Meta Quest headsets prove you shouldn’t rely on big tech’s servers

Meta Quest 3 headset from a Meta press image
Credit: Meta

Meta Quest 3 headset from a Meta press image
Credit: Meta

In this day and age, being connected to the internet is less of a privilege and more of a necessity. Whether it's staying connected with friends, working, or for hobbies, the internet is everywhere. However, as tech and hardware move to an all-digital era, VR's lack of physical software could be its biggest issue.

While some users were busy fighting monsters or hitting Beat Saber notes in their best VR headsets, a widescale Meta outage caused problems for Facebook, Instagram, and of course, your beloved Quest headsets. This isn't the first time a major issue has caused problems for gamers, like when an Xbox issue caused players to not be able to use their expensive consoles, but this showcases a potentially huge problem for standalone VR users.

Of course, Meta Quest headsets can be used in offline mode, but most VR fans will be using the standalone hardware while in online mode. During the outage, UploadVR reported that users who had their Quest headsets connected to the internet would receive a 'Something went wrong' screen, logging them out of their devices. As of writing, this issue was fixed last night fairly quickly, and I could use my Quest 3 this morning successfully, without needing to log back in either. However, it's still a major problem, with some people even having their headsets bricked due to the outage.

This goes to show how quickly big tech's servers can go wrong, and leave users with expensive paperweights. We're at the constant mercy of a major company, and at any moment, a huge outage could leave us without our beloved VR headsets for hours, or potentially even days in rare circumstances. And, without the internet, there's no way of being able to download some titles from your library.

This issue isn't limited to Meta Quest, or even VR headsets in general. If Steam servers have issues, you won't be downloading any VR games from the platform, and the same applies for Xbox Series S and PS5 Digital consoles, limiting you to whatever you have installed. In fact, if your Xbox or PlayStation accounts don't have the home console set to your specific device, you'll be locked out of your installed titles too.

While Xbox and PS5 disc consoles should be mostly fine, unless you want to play some online multiplayer games, Quest and VR headsets don't have the same privilege. There's no physical media for VR, at least on a wide scale as far as I know, and if Meta decided to shut down their VR servers in the future, your standalone library will be gone, or as Thanos would say "reduced to atoms".

If there's further prevalence in the console VR market, PlayStation could release more VR games on discs as a way of preserving games for VR enthusiasts, but we believe console VR is dead in general, especially with PSVR 2 getting PC support soon. Hopefully, this outage will ensure that Meta has some workarounds for Quest users, but we'll have to wait and see.

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