While John Carmack and other members of the Oculus team did have plans for an Oculus Go 2 headset, the success of the Oculus Quest forced the company to recalibrate, dropping all other projects to double down on the Quest. As a result, there will be no more updates for the Oculus Go and the entry-level headset has been discontinued. To ensure it doesn't die out completely though, Oculus will be making an unlocked OS available.
On Twitter last week, John Carmack confirmed that after plenty of pushing internally, the company will be making an “unlocked OS build for the Oculus Go headset”, which can be side loaded to get full root access. This opens the door for developers to really experiment and play around with the headset.
One of the key reasons Carmack wanted to do this is simply to ensure the Oculus Go is still usable in the future. Now, the hardware can be repurposed, and someone that discovers an Oculus Go decades from now will be able to update it to the final software version, long after the official update servers have gone offline.
For now, Oculus is only doing this for the Go, but Carmack hopes it can set a precedent for other devices too. Perhaps we'll see the original Rift, or the Rift S unlocked eventually, as both of those headsets have also been discontinued at this point, although there are still plenty widely in use and generating software sales through the Oculus platform.
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KitGuru Says: With this move, Oculus Go headsets won't turn into VR paperweights years in the future. Better yet, it'll be interesting to see what developers can do with the headset once the OS is fully unlocked.