The Oculus Quest 1, released just five years ago in 2019, is facing an unfortunate fate come May. Meta, the company behind Oculus, announced last year that they would be implementing planned obsolescence for the Quest 1. This means that new apps released in the Quest Store after April 30th will no longer be playable on the Quest 1. Developers will not be able to upload new apps solely for the Quest 1, effectively blocking Quest 1 support for new apps that are compatible with multiple headsets.

For users of the Quest 1, this decision by Meta is disheartening. Not only will new apps be inaccessible, but security updates and bug fixes are also set to come to an end later this year in August. In addition, certain social features have already been lost for Quest 1 users, and the Oculus SDK stopped supporting Quest 1 back in April 2023. This rapid loss of support and functionality makes it challenging for Quest 1 users to continue enjoying their VR experience.

While planned obsolescence is not a new concept in the tech industry, the quick turnaround for the Oculus Quest 1 is particularly jarring. Unlike traditional console generations that span several years and offer significant graphical upgrades, the Quest 1 is being phased out after just five years, with the Quest 2 launching only 18 months after its predecessor. This decision by Meta to push users towards the new headset without clear value proposition raises concerns about consumer trust and loyalty.

The forced obsolescence of the Oculus Quest 1 highlights the challenges of staying current in the rapidly evolving VR industry. As Meta continues to prioritize newer models and phase out older ones, users are left grappling with the consequences. While advancements in technology are inevitable, the manner in which companies handle transitions can greatly impact user satisfaction and loyalty. The question remains: will the Oculus Quest 2 face a similar fate in the near future, or will Meta adopt a more user-friendly approach to hardware upgrades? Only time will tell.


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