Facebook bought Oculus Rift

Facebook just bought the Occulus Rift company for $2billion:

@wezrule said: Facebook just bought the Occulus Rift company for $2billion:

http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2014/03/facebook-to-acquire-oculus/

1 Like

My calendar still shows April 1st as a few days off still… maybe Facebook and Occulus are trying to get a jump on it? :slight_smile:

Well, an infusion of cash can’t be a bad thing, I guess. Cost is the prime factor in VR headset adoption and without the production means of a Sony, you will have trouble getting the price down… unless you have a large pool of starting cash.

Sadly the Oculus team seems to be as delusional as Mr. Zuckerberg. “See you in the metaverse”? Really? They should stick to the gamers and not hope that everybody else wants to be an Otaku ^^

First comment is kinda gold

I think people vastly underestimate the amount of capital it takes to bring a VR headset to market at a price that will appeal to the masses. Occulus had nowhere near enough. I was pretty sure they were going to fail but was skeptically hopeful because I’ve been waiting for an affordable VR headset since my $1000 VFX-1 in the 90s. Now, I suspect they will succeed on some level.

It’s a great time with (now) three companies poised to actually have the appropriate resources to produce viable VR headsets. Hopefully for a sub-$200 price point while still retaining quality.

@normen said: Sadly the Oculus team seems to be as delusional as Mr. Zuckerberg. "See you in the metaverse"?

From LM Lockhart’s bio, she’s “Narrative Designer at 343 Industries for the Halo franchise”.
That does not sound like somebody on the Oculus team.

Second Gamasutra comment is gold, too.

+1 that this is going to be a massive push towards marketability.
I kinda hope that it’s going to be in the same league as Microsoft mice and keyboards: The giant behind the hardware shop is at highly controversial in its conduct, but the hardware division is delivering great value for the price.
However, I’m getting worried how much a Facebook Oculus is going to phone home. A small company couldn’t survive the outcry that such conduct would cause; Facebook would merely shrug it off.

@toolforger said: From LM Lockhart's bio, she's "Narrative Designer at 343 Industries for the Halo franchise". That does not sound like somebody on the Oculus team.

Second Gamasutra comment is gold, too.

+1 that this is going to be a massive push towards marketability.
I kinda hope that it’s going to be in the same league as Microsoft mice and keyboards: The giant behind the hardware shop is at highly controversial in its conduct, but the hardware division is delivering great value for the price.
However, I’m getting worried how much a Facebook Oculus is going to phone home. A small company couldn’t survive the outcry that such conduct would cause; Facebook would merely shrug it off.

Doesn’t sound like but its right in their official statement about this deal. Not a single word about games, just “metaverse” and “future” and “The internet will look like in Shadowrun” bullshit.

@normen said: Doesn't sound like but its right in their official statement about this deal. Not a single word about games, just "metaverse" and "future" and "The internet will look like in Shadowrun" bullshit.

You mean http://www.oculusvr.com/blog/oculus-joins-facebook/ ?

That “metaverse” meme is just the parting sentence, it could be serious or tongue-in-cheek.

“Future” - heck, they’re a startup. They’re talking commercial and feature future, not social, SciFi future.
What could be taken as dubious is “transformative”, but Valve says that immersion technology is going to be a new level that “must be experienced to judge”, so the whole are does have all the right hallmarks to be transformative.
It’s primarily feature-transformative. It could become socially transformative, as computers and (to a much lesser extent) real-time games have.

And… no actual mention of “Shadowrun”.
I think you’re interpreting this in ways that they don’t actually think… plus, a PR blurb is never an accurate representation of what the team actually thinks.
In particular, they make it out as if Oculus+Facebook were a natural match; I’d rather believe that they’re simply happy that they’re funded for the foreseeable future and wouldn’t care whether it’s Google, Facebook, or DARPA who’s funding them.

@toolforger said: You mean http://www.oculusvr.com/blog/oculus-joins-facebook/ ?

That “metaverse” meme is just the parting sentence, it could be serious or tongue-in-cheek.

“Future” - heck, they’re a startup. They’re talking commercial and feature future, not social, SciFi future.
What could be taken as dubious is “transformative”, but Valve says that immersion technology is going to be a new level that “must be experienced to judge”, so the whole are does have all the right hallmarks to be transformative.
It’s primarily feature-transformative. It could become socially transformative, as computers and (to a much lesser extent) real-time games have.

And… no actual mention of “Shadowrun”.
I think you’re interpreting this in ways that they don’t actually think… plus, a PR blurb is never an accurate representation of what the team actually thinks.
In particular, they make it out as if Oculus+Facebook were a natural match; I’d rather believe that they’re simply happy that they’re funded for the foreseeable future and wouldn’t care whether it’s Google, Facebook, or DARPA who’s funding them.

Yes, now that they’re owned by Facebook they will put out exactly what the kickstarter backers who were all gamers thought of. Not. They don’t “join forces” as the team put it. Facebook OWNS them.

