As someone who has been considering buying an Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality (VR) headset for the last few weeks, this is a surprising turn of events.
After acknowledging back in December that a small number of Oculus Quest 2 users are experiencing skin irritation due to the VR headset’s foam cushion gasket, Facebook has halted sales of the device and issued a joint voluntary recall with Health Canada and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
If you’re a current Quest 2 owner, you can also request a free silicone replacement mask replacement.
“As more people got into VR with Quest 2, we started receiving reports that a very small percentage of Quest 2 customers experienced some skin irritation after using the removable foam facial interface that comes with the Quest 2 and is also sold separately, including as part of the Fit Pack,” said Andrew Bosworth, the head of Facebook Reality Labs, in a recent Oculus blog post. “While the rate of reports is small and the majority of reported cases are minor, we’re committed to ensuring our products are safe and comfortable for everyone who uses them.”
According to Health Canada, there have been 758 reports of skin reactions to the Quest 2’s internal gasket. In the U.S., the reaction numbers are understandably much higher, with 5,716 reports.
In total, 175,592 Oculus Quest 2 headsets have been sold in Canada and roughly four million have been sold in the United States.
Facebook says that it has halted global sales of the Quest 2 until new silicone covers can be included in every package. Sales of the new version of the Quest 2 that includes the silicone cover are expected to start on August 24th.
It’s also worth noting that Oculus is also boosting the Quest 2’s minimum storage up to 128GB from 64GB without increasing the VR headset’s $459 price tag.