Facebook is pausing worldwide sales of the Oculus Quest 2 while it upgrades the headset’s storage and supplements its foam facial covers with a new silicone design. Starting August 24th, all Quest 2 virtual reality headsets will come with a minimum of 128GB of storage instead of 64GB. They’ll ship with a silicone interface between your face and the headset on top of the old foam design. And all current Quest 2 owners can request a free silicone mask online to cover their foam one, thanks to a recall after some users reported skin irritation.
Facebook Reality Labs head Andrew Bosworth announced the news in a blog post today. “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 Quest 2 and is also sold separately, including as a part of the Fit Pack,” Bosworth writes. “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.” Oculus says the new silicone mask fits over the foam interface, and future headsets will include both options.
The company is now voluntarily recalling all Quest 2 and Quest 2 Fit Pack foam interfaces in cooperation with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Owners can follow the instructions on Oculus’ website to get a silicone cover — you’ll need your account login, headset serial number, and an address in one of its supported countries. Even if you’re among the majority with no negative reaction, the Quest’s foam headset can soak up sweat during exercise and is tougher to clean than a smooth face cover, so a silicone mask could be a welcome change.
The CPSC offered some more detail about the number of complaints — and potentially some rough sales numbers for the Quest 2. It said it had received 5,716 reports of incidents of skin irritation and “approximately 45 reports of consumers that required medical attention,” while the recall affected “about 4 million” units in the US and “about 172,600” in Canada. That theoretically includes all Quest 2 headsets shipped in both countries, plus the Quest 2 Fit Packs (which include two additional face interfaces of different sizes) and any replacements that were sold separately or shipped under warranty.
Facebook first disclosed the foam irritation issue in December of 2020, saying that “about 0.01 percent of people” using the Quest 2 experienced temporary redness, bumps, or swelling. It compared the irritation to that sometimes caused by foam in motorcycle helmets or ski goggles, emphasizing that it’s different from the normal indentations or redness you might see from the weight of the headset itself.
The Quest 2 storage expansion, meanwhile, was rumored last week following a leaked retailer product description. It won’t change the $299 base price of the headset, and Oculus will still offer a 256GB model for $399 when the upgrade launches in August — although after the upgrade, the difference between the two will be less stark.
Update 12:00PM ET: Added detail on the recall from the CPSC’s update.
Correction: The silicone mask fits on top of the foam mask, rather than fully replacing it as initially described. We regret the error.