To be completely honest about that, KS backers got what they paid for - DK1. There is no real obligation after that from Oculus point of view. I understand the feeling on KS backers that they in some way ‘own’ the company, at least morally, but thats not the case.
Facebook IS evil. But on the other hand, they can invest a lot of cash - Palmer is already talking about developing his own display panels thanks to that, instead of having to rely on byproducts of mobile phone industry. I think that in longer run, VR tech will benefit out of that. I would risk saying that Rift itself in first versions might get a benefit - FB won’t do any obvious tie-ins at first try. And we will be left with usable hardware, which can be hacked (MS Kinect comes to mind).
I was strongly considering getting DK2, now I doubt I’ll do that - but exactly opposite reason to most people. Not giving up because FB got it, but giving up because I hope that with FB money, customer version might SO much better, DK2 will be garbage in comparison and I don’t want to spoil the experience…
</wishful thinking off>

Yes, Hitler also did everything within the legal constraints. But what was the face of oculus before this? Why did they gain attention? Because its 3D goggles? Because they made a lot of money? No.

And yes, the hardware will be better with more money but what will it be geared for? FB isn’t a 3D game company (yet?) and I don’t know if any other company wants to work together with them if they have to fear they just try to build their own virtual 3D ecosystem. I don’t want “the future” in 10 years, I want immersive 3D games this year. And as was said theres other such headsets in the field now, Oculus will lose importance in the game field while it was made what it is by gamers. Sure that market is bigger, sure theres more money, but its a sellout. Period.

Well, without a huge capital infusion of some kind, Occulus would have gone bust in probably two years, I guess. So really we are arguing over dying or being part of a big corporation. Only time will tell how Facebook will deal with this but it’s still better than dying because you can’t break the threshold of being cheap enough to generate significant demand while also meeting production needs.

There is a good reason that almost no hardware kickstarters succeed. The few that do are the anomalies. Scale doesn’t ramp up linearly at all… those with the means of production don’t need kickstarter, etc…

Also, Microsoft isn’t a mouse company… but they still produce some of the best mice on the market. Hopefully Facebook rightly stays “hands off”.

@pspeed said: Well, without a huge capital infusion of some kind, Occulus would have gone bust in probably two years, I guess. So really we are arguing over dying or being part of a big corporation. Only time will tell how Facebook will deal with this but it's still better than dying because you can't break the threshold of being cheap enough to generate significant demand while also meeting production needs.

There is a good reason that almost no hardware kickstarters succeed. The few that do are the anomalies. Scale doesn’t ramp up linearly at all… those with the means of production don’t need kickstarter, etc…

I am not against investors. What would you say if Apple had bought them? That we should get excited to see the hardware improve and that nothing else will change? :slight_smile:

@normen said: I am not against investors. What would you say if Apple had bought them? That we should get excited to see the hardware improve and that nothing else will change? :)

Apple already has a well known track record for hardware and a penchant for “single organization” thinking. To be sure, it is likely they never would have been left alone.

With Facebook we literally have no idea. It’s unprecedented. Even with Microsoft we might have predicted some things (lack of cross platform support being almost a given).

Short of Google, I’m not sure who would have been a better investor. It was easily going to take at least $100 million to pass the next threshold anyway. Facebook has eyes on being the next Google, anyway. They need a foot in content delivery of some kind.

@pspeed said: Apple already has a well known track record for hardware and a penchant for "single organization" thinking. To be sure, it is likely they never would have been left alone.

With Facebook we literally have no idea. It’s unprecedented. Even with Microsoft we might have predicted some things (lack of cross platform support being almost a given).

Short of Google, I’m not sure who would have been a better investor. It was easily going to take at least $100 million to pass the next threshold anyway. Facebook has eyes on being the next Google, anyway. They need a foot in content delivery of some kind.

Exactly, from now on the Oculus is dependent on Facebooks needs.

Edit: And there is NO promise that things will stay the same on either side. Both talk about big new things.

So, what can happen:

  • Oculus drivers will display FB adverts - I doubt
  • Oculus drivers will send camera data to FB without asking you - I want that, we could get very rich by sueing FB :wink:
  • Developers will have to sign some strange contracts/pay money to FB to be allowed to use Oculus drivers - possible, but probably would kill the platform AND it would get reverse engineered like Kinect
  • FB will have access to everything ahead of others and will develop social MMORPG like SecondLife/Playstation Home tied in to FB itself - yes
  • FB will create app store for Oculus apps which will make it easy for people to distribute games, but will get some fees or obligatory adverts in return - yes, but you still can deploy it outside of such appstore
  • FB will kill entire line by releasing crappy version of Oculus, because they don’t want people to get distracted with immersive games when they can play Farmville - nope
  • Oculus will stop co-developing/helping VR games which are not tied to FB in some way - possible, but hardly a showstopper

What scenario are we exactly afraid of?

@abies said: So, what can happen: * Oculus drivers will display FB adverts - I doubt * Oculus drivers will send camera data to FB without asking you - I want that, we could get very rich by sueing FB ;) * Developers will have to sign some strange contracts/pay money to FB to be allowed to use Oculus drivers - possible, but probably would kill the platform AND it would get reverse engineered like Kinect * FB will have access to everything ahead of others and will develop social MMORPG like SecondLife/Playstation Home tied in to FB itself - yes * FB will create app store for Oculus apps which will make it easy for people to distribute games, but will get some fees or obligatory adverts in return - yes, but you still can deploy it outside of such appstore * FB will kill entire line by releasing crappy version of Oculus, because they don't want people to get distracted with immersive games when they can play Farmville - nope * Oculus will stop co-developing/helping VR games which are not tied to FB in some way - possible, but hardly a showstopper

What scenario are we exactly afraid of?

The scenario that happened, read the comments of 90% of all people who invested money into the Oculus.

Adverts and personal data to direct appropriate adverts. That’s all its about. Nothing new here. They’re just investing ahead of time.