News – Oculus Co-Founder Brendan Iribe Quits, Oculus Denies Rift 2 is Cancelled
Oculus co-founder Brendan Iribe has parted ways with the company following the alleged cancellation of an Oculus Rift 2 virtual reality headset for PC. it has been reported Facebook canceled the high-end VR headset in order to focus more on mainstream accessible headsets such as the Oculus Go and the Oculus Quest.
While Oculus has said it is “planning for a future version of Rift”, it appears as if those plans have fallen by the wayside, much to the chagrin of Iribe. He formed Oculus together with Palmer Luckey and helped grow it from Kickstarter success story to a multi-billion dollar giant. TechCrunch claims the internal cancellation of the Rift 2 prompted Iribe’s departure.
However, Nate Mitchell, head of Rift at Oculus, has denied these claims, saying “A lot of questions today about the future of Rift — we’re still driving forward on the Rift/PC platform with new hardware, software, and content. Lots of great stuff in the works. More to share in the months ahead.”
Two conflicting reports on the future of Oculus then, but we’ll surely find out for ourselves soon enough. It would certainly be a shame if Oculus were to leave the high-end PC VR market, although it’s evident mobile and all-in-one devices are where the money is right now, and Facebook is a hungry beast that will be craving the mainstream success.
Brendan Iribe posted a farewell message to his Facebook page today, ironically enough, saying:
“So much has happened since the day we founded Oculus in July 2012. I never could have imagined how much we would accomplish and how far we would come. And now, after six incredible years, I am moving on.
“I’m deeply proud and grateful for all that we’ve done together. We assembled one of the greatest research and engineering teams in history, delivered the first step of true virtual presence with Oculus Rift and Touch, and inspired an entirely new industry. We started a revolution that will change the world in ways we can’t even envision.
“Yet, as far as we’ve come, the journey has just begun. Michael Abrash is right: “These are the good old days”. Now is when we get to pioneer the foundation of the next great computing platform and medium – this is our time to be pushing the state-of-the-art onward and upward. Every part of VR and AR needs to improve, especially the hardware and core technology, and Oculus has the best team in the world to do that. Although we’re still far from delivering the magical smart glasses we all dream about, now they are nearly within our reach.
“Working alongside so many talented people at Oculus and Facebook has been the most transformative experience of my career. We have a saying when someone compliments or thanks you – “Team effort”. The success of Oculus was only possible because of such an extraordinary team effort. I’d like to sincerely thank everyone that’s been a part of this amazing journey, especially Mark for believing in this team and the future of VR and AR.
“As for me, this will be the first real break I’ve taken in over 20 years. It’s time to recharge, reflect and be creative. I’m excited for the next chapter.”
A big change for Oculus then, and a bigger one for Iribe. Regardless of the statement, this certainly ramps up the pressure for Oculus to get out there and announce a Rift 2, because right now the HTC Vive together with Steam is looking like the more reliable platform for VR’s gaming future.