Facebook Allows Oculus Go to be “Repurposed” with Release of Unlocked OS

Facebook has made good on a promise to release an unlocked OS build for its discontinued Oculus Go headset which will allow it to be modified beyond what was originally possible with the device.

Update (October 22, 2021: Facebook this week released the unlocked OS build for Oculus Go, its now discontinued standalone VR headset. With the headset unlocked, users can gain root access to the software underlying the device, essentially providing total control over how it works and what runs on it.

For regular users, this doesn’t mean much, but the unlocked OS build makes it possible for developers to make modifications to the headset which could allow it to do things it never used to be able to. In the future, those modifications could be distributed to allow others to install the same functionality.

What kind of mod scene will or won’t evolve around the unlocked headset isn’t clear at this time, but at a minimum it means the device can continue to be used and improved by those willing well into the future.

The original article, which covered the initial announcement of the unlocked Oculus Go build, continues below.

Original Article (September 30th, 2021): John Carmack, part-time CTO of Oculus, says in a recent tweet that users can expect to gain root access “soon,” which will be made available via an unlocked OS build for the Oculus Go headset that can be side loaded. Oculus Go was the company’s last 3DOF headset before transitioning to the Oculus Quest platform in 2019, which offers full room-scale movement in a similar standalone package.

Providing root access will allow Oculus Go users to take control of the headset’s kernel, which will technically allow for a host of things like overclocking (and underclocking) its CPU and GPU, and fully backing up, restoring, or batch-editing applications.

Photo by Road to VR

In essence, it’s a way of making sure the hardware is useful for years to come despite being technically surpassed, Carmack says.

“This opens up the ability to repurpose the hardware for more things today, and means that a randomly discovered shrink wrapped headset twenty years from now will be able to update to the final software version, long after over-the-air update servers have been shut down.”

When asked about his thoughts on doing a similar unlock for Oculus Quest at some point in the future, Carmack said this:

“I hope this is a precedent for when headsets go unsupported in the future, but damn, getting all the necessary permissions for this involved SO much more effort that you would expect.”

Pushing authorization through to finally unlock Go apparently wasn’t an issue with Facebook’s legal time, Carmack says.

“Legal wasn’t problematic — FB lawyers are surprisingly cool about a lot of efforts that you might expect pushback on.”

So much may not be true with Quest hardware though, as the platform is likely to continue on with what could be the alleged launch of Oculus Quest Pro soon, which would suggest a continuation of backwards compatibility with Quest software, and an increased lifespan of the headset’s unique Android-based OS.

The fight to unlock Oculus Quest has seen its own controversy since the headset’s launch of Quest 2 in 2020. The introduction of forced Facebook logins for all Oculus devices moving forward has created added incentive for jailbreaking teams to try their hand at unlocking the company’s flagship VR headset.

A high-profile Quest 2 jailbreaking team claimed success only a few months after launch, and was later openly discredited by an alleged co-conspirator. It’s still not clear what’s happened with the jailbreak; it hasn’t materialized yet.

The post Facebook Allows Oculus Go to be “Repurposed” with Release of Unlocked OS appeared first on Road to VR.

GENESIS: Exklusive Zeitreise in der Magenta VR App (sponsored post)

VR-Brillen sind nicht nur interessant für Gamer, sondern ermöglichen es uns auch, Geschichte erfahrbar zu machen. In Genesis begebt ihr euch auf eine Zeitreise, welche die Vergänglichkeit des Lebens auf der Erde in eindrucksvoller Weise zeigt. 

Das Lehrbuch zum Eintauchen

Es gab in der Geschichte der Erde immer wieder zerstörerische Katastrophen der Superlative, welche unsere Erde prägten: Kosmisches Dauerfeuer, vernichtende Meteoriten, endlose Sintfluten, gewaltige Riesenechsen. 

Genesis nimmt euch mit auf eine Reise durch diese Zeiten und zeigt, wie schön und gleichzeitig vergänglich das Leben auf diesem Planeten ist. So werdet ihr beispielsweise gigantische Dinosaurier treffen, durch die Tiefen der frühen Ozeane tauchen und euch in einem kosmischen Trümmerfeld wiederfinden. 

Genesis steht ab sofort exklusiv und kostenlos in der Magenta VR App für iOS, Android und Oculus Go bereit. 

