The name change comes as part of the parent company’s wider transition to the Meta brand (thanks, GI.biz). Formerly known as Facebook, the rebrand took place in October 2021, with Facebook as a platform becoming a product under the wider Meta umbrella. The move was officially to better position the company to take advantage of the burgeoning “metaverse” (although chief technology officer John Carmack later expressed doubts about the metaverse as a concept).
Although not a focus of the October reveal, the impending change for Oculus was actually announced at the time, albeit subtly. Meta’s VP of AR/VR, Andrew Bosworth published a Facebook post discussing the new Meta identity, in which he openly confirmed the VR platform would be changing its name.
“VR will be the most immersive way for people to access the metaverse and as we look toward our goal of bringing [one billion] people into VR, we want to make it clear that Quest is a Meta product,” Bosworth wrote. “For this reason, we’re simplifying our brand architecture and shifting away from the Oculus brand for our hardware.”
“Starting in early 2022, you’ll start to see the shift from Oculus Quest from Facebook to Meta Quest and Oculus App to Meta Quest App over time,” he added.
At present, that should only be taken to mean the branding will change beginning next spring, as Meta hasn’t announced a third generation Quest yet. The most recent headset in the hardware family, the Oculus Quest 2, was launched on October 13, 2020, essentially becoming the sole and primary VR headset from the company.
However, abandoning the Oculus name, which then-Facebook acquired in 2014, hasn’t been easy. Bosworth wrote that “we all have a strong attachment to the Oculus brand, and this was a very difficult decision to make. While we’re changing the brand of the hardware, Oculus will continue to be a core part of our DNA and will live on in things like software and developer tools.”
An all-in-one device that runs games and software natively, the Quest 2 offers a solid VR experience as a discrete unit, while also being able to tether to PCs for more powerful titles, effectively replacing the former Oculus Rift devices. It offered a significant leap in optics and on-board power compared to its predecessor, so hopefully the inevitable “Meta Quest 3” will enjoy a similar upgrade, whenever it does arrive.
Elsewhere, the original Paper Mario is coming to the Nintendo Switch Online library next week, as part of the enhanced selection of N64 titles, while former Nintendo of America boss and star of a thousand memes Reggie Fils-Aimé will be a presenter at this year’s The Game Awards.