the headset.