Der Beitrag GENESIS: Exklusive Zeitreise in der Magenta VR App (sponsored post) zuerst gesehen auf VR∙Nerds. VR·Nerds am Werk!

Carmack Confirms Oculus Quest 2 has Dropped Oculus Go Support

Oculus Go GDC Promo 03

Oculus’ first standalone headset, the 3DoF Oculus Go is on its way out with Facebook discontinuing the headset this year. Those who had the device (or Gear VR) could still access some of the content via Oculus Quest but with the newer version now available that backwards compatibility has been dropped.

Oculus Quest 2

There were 66 apps and videogames which could be played on the original Oculus Quest, accessed via a drop-down tab in the Quest library. That feature is absent in the new UI for Quest 2, with John Carmack confirming via Twitter: “Support was remove on Quest 2. I totally lost the internal debate over backwards compatibility.”

While there are plenty of Oculus Quest’s out there able to access the content, this info does mean the end is in sight for all these titles. Some like Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes and Republique VR received Quest upgrades but those including Coatsink’s They Suspect Nothing, Daedalus by Vertical Robot and ustwo Games’ Land’s End were only available on those early platforms.

Some did manage to make use of Oculus Quest’s 6 degrees of freedom (6DoF) controls but most were still consigned to 3DoF. That tech only allowed for basic controller movement making for point and click style experiences. So it’s not surprising that with the lack of immersive controls 3DoF titles are getting left behind when it comes to pushing VR mainstream.

Land's End

Of course, that does mean if you’ve been enjoying VR for many years with a library which includes some of these titles you’ll want to hold onto those headsets to ensure the content is still accessible.

Oculus Go sales end this year with Facebook still planning to support the platform with bug fixes and security patches through 2022. Also on the way out is Oculus Rift S, being dropped next Spring, leaving just Oculus Quest 2 as the company’s sole VR headset.

For the latest VR updates from Facebook, keep reading VRFocus.

Quest 2 Drops Backwards Compatibility with Oculus Go Apps & Games

It was a little over a year ago when Facebook triumphantly announced that games and apps made for Oculus Go would live on in Oculus Quest. But now with Go long gone and Quest 1 out of production, the company has decided to no longer support Go titles through Quest 2.

Quest 2 has been in the hands of consumers for less than a week, and while there’s plenty of great content to play, some were left wondering where the dropdown menu for Go games disappeared to on Quest 2.

Legendary programmer and Oculus Consulting CTO John Carmack responded to one such complaint via Twitter, saying Go apps are indeed not supported on Quest 2.

“I totally lost the internal debate over backwards compatibility,” Carmack reveals.

Quest (2019) and Go, Images courtesy Oculus

If you haven’t followed the growth of Oculus over the years, among other things, Carmack was an instrumental force in both driving the company to build the smartphone-based Gear VR headset in 2015 and eventually crystalize that into the 3DOF standalone Oculus Go in 2018.

Launched nearly one year later, the original Quest included a compatibility layer that essentially made Quest report as a Go, which also allowed for Go controller emulation in older games. At the time it made sense to bring Go’s library of 3DOF games and experiences to help fill out the Quest’s comparably much smaller block of native content.

That’s certainly not the case today though, as Quest has managed to attract loads of developers looking to build for the headset, which generated over $100 million in app revenue in its first year alone.

Still, even with a boat load of Quest-native titles bringing near-PC quality to the table, it’s sad to see some of the legacy games that never got proper Quest ports like Smash Hit (2015) inevitably begin to fade away into what Facebook Reality Labs’ (then Oculus Chief Scientist) called “the good old days” in his 2015 Connect keynote. If you’re feeling nostalgic, you can give it a watch here.

The post Quest 2 Drops Backwards Compatibility with Oculus Go Apps & Games appeared first on Road to VR.

Quest 2 Drops Backwards Compatibility with Oculus Go Apps & Games

It was a little over a year ago when Facebook triumphantly announced that games and apps made for Oculus Go would live on in Oculus Quest. But now with Go long gone and Quest 1 out of production, the company has decided to no longer support Go titles through Quest 2.

Quest 2 has been in the hands of consumers for less than a week, and while there’s plenty of great content to play, some were left wondering where the dropdown menu for Go games disappeared to on Quest 2.

