Oculus co-founder leaves Facebook

There's rumors kicking around that the next-generation Oculus headset has been killed off. Labelled 'Rift 2,' it would be the first meaningful update to the high-end PC hardware since the original debut of the Rift.

Brendan Iribe, one of the company's co-founders, is leaving Facebook after the project was cancelled, at least according to Techcrunch. The news made me pause, for a minute, and wonder aloud... what even happened to VR?

This was an industry so hype-driven, pushing the limits of computers, with wild technology demos and people dying to try it out, but it seemingly fizzled out. The realities of VR were the problem: wires everywhere, a high-end PC tethered on the other end, and the need for an entire room to actually play.

That's not even mentioning the simple challenge that almost every virtual reality game today tends to remain a technology demo. You jump in, have your mind blown, and it's over: there's no depth, or hours of content, just enough stuff to think "wow, VR is cool" before forgetting about it forever.

Facebook, for its part, is focused on something new in VR for that reason: all-in-one devices. The next-generation Oculus headsets don't require external hardware, wires, or even a phone in the helmet — they do it all for you.

Lowering that barrier might be critical to VR's success, and I suspect that Facebook's made the right call here. It's a shame that commercial, high-end VR might flounder as a result, but fostering a PC-based ecosystem is difficult at best.

Tab Dump

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Amazon wants Bloomberg to revoke the Supermicro story, too
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