Developers can now discontinue Quest 1 support for VR games.
A few months ago, Meta announced the end of support for the original Quest. New features will no longer be rolled out to the VR headset, and social features like Horizon Home and the ability to create parties have already been turned off.
Initially, only Meta’s own VR studios were allowed to pull the plug and discontinue Quest 1 support for their VR apps. The battle royale game Population: One won’t even launch on the original Quest anymore, and tactical military shooter Onward will go down the same path at the end of July 2023.
Now, Meta is announcing that third-party studios have the option to discontinue support for Oculus Quest 1 as well.
The beginning of the end for Oculus Quest 1
“To provide you with the support and resources you need to strategically navigate this stage of Quest 1’s lifecycle, today we’re announcing that developers now have the ability to freeze Quest 1 builds and support separate app versions between Meta Quest devices,” Meta writes on the Oculus Developer Blog.
In fact, Meta is forcing developers to end support, as the latest version of the Platform SDK v51 and all subsequent ones no longer support the original Quest. “Frozen” Quest 1 apps will still be able to launch on the VR headset, but will no longer be able to receive patches or updates while in this state.
Meta doesn’t rule out that freezing Quest 1 versions of VR games could make their content or services inaccessible for those users. In this case, developers must give users a minimum of 180 days’ prior written notice.
Some multiplayer titles could be at risk
Multiplayer games may be particularly affected by the upcoming changes. This is because multiplayer services are only supported between applications that use the same SDK version. For example, an application on Quest 1 that uses SDK v50 will not be able to support multiplayer with an application on Meta Quest 2 that uses SDK v51 or later, Meta writes.
This may be part of the reason for the decision to drop Quest 1 support for Population: One and Onward.
The third-party MMO Zenith: The Last City will also no longer launch on Quest 1 as of September 15th. Users will have to purchase a Meta Quest 2 or play the game via Quest Link on PC.
More third party studios could drop Quest 1 support in the coming weeks. The question is how serious this move will be: whether affected VR games will continue to run on Quest 1 or not at all. This decision now seems to be up to the studios.
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You can read all about the Meta Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro in the linked reviews.
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