Meta's PC VR users are getting evicted from the Oculus Homes some spent years building.
Meta seems to have ended support for Oculus Home on its Oculus App for PC VR headsets, with a new update removing access to the customization features and cutting off users from their existing home environments.
Oculus Home was the default home environment on PC for Oculus Rift, Rift S and Quest headset when using Link. It allowed users to create their own virtual home environment, with a range of highly-customizable options for decoration, furniture and interior design. It also allowed users to collect items granted by other PC VR apps or games, which could then be displayed within Oculus Home.
Reports from users on Reddit indicate that over the last few months, Meta gradually reduced access to Oculus Home in its Oculus Desktop App for PC. Some users reported last month that the button to access Oculus Home disappeared with updates, while others noted that reinstalling the software reinstated access – at least temporarily.
However, another recent update to the desktop app led to a new set of reports from users indicating that they can no longer access Oculus Home at all, with no workarounds to reinstate the feature.
Reddit user u/noobdude752 reached out to Meta support to confirm the state of Oculus Home and said they received a response from a support agent stating that Meta "stopped supporting the older Oculus Home experience within the Rift software" and that it "hope[s] to bring some of [Oculus Home's features] into the future."
UploadVR reached out to Meta for clarification and additional details on the state of Oculus Home on PC, and asked about the state of previously-announced additional customization features for Horizon Home on Quest.
While Oculus Home was once just a static environment, an overhaul added support for custom environments and swathes of customization options in late 2017. Features and support for Meta's PC VR software have gradually been wound down over time, in light of a shift in focus to the company's line of standalone Quest headsets. Oculus Home seems to be the latest service to be sunsetted, following in the footsteps of Oculus Rooms and Facebook Spaces.
Quest headsets have never supported the same level of home environment customization as seen with Oculus Home on PC. The latest iteration of home environments on Quest, titled Horizon Home, marks Meta's most recent attempt to tie together one cohesive offering on Quest in the wake of its patchwork of abandoned features and services on the Rift platform for PC. Horizon Home on Quest currently offers limited support for virtual social gatherings and allows user to switch between sets of predetermined home environments.
Horizon Home does not support anywhere near the level of fine-tuned environment personalization and customization seen in Oculus Home. In October 2021, Meta (then Facebook) said the the ability to build and customize would arrive "in the future." Some customization for Horizon Home is included in the latest update for Quest, which lets you set the skybox outside the predetermined home environments.