Meta is making a big mistake by rebranding the Oculus Quest

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Meta (formerly known every bit Facebook) recently appear on Twitter that it will be irresolute the proper noun of its Oculus Quest VR headsets to the ‘Meta Quest’.

It’s not a huge surprise that Meta has washed this, with Marking Zuckerberg emphasising the company’southward new focus on the metaverse late concluding year, but I all the same tin’t help only ringlet my optics and consider this to be a massive mistake.

The Oculus Quest headsets take been incredibly pop in the last few years. Qualcomm claims (via The Verge) that Meta has sold 10 million units of the Oculus Quest 2 as of November 2022. To put that in perspective, Microsoft has sold 12 million units of the Xbox Series X in a similar fourth dimension frame – those are impressive sales figures.

VR headsets have been widely considered to have niche appeal due to the expensive price points and requirement of a powerful PC. Just Oculus has done a peachy job of finally making VR more accessible and penetrating the mass market. All of a sudden, Oculus has become a well known brand and arguably the biggest poster boy for VR all the same.

Now Zuckerberg has canned the Oculus name, the VR company is at adventure of losing all the goodwill it’s congenital up over the final few years. When the Meta Quest 3 inevitably arrives, many people may non realise information technology’s the successor to the Oculus Quest 2.

But the bigger risk is the associations that the newly formed Meta make brings. It’s no secret that Facebook acquired Oculus dorsum in 2022, but by having a separate brand name to the social media giant, it felt distanced to the controversial dealings of Facebook.

Forbes conducted a poll dorsum in October 2022 request 2,200 U.Due south adults what they thought almost Facebook. A whopping 39% revealed that they viewed it negatively, while 68% of people said they have no involvement in the metaverse. While I admittedly don’t take the prove to dorsum this up, I reckon people view the Oculus brand far more than positively.

There has also been enough of backfire from the Oculus community regarding the gradual integration of Facebook features. You currently need a Facebook account to use an Oculus headset, which received such a negative reaction that Zuckerberg was forced to denote that he was making a U-plow on that conclusion.

“Every bit we’ve focused more than on work, and frankly as we’ve heard your feedback more than broadly, we’re working on making it so you can log in into Quest with an account other than your personal Facebook business relationship,” Mark Zuckerberg revealed during the Facebook Connect result. “We’re starting to examination support for work accounts presently, and nosotros’re working on making a broader shift here, inside the adjacent year.”

Only the biggest issue with the Meta Quest rebranding is that it demonstrates a greater focus on the metaverse compared to gaming. And if you’re notwithstanding unconvinced, bank check out this post from the Meta Quest Twitter aqueduct:

“We sympathise our community volition miss the Oculus name, merely change doesn’t always take to be a bad thing! We’re hoping to make our ambitions to help build the metaverse more than clear with our new name!”

But take one look at the Oculus Quest’s top-selling ‘experiences’ and you can immediately see why that’s problematic.

Out of the 30 virtually pop experiences on the Oculus Quest right now, 19 of those are VR games rather than social apps. Simply Rec Room and VR Conversation tin can actually exist considered to be metaverse-esque social experiences – perchance PokerStars VR and Bigscreen Beta at a stretch.

Check out the top-selling experiences (which includes paid-for downloads) on the Oculus store, and it’southward even more than skewed towards gaming apps over social experiences. Out of the 50 apps, 46 are considered to exist games – although information technology’s worth remembering that many social apps tend to exist free to download and so won’t be counted.

And so all the data currently suggests that the Quest headsets are primarily used for gaming, despite Zuckerberg’s ambitions to turn it into a social platform akin to Facebook.

Even though I’m incredibly sceptical most the metaverse equally a whole, I tin can understand Zuckerberg’s lofty ambitions. Only removing the Oculus branding seems risky to me, potentially alienating its growing gaming audience in favour of the metaverse that most people seem unconvinced by.

I don’t understand why Zuckerberg didn’t but retain the Oculus Quest branding, while all the same positioning under the Meta umbrella – subsequently all, the visitor didn’t telephone call its VR headset the Facebook Quest when it starting time launched.

And the likes of the PlayStation and Xbox brands are prime examples to show the do good of creating a more gaming-focused name rather than simply calling it the Sony v or the Microsoft Serial 10. The PlayStation and Xbox brands now take very large and passionate fan bases, which is arguably more important for sales than the actual hardware inside the consoles.

The Oculus make was showing many signs that it was going downwardly the same path, but at present Zuckerberg has forced information technology to switch focus to the metaverse. Only time will tell whether this move will exist successful, but I’thou betting that it’s a disaster in the making.

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