In the recent months, we have seen Oculus take some heat for their approach on creating with the Oculus Quest. Facebook is taking a much more strict approach to the Quest than the Rift or the Go, as we have seen masses of developers turn away from the Quest because of it.
Rubin claims that even if they reject a developer or their idea it will never be permanent. This also means that they may simply not reject or approve an idea until it has the ability to pass. In short, many developers will be waiting a ling time until their idea is even responded to. He says that “I will not categorically say no to anything,” although he might save it for the Rift until the Quest is powerful enough to run the game or app.
“Some developer might come in and go, ‘Listen, we think the future of VR is this type of title. It won’t work on Quest,’” Rubin said. “Let’s just pretend for a second it’s entirely physics-based, and physics is a CPU-intensive process, and at least today, Quest can’t do it. And we think about it, and we go, ‘That’s genius. We’ll fund that for PC,’ because if it works on PC, someday it’s going to work on Quest, and that pushes VR forward. So, that’s the title I would do for PC.”
To rephrase that, he is saying that if you are looking to build a game or app for Oculus, you may be turned away if the idea will never fully translate to being on the Quest. This is telling in many ways. It means that Facebook is banking on the Quest (or future headsets just like it) to be the future of virtual reality. Standalone, with no outside sensors or computing devices, is exactly where many believe we are headed.
When asked about what this headset is and the meaning of it, Rubin said that “It’s evolutionary. It’s not revolutionary,” Rubin went on to say, “Think about consoles. You can update the console, smaller form factor, lower costs, all of that. If it plays the same software, same ecosystem. It’s a different device, but it’s the same ecosystem. PlayStation 5 may play software that you can’t play on 4. That’s a new ecosystem. This is the same ecosystem.”
In light of all of this, we have seen a side loading app, SideQuest, take developers by the masses. This is not a good look for Oculus right now. They are having developers and studios get turned away from the Quest, but they are still getting their games and apps onto the headset. This shows a lack of power that Oculus has to enforce the rules that need to be followed, although the developers are just trying to give customers the best experience on their new standalone headsets.
SideQuest is a premium for getting your half-baked apps and games onto the Quest. The way that SideQuest side loads is very fast, effective, and safe. The first app the brought light to this new feature was Virtual Desktop. After Oculus asked Virtual Desktop to take their most recent app update from the Oculus Store, they fired back and side loaded it for their loyal customers. Many thought this would drive Oculus to let up on their harsh rules, but that didn’t seem to be the case.
Oculus isn’t planning on backing down anytime soon, as their reasoning for the decisions they have made are very clear and precise. Unless something changes in the very near future, we can expect Oculus to stay stingy on their rules.