Oculus Connect 7, the annual Oculus developer conference held by Facebook, will be hosted as a digital event later this year due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Facebook announced today that Coulus Connect 7 will, for the first time, be held as a digital event “later this year.”

Every year, Oculus Connect brings together developers, content creators, marketers, and more to celebrate the VR industry’s momentum and growth. In light of the evolving public health risks related to COVID-19, we’ve decided to shift Oculus Connect 7 to a digital format later this year.

This was a tough decision to make, but we need to prioritize the health and safety of our developer partners, employees, and everyone involved in OC7. Oculus Connect gives us an unprecedented opportunity to connect with our global developer community. OC7 will be no exception, and we look forward to sharing more details about the digital event in the coming months.

The company also committed to donating $500,000 to organizations serving San Jose residents, the city in which the conference has been held for the last several years.

Pretty much all major VR events have been disrupted in one way or another due to the Coronavirus outbreak. We’ve seen the cancellation or postponement of events like GDC, E3, Facebook F8, and more.

Even before the Coronavirus outbreak, the irony wasn’t to us that Oculus Connect—a conference all about virtual reality—had essentially no virtual reality component to it. Facebook is saying that Oculus Connect 7 will be “digital,” not “virtual,” so we don’t expect that to change this year.

On the other hand, HTC ambitiously took its latest Vive Ecosystem Conference into VR last month to host speakers and audience members in a fully virtual setting.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • 3872Orcs

    I’ll be watching it in Altspace as is now tradition for me :)

  • Well, my speculation is that they’re thinking about doing it in
    Horizon, but they are unsure about its feasibility, so for now they are
    just announcing a digital version

  • Liam Mulligan

    Great news, hope the servers can handle the volume

    • nice

      Facebook servers? Sure, Oculus is not a start-up anymore, they have pretty much unlimited resources available.

  • Cragheart

    all this vr stuff is moving so slowly, conferences should be organized in vr by now

  • Jim P

    Hope it is in VR.

  • kontis

    Doing digital instead of virtual conference doesn’t surprise me. FB did NOT buy Oculus for VR. That’s the fundamental thing many people don’t realize.

    We are talking about a delusional “we-are-ashamed-of-this-nerdy-VR-thing-we-bought-but-we-can’t-turn-it-into-AR-smartglasses-yet-so-let’s-pretend-we-care” megacorporation with no vision that tried making a ton of different social apps, all failing, each with budget 100000x higher than the indies, which are doing a much better job, despite the financial and logistical struggles.

    Horizon’s trailer is the best proof they still don’t really know what they are doing.
    Or maybe I should say: current tech and the state of the industry is NOT optimal for the greedy super mainstream, “normie-oriented”, “vision” they have and desperately want it to be real, but reality doesn’t care what FB wants. So they wait…

    • Moe Curley

      You’re so full of shit

    • Peter K

      Typical simplification of a hyper-complex problem.