Meta Intends to Stop Quest 1 Support in 2024
Meta plans to terminate support for the original Quest headset with new software updates set to end this year. Those using the headset will also be cut off from some of the built-in social features soon.
Meta sent out an email titled “Upcoming Changes for Quest 1” that outlines some of the changes in the older VR headset. The headset was first unveiled in 2018 and it began shipping in May 2019. In late 2020, the original headset was succeeded by the widely popular Quest 2 headset which has gone on to ship over 15 million units according to some reports. The Quest 2 headset features a more powerful Snapdragon XR2 processor with a slimmer design than that of the original Quest headset. Support for that headset is now coming to an end.
Just got this email from Meta. Looks like the Quest 1's days are numbered💀😥 pic.twitter.com/QV3EPBXIuR
— blaze5161 (@blaze_5161) January 9, 2023
Following the termination of the updates, users of the original headset will still be able to use it with the available apps but Meta says they will no longer be able to “create or join a party.”
Screenshots of the Meta email were widely shared by several users on Twitter, and Reddit as well as by journalist Janko Roettgers. The email states that the original Quest headset would still get “critical bug fixes and security features until 2024.”
According to the email, the original Quest headset will still work but users will be unable to “create or join a party.” It also states that users who already have access to the Horizon social features will lose that access on March 5, 2023. These include features such as the ability to visit someone else’s home or for someone else to visit your home.
The original Quest headset came to the market under the Oculus brand. Both that headset and its successor, the Meta Quest 2, have been getting pretty much the same new features over the years in spite of their considerably different hardware.
The Quest 2 headset runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 processor, a chip that came out in 2020 and which was specifically built for virtual reality and augmented reality hardware rather than for the smartphones like the previous generations of chips. The original Quest headset ran on the Snapdragon 835/Kryo 280 platform which is an old chipset from 2017.
It is likely Meta faced challenges with the development of the new features that would be compatible with the capabilities of the old platform and is not keen on throwing more money into old hardware at a time when it is laying off staff and making cutbacks in its spending. It is also possible that Qualcomm is terminating development support on its side.
Before his departure from the company in December 2022, Meta is consulting CTO John Carmack had sharply criticized the company’s underutilization of its hardware.
Stopping support for the original Quest headset wouldn’t go well with the owners of that headset who also number in the millions but it is a move that was expected. In 2022, Meta ensured the battle royale game Population: One will not run on the original Quest headset.
In December 2020, the Oculus Go headset, Meta’s first standalone device, stopped accepting new apps although the company promised that security patches would run through 2022. The Quest headset was the culmination of years of trial-and-error that enabled Meta to zero in on features that would ensure consumer satisfaction and drive consistent developer sales.