Well, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg finally did it: his company renamed the Oculus Quest 2, the best VR headset out right now, to Meta Quest. This is to align with Facebook changing the name of its parent company to Meta, which is a nod to the metaverse.
While we've known for some time that the Oculus Quest brand would be phased out for Meta Quest, it's still surprising to see it actually take shape. The official Oculus Quest Twitter page has been renamed to MetaQuestVR (opens in new tab). Unfortunately, Meta was unable to take @MetaQuest as that's currently owned by someone else. We assume that person did not want to sell their Twitter handle unless they received a large sum of money. Again, this is just an assumption.
Reaction online has been poor, to put it lightly. Meta has leaned in on old and rusty memes as a way to soften the brunt.
New Name. Same Mission. pic.twitter.com/USJafAPEdWJanuary 26, 2022
Over on the r/Oculus (opens in new tab) subreddit, fans wonder why Zuckerberg felt it was necessary to change the name at all. It's not as if WhatsApp is being renamed to MetaApp, or Instagram to Metagram.
Tech reviewer Marques Brownlee, also known as MKBHD (opens in new tab) on YouTube, took to Twitter to express his opinion over the name change.
I don’t know who in corporate needs to hear this, but if you have a brand name as successful as Oculus, you don’t just… kill it https://t.co/OfnHnmWaTYJanuary 27, 2022
And Brownlee does have a point. Oculus was first founded by Palmer Luckey, Brendan Iribe, Michael Antonov and Nate Mitchell in April of 2012. During the early years, the team spent much time establishing the Oculus brand by going to trade shows and adorning Time Magazine (opens in new tab) covers to demonstrate the technology. In 2014, Facebook acquired (opens in new tab) Oculus for $2.3 billion, and since released headsets like the Oculus Go and the Oculus Rift S.
Facebook's first successful take on the VR formula was with the original Oculus Quest. This headset didn't require the device to be plugged into a high-powered gaming PC. It had the internal hardware to run a large slew of titles and apps, all without needing cables or external tracking cameras. And the price was well under $1,000 as well, unlike other competing headsets. The concept was nearly perfected with the Oculus Quest 2, which released in September of 2020.
For nearly a decade, consumers have learned, read about and played with some sort of Oculus-branded VR device. Even this past Christmas, where the Oculus Quest 2 was a hot holiday gift, boxes didn't say Meta Quest on them.
Still, the internet can't help but poke fun at the name change.
Meta rebrands Oculus Quest as Meta Quest, leading to criticism on social media; the rebrand was originally announced in October (Derrek Lee/Android Central): Derrek Lee / Android Central: Meta rebrands Oculus Quest as Meta Quest, leading to criticism on… https://t.co/rH9CByTC1k pic.twitter.com/1wkCGP0IAaJanuary 27, 2022
As for whether tech journalists and users will continue to use the term Oculus Quest over Meta Quest remains to be seen. Language doesn't change abruptly. Plus, those who write about VR want to go with the terms people search for most often. Are people going to begin searching for "Oculus Quest 2" on Google or "Meta Quest?"
If an influencer notices that a Meta Quest-titled TikTok draws in significantly less views than one titled Oculus Quest 2, what incentive is there for them to change?
Either way, Meta has chosen this path. But who knows, by the time the Oculus Quest Pro, codenamed Project Cambria, or the Oculus Quest 3 (would it be titled Meta Quest 2 or Meta Quest 3?) rolls around, people's minds may have finally shifted.