“Rift 2” headset cancelled, Brendan Iribe leaves Facebook!

Brendan Iribe, who is the co-founder of Oculus, had announced on the 22nd of October, 2018, about his withdrawal from Facebook.

Brendan Iribe has decided to leave Facebook due to few internal shake-ups in Oculus’ virtual reality arm. This mishap had occurred in the last week when the company had cancelled the next generation “Rift 2”.
Rift 2 is supposedly a PC – powered virtual reality headset, which was led by Iribe.

Background about the issue –

Before Oculus VR, Brendan Iribe was the chief product officer of Gaika. Gaika is a cloud-gaming start-up which was bought by Sony in 2012 for $380 million.
Also, prior to that, he had co-founded as well as led Scaleform, which is a gaming user interface tools start-up that Autodesk bought in 2011 for $36 million.

Almost 2 years back, Brendan Iribe had announced in a blog post about his step down as the CEO of the company. He had said the following –

“Looking ahead and thinking about where I’m most passionate, I’ve decided to lead the PC VR group — pushing the state of VR forward with Rift, research and computer vision. As we’ve grown, I really missed the deep, day-to-day involvement in building a brand new product on the leading edge of technology.

You do your best work when you love what you’re working on. If that’s not the case, you need to make a change. With this new role, I can dive back into engineering and product development. That’s what gets me up every day, inspired to run to work.”

Reason behind the cancellation –

According to TechCrunch, Iribe and the Facebook executive team had “fundamentally different views on the future of Oculus that grew deeper over time,” and Iribe wasn’t interested in a “race to the bottom” in terms of performance, we are told.

Rift 2, was a PC based virtual reality product. It concentrated on an all – in – one headset which doesn’t need any connection to your external PC or mobile phones.

Iribe had come to Facebook in 2014, after an acquisition of $2 billion of Oculus VR. In May, Oculus had released their $199 Oculus Go headset. Now speculations says that the company has decided to release Oculus Quest headset by next spring for $399.
A Facebook spokesperson tells TechCrunch that PC VR is part of the company’s future product roadmap and that much of what Iribe’s team has been working on will be manifested in future products.

Brendan Iribe’s departure came at a time when a number of Facebook high – profile founders have been living the company.

  • Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, who are the co-founders of Instagram, had announced about their departure from Facebook. The reason being a result of over-tension.
  • Earlier, in 2018, Jan Koum, who is the co-founder of WhatsApp, had also left the company.
  • Palmer Luckey, who is co-founder alongside Brendan Iribe, had left Facebook way back in 2017.

Words of Brendan Iribe about his departure –

“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.”


More Insight –

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Update: 2:13pm PT

While Facebook did not deny our report that the “Rift 2” being developed under Iribe’s PC VR team had been canceled, the company reiterated to us in a comment that they are continuing to invest in PC.

“While we can’t comment on our product roadmap specifics, we do have future plans, and can confirm that we are planning for a future version of Rift,” a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch.

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Navaneetha Suresh

Navaneetha Suresh

Navaneetha, commonly known as "nav", loves to read, play badminton, play the keyboard and sing but when she's not doing any of those, she loves to write. What started as a high school hobby to write is now her ongoing passion.

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