Remember when Quest VR headsets started making you sign in with a Facebook login, and pretty much everyone hated it? Remember when Mark Zuckerberg said he’d add the ability to use the Quest platform without a Facebook account in a future software update? Remember when everyone asked for a “Meta” account instead, effectively solving none of the issues with using Facebook as the underlying platform for a completely separate gaming system?
One of those things didn’t happen.
So, the actual news is that users of the extremely popular (and recently more expensive) Quest 2 VR headset can finally start using the game system without requiring a Facebook account. And the other shoe dropping is that, instead of going back to the perfectly serviceable Oculus accounts that were in use before Facebook bought the company, users now have the choice to use a Meta account instead.
Meta, for the uninitiated, is the new umbrella company that owns both Oculus and Facebook, and which is pushing Zuckerberg’s VR-heavy vision of the Metaverse future (in which he plays the part of the bad guy from Ready Player One).
Users are not happy, to put it simply. A mandatory account with a notoriously invasive and manipulative purveyor of personal data from billions of people and willing participant in the spread of violent rhetoric and misinformation, and an account with the parent company of a notoriously invasive and manipulative purveyor of et cetera et cetera, is a distinction without a difference. It isn’t a bald-faced lie, but it amounts to the same thing. It is exactly what no one asked for.
Now, as before, users can buy a Meta Quest 2 headset and simply use it as an extension of a gaming PC. It works remarkably well in that capacity, even wirelessly if your network is up to snuff. And it’s possible never to give another dollar to Facebook Meta again after buying the initial headset — just get your VR games from Steam’s VR platform or side-load them on the Android-based headset, instead of using the Meta game store. It’s inconvenient, but it’s more than possible, and it’s still the cheapest way around to get into VR.
But this bait-and-switch move from Meta is, frankly, BS.