Legendary programmer and Oculus Consulting CTO John Carmack responded to one such complaint via Twitter, saying Go apps are indeed not supported on Quest 2.

“I totally lost the internal debate over backwards compatibility,” Carmack reveals.

Quest (2019) and Go, Images courtesy Oculus

If you haven’t followed the growth of Oculus over the years, among other things, Carmack was an instrumental force in both driving the company to build the smartphone-based Gear VR headset in 2015 and eventually crystalize that into the 3DOF standalone Oculus Go in 2018.

Launched nearly one year later, the original Quest included a compatibility layer that essentially made Quest report as a Go, which also allowed for Go controller emulation in older games. At the time it made sense to bring Go’s library of 3DOF games and experiences to help fill out the Quest’s comparably much smaller block of native content.

That’s certainly not the case today though, as Quest has managed to attract loads of developers looking to build for the headset, which generated over $100 million in app revenue in its first year alone.

Still, even with a boat load of Quest-native titles bringing near-PC quality to the table, it’s sad to see some of the legacy games that never got proper Quest ports like Smash Hit (2015) inevitably begin to fade away into what Facebook Reality Labs’ (then Oculus Chief Scientist) called “the good old days” in his 2015 Connect keynote. If you’re feeling nostalgic, you can give it a watch here.

The post Quest 2 Drops Backwards Compatibility with Oculus Go Apps & Games appeared first on Road to VR.

Oculus Quest 2 Can’t Play Oculus Go Apps Compatible With Quest 1

The Oculus Quest 2 can’t play the selection of Oculus Go games made available on the original Quest, John Carmack confirmed.

While Quest 2 has full backward compatibility support for every game and app that released natively for the standalone headset, there’s no option to access any of the titles available on Oculus Go and Gear VR. Around this time last year, Facebook made about 50 Go games compatible on Quest. You couldn’t buy these games from inside the headset itself but, if you already owned them, you could download them via a separate tab in your library.

But that tab is nowhere to be found on Quest 2 and, in a tweet yesterday, John Carmack confirmed Go support had been dropped for Quest 2, despite his protests. “I totally lost the internal debate over backwards compatibility,” the developer said.

Go is a standalone headset like Quest, but only features simplistic three degrees of freedom (3DOF) tracking. That means you can’t physically move your head and hands through virtual space, just tilt them to look around or point at things. Earlier this year, Facebook confirmed that it would stop selling Go, however, just like it confirmed it would no longer sell Rift headsets last month.

On Quest, some of the selection of Go apps had access to 6DOF controls (though some were still limited to 3DOF too). There were some great experiences on the list, like Coatsink’s A Night Sky and ustwo games’ Land’s End. With no Oculus Go support on Quest 2, it appears apps like these will truly be lost to the past.

What do you make of Oculus Go games not working on Quest? Let us know in the comments below.

New Trailer and Screenshots Arrive for Spice and Wolf VR 2

Spice and Wolf VR 2

Several weeks ago Japanese studio Spicy Tails announced a sequel to its virtual reality (VR) animation Spice and Wolf VR, continuing the story of Holo and Kraft Lawrence. This week the first teaser trailer has dropped alongside new screenshots, revealing the plotline for the first time.

Spice and Wolf VR 2 does continue the story, with Lawrence ending his travelling merchant lifestyle and settling down with the wolf goddess Holo, opening a bathhouse together. Living an idyllic life they have a daughter Myuri until: “One day, as Lawrence is going about his fur side business to further fill the family’s coffers, a slight incident occurs and Holo saunters in with quite the feast,” the synopsis explains.

Developed in conjunction with Gemdrop Game Studios, Spice and Wolf VR 2 is being built for PlayStation VR, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Oculus Go as well as Nintendo Switch. As Spicy Tails previously revealed, the title won’t natively support Oculus Quest due to failing the certification process. It did state, however, that Spice and Wolf VR 2 would still be playable on the standalone headset via Oculus Link for those that have a PC.

If you’ve not seen Spice and Wolf VR yet, the title is based-on Isuna Hasekura’s original novel which sees Lawrence stop in the town of Pasloe where he meets the 600-year-old Holo. She takes the form of a teenage girl – apart from her apparent wolf tail and ears – joining him on his travels.

