Facebook says that Oculus Rift S headsets “generally” won’t be replenished as they disappear from store shelves, marking the end of the VR system’s useful life. What UploadVR reported yesterday, Facebook has confirmed that “broadly speaking, as channels are sold out, they will not be replenished in the future.” PC-connected headsets are not available through the Oculus store and are out of stock on retail platforms such as Amazon and Walmart in the US, except third parties.
Facebook announced last year that it would discontinue the Oculus Rift S in 2021. While the headset was a successor to the historic Oculus Rift, it compromised features like screen resolution and refresh rate, particularly compared to high-end competitors based in PC as the Valve Index. Meanwhile, Facebook shifted its focus to the standalone Oculus Quest, a mobile headset that can also be connected to a desktop PC, making it functionally a replacement for the Rift S.
According to some reports, that strategy was a marked departure from previous Oculus plans. Oculus co-founder Brendan Iribe left the company in 2018, reportedly after Facebook canceled a high-end “Rift 2” headset. The late Oculus founder Palmer Luckey alluded to that rumor on Twitter today, saying he was “envisioning a world where the Rift 2 was not canceled shortly before going into production and then canceled again in favor of a Lenovo rebadge with much lower specs.” (The Oculus Rift S was produced in association with Lenovo.)
However, moving to standalone designs has apparently worked well for Facebook so far. Facebook says last year’s Oculus Quest 2 outsold all previous Oculus headsets combined. The device has established Facebook as the dominant VR headset company at the price of ceding high-end PC-based virtual reality to competitors such as Valve, HTC and HP. And Facebook has indicated that it will continue the Quest line for the near future, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying that he is already envisioning the “Quest 3 and 4” headphones.