VR cybergoggles maker Oculus have insisted they're still making a next generation Rift headset despite another key departure from the company. Brendan Iribe, the co-founder and former CEO of Oculus, is the latest person to have upped sticks from parent company Facebook following some internal restructuring of their VR division last week, according to a new report from TechCrunch, and was, until yesterday, meant to be heading up the development of the so-called Rift 2.
Iribe announced his departure on Facebook yesterday, saying he was "moving on" and looking forward to his "first real break in 20 years", but the TechCrunch report suggests the decision was closely tied with the apparent cancellation of the aforementioned Rift 2. According to a source close to the matter, Iribe and his Facebook overlords had "fundamentally different views on the future of Oculus that grew deeper over time," and that Iribe wasn't interested in a "race to the bottom" over performance.
However, while the fate of the Iribe-led Rift 2 is currently unknown, Facebook have since reiterated that a next generation Rift is still very much on the cards. "While we can’t comment on our product road map specifics, we do have future plans, and can confirm that we are planning for a future version of Rift," a Facebook representative told TechCrunch.
Likewise, Nate Mitchell, another co-founder and current head of Oculus, tweeted last night to say that they're "still driving forward on the Rift/PC platform with new hardware, software and content," re-inforcing the message given by Mark Zuckerburg at the recent Oculus 5 keynote where he said they're definitely working on "a new version of Rift."
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.
— Nate Mitchell (@natemitchell) October 22, 2018
It would seem, then, that the Rift 2 is still going to be a thing, just maybe not the specific version that Iribe was meant to be working on. I guess we'll never know. Still, this will no doubt come as reassuring news for anyone worried that Facebook were shifting their focus a bit too much toward standalone VR cybergoggles such as the entry-level Oculus Go and newly-announced Oculus Quest instead of spending some time with their old pal Rift over on PC. It's still far too early to speculate when a potential Rift 2 might eventually come out, of course, but it would appear it's safe from the virtual reality bin for the foreseeable future.