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Meta to cut off app updates for original Quest this month

Oculus quest render

In January 2023, Meta announced its plans to wind down the original Quest. The company said the first-gen VR (virtual reality) headset will gradually lose features and stop receiving security updates in 2024. While the device remains functional, it will soon become less usable. Starting April 30, the Quest 1 will no longer support new apps and app updates.

Meta will block new apps and app updates for the original Quest

Meta (formerly Facebook) launched the first-gen Quest VR headset in early 2019 under the Oculus brand. It followed up with the Quest 2 in late 2020 and the Quest 3 late last year. Ahead of the latter’s unveiling, the company announced that it is depreciating the original model. The Quest 1 stopped receiving feature updates and lost access to Parties and Meta Horizon Home social features.

In a recent email to developers, Meta has detailed the next steps for this ongoing winding down of the original Quest. The company said it won’t accept new apps and app updates for the device from April 30, 2024. Apps submitted beyond the deadline will not appear in the Meta Store for the headset. Updates for existing apps will also be blocked, even though Quest 2 and Quest 3 users will receive those updates.

The Quest 1 will receive critical bug fixes and security patches at least until August 2024. However, users will not be able to update existing apps and download or purchase new apps. Coupled with the removal of some features last year, the original Quest is substantially less useful than it was earlier. Meta doesn’t block the sideloading of apps on the device, so there is a backdoor. However, it comes with security risks.

Meta wants you to stop using the Quest 1

Meta’s latest move suggests it does not want people to continue using the original Quest. The idea might be to drive them toward the Quest 3 or the Quest 2. The latter arrived about 18 months after the first-gen model but should get longer support. It significantly outsold the Quest 1. By early 2023, Meta had sold 20 million VR headsets, 18 million of which were the second-gen models.

The Quest 2 also sold better than the Quest 3 during the 2023 holiday season. Despite being about three years older, people likely preferred it because of the price difference. The 2020 model currently costs $200 for the base variant, while the 2023 model starts at $500. Meta might keep supporting both models for a few years until it is ready with a newer one. As for the original Quest, its time is almost up.

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