Currently, there’s no release date for Spice and Wolf VR 2 with Spicy Tails merely saying it’s coming soon. It’ll retail for $24.99 USD when it does. As VRFocus previously noted, that could happen this year simply because new Oculus Go apps won’t be added to the store after 18th December, due to the headset being discontinued.

Check out the new teaser trailer below and for further updates on the VR adaption of the light novel, keep reading VRFocus.

Oculus Unity & Unreal SDKs Deprecate Oculus Go Support

Facebook no longer supports Oculus Go in the latest version of the Oculus Unity & Unreal Integrations.

Oculus Go launched in May 2018, just over two years ago, as Facebook’s first standalone headset. Priced at $199, it’s primarily used for passive consumption of immersive and traditional media.

In January Facebook removed Go from its enterprise offering, and in June stopped selling it to consumers, vowing no more 3DoF VR products.

This deprecation means Go isn’t officially supported in v19 of the Unity & Unreal Oculus integrations, and could lead developers to stop updating Go versions.

Developers can still use v18 to develop for Go, but the Oculus Go Store will stop accepting app updates and new apps in December.

3DoF Input: Hard To Accommodate?

Go’s media viewing use cases emerged around its wireless, decent resolution experience and its major limitation- one which no other major headset has. Go can only track your head’s rotation, not position. If you lean forward, backward, or to the side, the entire world moves as if attached to your head. This is an uncomfortable feeling and can make some people feel sick.

Image from Aniwaa

But what is more likely behind Go’s engine deprecation is its controller- and there is only one- which has the same limitation. This means it works as a virtual laser pointer, not hands.

Version 19 of the core Oculus Mobile SDK, used by developers of native-Android Quest apps or open source engines, does not deprecate support for Go.

The Oculus Unity & Unreal SDK integrations provide a number of modifiable helper scripts, assets, and examples to developers. As Facebook’s views and understanding of spatial design changes over time, it may want to take paths that simply don’t work with a single rotational laser pointer locked in space.

Almost all VR Go apps are made with Unity or Unreal, so developers may choose to no longer release updates to Go versions. Facebook retired its Rooms social service on Go late last year and says it will support its upcoming Horizon social networking service on the Rift Platform and Quest, saying “full interactivity is core to the Facebook Horizon experience.”

While initially enthusiastic about 3DoF VR with Samsung Gear VR in 2014 and Go in 2018, the success of Quest means 3DoF just doesn’t seem to have a place in Facebook’s future VR plans.

The post Oculus Unity & Unreal SDKs Deprecate Oculus Go Support appeared first on UploadVR.

Beginning of the End – Latest Oculus SDK Version Drops Support for Go

The end for Oculus Go is nigh. The latest Oculus SDK (v19/1.51) no longer supports the company’s first true standalone VR headset.

The company says in the SDK’s developer release notes that both Unity and Unreal Engine support for Oculus Go has officially been dropped. Facebook says developers can still use Oculus Integration v18.0 or prior, although this effectively puts another small fire under developers to either finish up their Go projects soon, or migrate them to Quest.

All of this should come as no surprise to Go developers however, as Facebook announced back in late June that it would be retiring Oculus Go.

SEE ALSO
Beginning of the End – Latest Oculus SDK Version Drops Support for Go
Multiple Leaked Photos Show Possible Quest 2, September Reveal Rumored”]

While the headset’s system software will still receive bug fixes and security patches through 2022, the company said it would be starting down the path of phasing out the headset, culminating in a complete content pipeline freeze in December 2020.

Despite its lack of positional tracking and motion controllers, the cheap and cheerful 3DOF headset attracted many VR newcomers thanks to its positioning as an accessible, casual content device. Starting at $200 for the 32GB version, and later knocked down to $150 in January 2020, it still represents the cheapest way to get into reasonably good VR.

Although it was clearly priced to fly off the shelves at launch in May 2018 and obviously also resonated with consumers during holiday rushes, Facebook has said that Oculus Go will be their last 3DOF device, instead favoring Quest as they move forward into an all-6DOF future.

We’re hoping the fabled Oculus Quest 2 brings along with it some price reductions to the previous Quest, which is currently priced at its original launch price tag of $400/$450. Maybe eventually a 6DOF device can fill that low price point too, although there would need to be a hell of a price cut.

The post Beginning of the End – Latest Oculus SDK Version Drops Support for Go appeared first on Road to VR.