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Facebook 2.0 To Be Powered by Oculus Rift, a Good or a Bad Thing

March 26th, 2014 · 12 Comments · General 3D News

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The Oculus team has announced that they have “joined forces with Facebook to create the best virtual reality platform in the world” in their blog, but the truth is that Facebook is going to be buying Oculus for approximately $2 billion USD. According to the official press release the transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014. The reaction to this news by the community is mostly negative and you can easily figure out why. Initially Oculus was a gaming oriented VR-capable device and most if not all people that have backed up the project have done so because of that promise. Now with Facebook buying the company as it clearly sees the potential in VR in the future, the things will undoubtfully move away from the gaming side and will most likely focus on the use of the VR hardware for the next level of social platform or what you may easily call Facebook 2.0. Even with The Facebook CEO reassuring that gaming will continue to be the main goal of the project for now, people still feel cheated:

Immersive gaming will be the first, and Oculus already has big plans here that won’t be changing and we hope to accelerate. The Rift is highly anticipated by the gaming community, and there’s a lot of interest from developers in building for this platform. We’re going to focus on helping Oculus build out their product and develop partnerships to support more games. Oculus will continue operating independently within Facebook to achieve this.

But this is just the start. After games, we’re going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face – just by putting on goggles in your home. This is really a new communication platform. By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures.

Yes, VR does have a lot of potential and apparently Facebook knows that and the fact that Oculus was way ahead in achieving really immersive and affordable VR experiences, way ahead of competition, so they have acted in doing what is the best thing if they wanted to get into VR now. Facebook certainly can afford to do a deal like that and has the financial resources to really do something great with VR technology, however the most serious concern is that they will use all of that only to integrate the technology in Facebook. Things could’ve been better if another company with more interest into gaming such as Microsoft or Sony has made the deal with Oculus instead of Facebook. Sony has just recently announced their alternative of Oculus that seemed a lot like a copy of the Rift, but not yet to technologically advanced, but now they may actually get ahead of Oculus if gamers decide to back up their product instead of Oculus Rift. We’ll see how the final Sony product will compare to the new Oculus Rift, but it will may not come as a surprise if Sonny announces that their Project Morpheus will become a new top priority for the company.

Now, looking at the Oculus Rift just from a gamers’ perspective is probably not right anymore, even Oculus is not talking about the Rift as a gaming only device, but as a VR platform with many possibilities. The fact that Facebook may kill most of them in order to bring users to the next level by integrating Virtual Reality experiences in their social network still remains highly possible, even when Mark Zuckerberg says that they will not kill the original idea and the team at Oculus will remain the same. We’ll see how this will turn out, if it will be for good or for bad. The fact is that Facebook is a social media and their interests are mainly there, not games, or not games in the way that people like to experience with the Rift. Instead of providing the best VR experience that consumers want, Facebook may actually deliver the “best experience” the way the want it to be and force you to either accept it this way or not use it at all.

I have personally pre-ordered the new Oculus Rift DK2 the moment it was announced without even thinking twice about it, however if the deal with Facebook was announced before the pre-order was put on the website I might have thought about it before hitting the order button…

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12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Daniel Stange // Mar 27, 2014 at 01:17

    Facebook has been very hands off with its first acquisition Instagram and the more recent WhatsApp, I think peoples negative reaction is based on ignorance towards this fact, though it is understandable why their first instinct is to fear such a move.

    What I believe is that this acquisition has legitimized VR far more than even the Morpheus could have, there are far too many applications possible with VR for it to only be focused on gaming, and frankly good VR is good VR, you need presence whether it’s for games or virtual museums or court side basketball, either way it needs to be low latency/high resolution so this doesn’t change anything on the gaming side.

    This gives the Oculus team the sway they need to push display production in the direction it needs to go, rather than work off the scraps of the industry, they can now drive it exactly where they want.

    So long as the Oculus remains open as a platform this acquisition can only be a good thing for VR.

  • 2 eqzitara // Mar 27, 2014 at 07:06

    It really depends imo. They’ve only got support from one non-indie developer and thats Valve. Valve has ulterior motives[obviously]. They want PC VR to boom because they benefit from PC sales.

    This changes everything in a bad way. Rift had such a strong following. Couldn’t walk into a game expo without someone saying Oculus Rift. Now thats gone.
    Rift had a strong modding[modders/renderers/etc] scene thats going to die out severely.
    Rift had tons of indie developers taking advantage of its popularity and frankly excited to develop for platform thats going to die out severely.

    What they do have is capital. They could invest it similiarly to NVIDIA/AMD and buy “allegiance”. Its really up to them what happens next. They could be trading indies for mainstream and we all win out but if they don’t think they have to buy everyone out to make a solid start they are going to have a rude awakening.

  • 3 steve // Mar 27, 2014 at 08:25

    boooo. Facebook has a horrible interface and constantly demonstrates that they want everything you do to become public whether you like it or not.

    Sony also has some kind of brain lapse going on with their products as the PS4 is out and cannot even play a 3d bluray or even an MP3 for gods sake. So, I don’t think Morpheous means sony has any clue what to do with their product line in the realm of 3d.

    I was hoping the rift could avoid these idiots. I know I want the rift to be more than gaming because I am not a gamer, but the gamers were the ones that brought the passion to the development when nobody else even got the point at all. I fear the passion for getting the hardware right will be screwed up as someone tries to think of how we can have a vr experience with facebook. Facebook was a popular idea, it wasn’t really a complicated idea though. People marvel at how popular facebook is, not how complicated or elegant it is.

  • 4 Schmeltzer // Mar 28, 2014 at 08:20

    People are jumping to conclusions way too fast imho. Let’s see how this plays out.

    And I know that you are way too curious to get your hands on dk2.0 to hit the cancel-pre-order button. But I encourage you to do so, cause it wil help me to get mine sooner :-).

  • 5 Reaper // Mar 29, 2014 at 08:43

    You guys need to read this article about Oculus… Well written and fairly balanced view on things…

    http://time.com/39577/facebook-oculus-vr-inside-story/

  • 6 GDL // Apr 1, 2014 at 00:53

    I’m going to base my opinion on whatever Carmack has to say, if he says it’s going to be ok it will most likely be ;-)

  • 7 Bloody // Apr 2, 2014 at 19:25

    And Carmack could be the first one to say bye-bye if things start to go bad because of Facebook… ;)

  • 8 eqzitara // Apr 6, 2014 at 05:20

    I just pre-ordered today.

    Carmack might even be an investor let alone an employee tbh. He has been involved with Rift for a very long. Doom 3 was first game prototyped for it. I really doubt he would speak against anything even if he could.

  • 9 tnt // May 6, 2014 at 00:53

    oh well, there goes my dream of playing battlefield in virtual reality. Better prepare for seeing duck faces with the oculus….

  • 10 Bin // Jun 2, 2014 at 07:00

    Ich find trotzdem, dass das Teil einfach noch zu Hardwarelastig ist.
    Da find ich die Methode mit dem Smartphone das man vorne reinstecken kann in so n Kopfhalter einfach Genial :-)

  • 11 Skyguy // Jul 9, 2014 at 02:47

    When are the forums coming back up? Did facebook buy you guys out too?

  • 12 mihabolil // Aug 1, 2014 at 00:55

    @Skyguy, 3D Vision is dead, go find another forum

    linustechtips.com/main/topic/189690-oculus-dk2-uses-the-samsung-note-3-screen/?hl=oculus

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