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Oculus Go Sunset Hurts Non Profits

Oculus might not realize it but they just hurt a bunch of non-profits that rely on the affordable Oculus Go to distribute their content to aging and disabled populations. With the sunset of Oculus Go in December, these groups were given only 6 months to try to raise money for new Quest headsets. Honor Everywhere is a free app on Oculus Go that allows terminally ill Veterans the chance to visit their Vietnam, World War II, Korea, Women's and Veterans Memorials. The pandemic has grounded air travel so Honor Flight hubs are not able to physically travel to DC. They were using Oculus Go to allow aging Veterans their dying wish to virtually visit their memorials in VR. Unable to afford to buy the pricier Quest headset, this is an unfortunate decision for Oculus to make. And leaving nonprofits just 6 months to raise money in the middle of a pandemic for a new headset is sad. Not everyone uses the Oculus Go for gaming. It's used for pain control, stress management, and virtual travel.  Not everyone is able to walk around room-scale. Not everyone has the use of their hands for hand tracking.  Was your accessibility team consulted on the decision to sunset the Go in just 6 months? Any chance you would consider doing it in June 2021 to give non profits more time to raise money for the Quest?

Honored Visionary
When I read stories like this I think it's a real shame Oculus has decided to ditch the more affordable Oculus GO. A lot of people just buy an Oculus GO just to watch their movies on, but when you read stories like this you see there is a much more important need to have something like the Oculus GO. I also read about the guy who uses the Oculus GO to teach VR, but will find the Oculus Quest too expensive.

While most people think 3DOF is inadequate for VR, it does have advantages in areas like this. Experiences designed to work only on a 6DOF are often less suited to people with limited mobility or physical control. We've seen multiple posts on here from people in wheelchairs or who can't stand for long who have trouble with apps when the floor height is calibrated correctly, whereas Go apps always have your head at the correct height for the experience. 3DOF can increase VR sickness when you move your head around, but people seated or lying down aren't moving their head around much anyway.

Experiences designed for a single simplistic ambidextrous controller with zero occlusion issues are also better suited to people with hand or arm issues. Someone who can't use their right hand is going to have a harder time with a Quest due to the Oculus Home button being only on the right touch.

The Go is also more comfortable, lighter, smaller for transport, half the price and you can hold it to your (or some else's) face without fully wearing it (could be good for first experiences where people are a bit nervous about having a headset strapped to their head).

Compared to full VR like the Rift or Quest, the Go may seem lacking. But within certain domains it's better suited than its bigger siblings.

RedRizla said:

I also read about the guy who uses the Oculus GO to teach VR, but will find the Oculus Quest too expensive.

Something I also do. 🙂
The Go is pretty good for simple intro to VR dev. The SDK is the same as for the Quest, in fact my students have made Go experiences that turned out to run without change on a Quest. The tracking is still returned as 6DOF, just that the position component never changes if you are on a Go.

Author: Oculus Monitor,  Auto Oculus Touch,  Forum Dark Mode, Phantom Touch Remover,  X-Plane Fixer
Hardware: Threadripper 1950x, MSI Gaming Trio 2080TI, Asrock X399 Taich
Headsets: Wrap 1200VR, DK1, DK2, CV1, Rift-S, GearVR, Go, Quest, Quest 2, Reverb G2

Update:  When we applied to get our apps distributed as a *Private release channel only* for Quest (not on the store even) we were rejected. Dear Oculus...we don't need a private release channel in 2021. We need it now.   As a developer of your platform for the last five years, we have lost trust in your ecosystem.  You're moving everyone to the Quest.....but then not enabling developer access to distribute even *privately* on the Quest until 2021?  Why the gap?  Have you ever tried to teach a terminally ill World War II veteran how to use ADB command prompt to sideload an APK on his Quest? 

Honored Guest
Wow, this is so illuminating.  I didn't realize VR was used for therapy and other non-entertainment functions. I personally just like to watch movies on my Go, but also like to look at art.  The VR art museums are great.  Maybe someone other than Oculus will develop a less expensive VR in a couple years, something that non-gamers, elderly, and disabled people can use.  I'm sure someone will if they know there is a market for it.