Facebook has announced a date for its annual Oculus Connect conference, but this year’s event will be different… and not in the way you’d expect.
The big change, explained in a post on Facebook’s technical blog, is that the company has changed the event’s name to Facebook Connect, which will now include all of the company’s work in both virtual and augmented reality instead of focusing solely on the work the Oculus team is doing.
According to Facebook, this will be the first opportunity for the newly established Facebook Reality Labs that encompasses all of Oculus, Spark AR, Facebook AR and its Portal products to walk audiences through the entire family of Facebook future tech.
Facebook set September 16 for the free event, and though there’s not an official schedule out yet, it will likely include keynotes from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Oculus chief scientist Michael Abrash, both of whom have made appearances at past Oculus Connect events.
Is this the slow demise of Oculus?
For months, rumors have been circulating that this would be the year we’d see Oculus Quest 2 release date in 2021, and while today’s Facebook blog post doesn’t confirm or deny those rumors, it does give us a date to stay extra frosty.
That said, if you’re big into VR, you’d be forgiven for being slightly disappointed that Facebook is rolling all of its VR and AR initiatives into a single event, as it takes the spotlight off Oculus. Worse, it’s coming right after the news of Oculus owners being required to use Facebook logins when registering their new headsets.
According to Facebook, all these changes are being done for the sake of clarity – they want you to know that you’re using a Facebook device and a Facebook service.
That’s not exactly a salve for users feeling the burn of two distinct platforms merging into one, but it does at least explain why we’ve seen the erosion of the Oculus brand.