Well, we probably all saw this coming, and yet that doesn’t make it a good idea.Facebook, which has now rebranded itself as Meta, has now also rebranded its entire VR division the same way.
Officially, the Oculus name is no more.Announced yesterday, Oculus is dead, and has now been replaced by Meta.That means the current, popular headset the company is selling is now the “Meta Quest 2” instead of the “Oculus Quest 2,” and that should apply to all future branding.
The move was announced with a playful meme:
That meme doesn’t really work because technically the name should now be “Oculus Meta Quest” by that definition.Follow-up responses to complaints about the unwanted change were met with the same reply:
The explanation is that Facebook, err Meta, wants to “make our ambitions to help build the metaverse more clear with our new name!” Facebook is going hard on its very specific idea of the metaverse, which involves widespread adoption of VR technology and use of its platforms like Horizon, where legless avatars have virtual business meetings.
MORE FOR YOU ‘Demon Slayer’ Season 2 Finally Has An Actual 2021 Release Date Netflix’s ‘Squid Game’ Season 2 Not A Sure Thing, Says Director ‘Genshin Impact’ Still Refuses To Increase Anniversary Rewards, Despite Fan Outcry It’s also possible Facebook wants to scrub out the last vestiges of Palmer Luckey, the controversial tech figure who sold Oculus to Facebook, and was eventually booted out (he attempted to “ratio” this name change post on Twitter).But really, it’s probably about making an overall more coherent brand under the Meta name.
And this seems like a big mistake.
Oculus was the single most known name in VR.
It’s existed since this modern era of VR began in 2012, and erasing that history and replacing it with Facebook’s widely mocked Meta branding feels very counterproductive.And justifying it by talking more about the metaverse alienates some of even the VR faithful who made the Oculus brand a hit to begin with.
We are now in a weird situation where oculus.com still exists, but the logo on the site is Meta Quest, but the headset being shown still has Oculus branding.And is simply listed as the “Quest 2.”
Oculus was having a moment with the Quest 2 being a big seller this past holiday, thanks in part to traditional console shortages.The only better-selling VR headset before this was PlayStation VR which again, has a big brand name attached to it.Oculus erasing its name and losing a decade of its VR history does not seem like the right play, especially when the name it’s changing to A) does not sound good and B) has become a running joke in some circles as Facebook’s attempts at brute forcing the metaverse have been widely mocked.Also, they’re still using the old Oculus logo, which no longer makes sense as the sideways oval was supposed to be both the shape of a headset and be an “O.”
As ever, I do not trust Facebook being in charge of either the metaverse or being at the forefront of VR, and I think they’ve burned a lot of their own longtime customers by torching the Oculus name in favor of Meta.It’s not unexpected, but I’m not sure what they were expecting, other than to get flamed by Oculus users for this change, and most of them are likely to keep using the same name they’ve gotten used to over the past ten years.
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