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What the VR is Going on at Facebook? Accounts, Store Content and the Splits

The launch of the Oculus Quest 2 has largely been a success with Facebook Reality Labs’ Chris Pruett reported as saying its: “beyond what we expected.” But that doesn’t mean to say it’s been entirely plain sailing as there has been a backlash from consumers over a range of issues, some more concerning than others.

Oculus Quest 2

A lot of the grievances stem from Facebook’s new policy of either needing a social media account or merging an Oculus and Facebook one together if you’ve bought the Oculus Quest 2 – no need to just yet if you haven’t. With the two intertwined this has brought worries such as banned accounts, what happens to bought content if you don’t want Facebook and using multiple headsets with the same account.

As widely reported Facebook can ban an account depending on how its used or whether it appears suspicious – no real activity for example. Vice President of Augmented and Virtual Reality at Facebook, Andrew Bosworth held an Instagram Q&A a couple of weeks back addressing that concern saying: “people should continue to make sure their Facebook accounts are in good standing before they buy the headset.” He went on to say that they are trying to resolve issues as soon as they appear. This isn’t likely to appease that have had an account ban.

Then last week the account subject continued to boil as it was revealed that should you delete your Facebook account this will also delete your Oculus information including any Oculus Store purchases – deactivating the account will also stop Oculus access. Whilst this isn’t great news for those who love their Oculus Quest 2 but don’t want a Facebook account anymore, just remember that this practice is common. Most online services like this – Steam for example – require an account to access paid content. Delete the account and away goes your stuff. You only really own it if it’s physical and that’s only possible with PlayStation VR content – GOG.com being the exception.

Oculus Quest 2
Oculus Quest 2 with Elite Strap + Battery accessory

And then there’s this weekend’s furore into using the same account on two headsets if you own the original Oculus Quest and Quest 2 for example. This blew up due to Oculus Support telling someone that doing so could get them banned. Thankfully, this turned out to be wrong with Oculus Support tweeting: “Using the same Facebook account on two or more Oculus headsets simultaneously will NOT get your account “banned.”” Going on to say: “we plan to introduce the ability for multiple users to log into the same device using their own Facebook account.” So at least that’s some good news.

Lastly, there’s the Elite Strap problem. There’s been a massive amount of discussion (and images) over on the Oculus Quest sub-Reddit with customers reporting straps cracking, splitting and simply breaking all in the same spot, the plastic arms which connect the front to the back. A small number could be down to misuse yet the breaking trend continues to grow, very concerning for those with the more expensive battery option. Tellingly, on the Oculus website, both Elite Strap options are now unavailable in every country so this is a major issue needing to be rectified.

These first few weeks have been quite the thunderstorm for Facebook and its Oculus Quest 2 launch. Many will be happy with their new headset – VRFocus’ Oculus Quest 2 review praised the device – with new and improved content but the release hasn’t been plain sailing. Facebook is a dominant force in VR so love it or hate it all you can do is vote with your wallet.