There are somethings we know that may give us a clue as to what is going to happen with VR and SL.
It is the Lab’s standard operating procedure to start new projects and not announce them until they are CERTAIN that they can complete them. With the Oculus project it was already out there when this team took over.
At the end of 2014 the previous Lindens knew they had a viewer that worked and was at a near acceptable level of quality. But, by 2016 the Oculus had changed and the technical hardware demand had grown. That change had probably gone mostly unnoticed by the Lindens working on SL. I can’t know that but, it looks that way to me. When they went to work on the Oculus to get it updated and add support for CV1 I suspect then they started to realize there were problems.
In the normal course of events there would be no public project. They would have no one, like me and others, nagging for an Oculus viewer update. I would imagine it was a bit embarrassing to have a viewer taking a year plus to update. And if not embarrassing then probably some annoyance. Whatever, I hate nagging and think most people do.
So, was there some face saving pressure to get an update out? Probably. But, we’ll likely never know if there was or where it came from.
Once the update was out the level of blow back was likely unexpected. I mean, who bitches about an experimental anything that doesn’t work well? We know they usually won’t. We don’t bitch about the iterations and backtracking in Project Bento. We know everyone is in a learning process to figure out how to make the project work. We have had set backs and a couple of versions performed worse than previous versions. But, we knew the learning was moving the project forward. So, it was a matter of reporting problems and pointing to degradation or problems in performance.
But, that previous Oculus viewer set the stage for expectations that went outside the normal development cycle. It may be that we’re also dealing with a different set of complaining people that are simply unaware of how any development works.
The recent update didn’t meet expectations and that failure to meet expectations generated user dissatisfaction and anger. But, venting in on the Lindens was a mistake. Oz stepped up and took the heat off his staff, protecting them and the company reputation. He pulled the viewer. The announcement was clear and typical corporate fluff. There will be some whining by users but, it will quickly die down with a minimum of bad press.
Are Oz and the Lab really never going to release a new version? We can’t know. That is the purpose of the wording in the announcement. They now have any development of VR support out of the public eye. In a way it could move back into the normal protected development cycle the Lab prefers. Ask if it did and we will get the standard answer, we don’t talk about fight club…
But, we can surmise what is going to happen… or more accurately… probably will happen.
More pages… links below.