You’ll need a Facebook account to use future Oculus headsets

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge
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Oculus will soon require all of its virtual reality headset users to sign up with a Facebook account. The Facebook-owned company says it will start removing support for separate Oculus accounts in October, although users can maintain an existing account until January 1st, 2023. All users can maintain a distinct “VR profile” with a separate friends list.

Starting later this year, you’ll only be able to sign up for an Oculus account through Facebook. If you already have an account, you’ll be prompted to permanently merge your account. If you don’t, you’ll be able to use the headset normally until 2023, at which point official support will end. Old headsets using non-linked accounts will still work, but some games and apps may no longer function. Developers can keep using an unlinked developer account without social functionality, and the Oculus for Business platform uses a separate login process that will remain unchanged.

Facebook also says that all future unreleased Oculus devices will require a Facebook login, even if you’ve got a separate account already. The company is widely expected to announce a new version of its Oculus Quest headset this fall, and that policy would likely apply to it.

The new changes apparently consolidate Facebook’s management of its platforms. A new privacy policy will be administered by Facebook itself, not the separate Facebook Technologies hardware subsidiary, and “Facebook will manage all decisions around use, processing, retention and sharing of your data.” Oculus will also adopt Facebook’s core community standards rather than use a separate code of conduct, and Facebook will add a new “VR-focused” section to its standards. A single login also slightly simplifies launching experiences like Horizon, the social VR world that Facebook announced last year.

Facebook has been slowly integrating Oculus’ platform after buying the company in 2014. In late 2019, it added new VR social features requiring a Facebook account and began using data gathered through Oculus in ads. The divisions shared information well before that, a fact that has concerned critics of Facebook data collection practices.

In 2018, Facebook confirmed that it could do things like ban linked spam accounts across the platforms, but it has denied invasive tracking of users’ behavior. And while Facebook’s targeted advertising has drawn criticism, it’s not rolling out any new ads on the Oculus platform right now. This new policy removes a final layer of separation between Oculus and Facebook accounts, though, and it forces anyone who’s not on the core Facebook service to finally sign up.

Comments

This is a dealbreaker for me…Oculus was my favorite because of its performance/price value ratio, but I don’t have a Facebook account. I don’t want one; ever. Guess I’ll have to move on to the Index.

No you wont lol
Thats just silly

It’s silly that someone would have sensibilities and make purchases based around that?

It’s really not that silly. I have a Rift now that I’ve had since 2017, and with this news, my next VR headset won’t be an Oculus one.

I’ll probably just go for a WMR one as there’s some good range of options.

What surprises me is that this news surprises anyone. I called this back when FB acquired Oculus, and although I am still not on the VR bandwagon, I moved all my attention exclusively to PS VR and VIVE.

Well it’s been 6 years and they still hadn’t required it. By the time they actually do, it will have been nearly a decade of them not requiring a FB acct. But hey, I had my fun with it. Time to move on.

I don’t have any VR headset, but every time I research them Oculus has been a non-starter for me because of Facebook. Forcing a Facebook log in certainly doesn’t increase the chances that cave in and get one.

Agreed- this is the line I’ll draw as I don’t want a "social account" to log in to a private gaming device. It’s a shame as, quite rightly noted above, they have good hardware products in this area, and I suspect I’ll be a tiny part of the potential market who are turned off by Facebook integration, but at least it helps make future purchasing decisions easier!

Complete deal breaker. Sorry Oculus, you just lost a future customer.

I deleted my FB account in 2016, properly. Life is better off without an Facebook account, and I was eyeing the Oculus as my next big purchase.

Is this trolling? How hard it it to create a burner account or in other words FB account whose only purpose is to do Oculus stuff? If you are not in to supporting FB in general sure, but this seems like a weird line in the sand to draw.

Why? They are a consumer who doesn’t want a Facebook account, and won’t be buying an Oculus because of it. This sort of feedback, not buying things because of consumer preference, is how our system is supposed to work.

Youre going to have to create an account of some sort for any VR. Thats the world we live in. If you dont use facebook, who cares? Just create a fake account as an 80 yr old woman from alabama and youre done. Never visit the site again. Enjoy your new VR system.

There are reports of Facebook closing burner accounts and people losing their purchases because of it.

They’ll need to change that policy or they’ll be plenty of returns.

I use a Facebook Burner account for all my mobile gaming (if they don’t allow for Google loggins) and Oculus Rift software. There is always a chance the account could be closed, but as long as you are not doing anything to bring attention violation of their TOS (burner accounts are against the TOS, but so are accounts created for animals, children, etc and those thrive on the platform) you should be safe from losing access to your library of purchased titles.

That’s what I don’t understand, for some reason people think that they have to fill everything out truthfully.

Name: Joe Blow
Gender: Jedi
Religion: feast of maximum occupancy
Location: mars

Problem solved.

That no longer works on Facebook, and hasn’t for quite a while.

It’s not that easy to keep burner accounts open. They often figure it out and shut them down.

It’s pretty simple really. For a plurality of reasons that could fill books, I have no desire to connect to Facebook. Ever.

Facebook has gotten really good at spotting and deactivating fake accounts. Most of the time you won’t even get approved.

Why don’t you just sign up for a Facebook account using a brand new email, don’t add any friends on Facebook just keep it private, if you don’t like anything and dont talk to people then you will be just fine… there security is a lot better now. It’s not a big deal…

Because every active user account (which this would count as every time you use the Oculus) is a figure used to help bolster Facebook’s stats, which in turn helps them to sell more ads, make more money, and then use said profits to generally be deplorable – I know this sounds a little bit crazy, but when you have companies as large and scary as Facebook you have to take a stand (I know plenty of people who avoid Amazon for their tax dodging, or Google for their privacy stance (heck, Apple uses Facebook and Google’s leaky behaviour as a marketing tactic it’s so prolific)).

Plus Facebook will know who you are based on your location and room layout that they can see through oculus cameras. They just trying to monetize their already expensive product to make them even more money

They know who you are from the credit card linked to your Oculus store account for you to buy any games or apps. It’s not like they won’t know who you are, just because you don’t link a Facebook account.

There are plenty of third party resellers (Amazon) for example which would’ve previously kept you off of Facebook’s radar until this move at least!

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