Update: This story has been updated to reflect that the Quest 2 has always required a Facebook login.
Original story: Last October, Meta promised to allow users of the Quest 2 VR headset to login to the device using an account that's not their personal Facebook account (opens in new tab). We're still awaiting this change today, and a Facebook account is still required on the VR headset's first boot, but a Meta spokesperson tells me this long-awaited change in policy should be coming "soon."
"We shared at Connect that we’re working on making it so you can log into Quest with an account other than your personal Facebook account. We are making good progress on that work and we’ll have something to share soon," Meta says.
This will be a welcome change from the current login requirement of a personal Facebook account; not only does this lock out users that don't use Facebook, but it also raised privacy concerns regarding how data was used from the headset in conjunction with a connected Facebook account.
I know a few people that decided against purchasing a Quest 2 due to the mandatory Facebook login, and clearly many others were against the login requirement when it first rolled out to multiple Oculus headsets back in 2020 (opens in new tab). Some later bypassed it altogether (opens in new tab). This controversial decision hasn't stopped the headset from rising to become the most popular VR device of all time on Steam (opens in new tab), however.
Oculus headset users were informed they had until 2023 to link their device with their personal Facebook account or lose "full functionality" of some headsets, though they would still work. That didn't go down too well for a heap of reasons, and understandably so.
Best VR headsets (opens in new tab): transport yourself to another world
Now it seems we may have an alternative before that crucial date passes.
But what form Meta's alternative login will take is not yet clear. Meta has carefully worded its promise to mention "an account other than your personal Facebook account", and doesn't state it will do away with logins altogether. Here's hoping it's at least possible to use a Quest 2 without a Facebook account, or a login for one of its sister services under the Meta umbrella, as that was what caused headaches for social media shunners and business users alike.
Meta used to sell a Quest 2 for businesses that didn't require a personal account to login (opens in new tab), at a premium, but that has since been discontinued (opens in new tab) in favour of a unified Quest 2 device for all use cases. So what's the hold up, Meta?