CREDIT: COURTESY OF FACEBOOK
Facebook’s Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headset has disappeared from the website of electronics retailer Newegg, fueling speculations that the company may be getting ready to introduce an updated version of the device.
The Rift is also listed as sold out on Bestbuy.com, and out of stock on Microsoft’s online store. Micro Center, another authorized retailer, currently warns customers of limited availability, noting on its site: “May not be in stock at time of order. No back orders.”
Asked about this, a Facebook spokesperson declined to comment on any upcoming hardware updates. “Rift is still available for sale at Oculus.com and other channels, including Amazon,” that spokesperson said via email. “We don’t comment on future products, but are excited about the year ahead.”
Newegg delisting the Rift headset was first noticed by Reddit user Vanfanel1car, who previously noticed stock shortages across all retail channels. Fellow Reddit users were quick to chime in and muse that the shortages may be a sign of Facebook discontinuing the original Rift hardware. “Clearing out the stock before they start selling (…) new models,” one user suspected.
Facebook announced at its Oculus Connect developer conference in September of last year that it will release a new standalone headset dubbed the Oculus Quest this spring. The company has kept mum on plans to update the Rift, which was first introduced in early 2016.
Last year, Techcrunch reported that Facebook decided to cancel a Rift successor — a decision that reportedly prompted Oculus Co-Founder Brendan Iribe to leave the company. Facebook denied that report at the time, with a spokesperson telling Variety: “Yes, we are planning a future version of Rift.”
A recent UploadVR report suggested that the next-generation Rift will be called Rift S, and feature on-board cameras for inside-out tracking. This would help users to simplify their VR setup, doing away with the need for external tracking hardware.