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Facebook buys Oculus VR for $2bn

Facebook buys Oculus VR for $2bn

The virtual reality headset has earned a great deal of interest from developers and both Oculus VR and Facebook want to bring it to a much larger audience.

Social networking giant Facebook has bought virtual reality pioneer Oculus VR for for $2bn.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said that the company’s general direction with regards to gaming will remain unchanged by the acquisition but that he sees the virtual reality platform as a future method of global communication.

Oculus will operate independently within Facebook to meet its goals with regards to immersive gaming with Facebook only chipping in to throw its weight behind striking deals with more developers and publishers.

‘Oculus's mission is to enable you to experience the impossible. Their technology opens up the possibility of completely new kinds of experiences,’ said Zuckerberg. ’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.’

Facebook intends to bring the virtual and augmented reality offered by the Oculus Rift into the lives of billions of people.

’Virtual reality was once the dream of science fiction. But the internet was also once a dream, and so were computers and smartphones. The future is coming and we have a chance to build it together,’ added Zuckerberg.

In the last 18 months, the Oculus team has taken more than 75,000 orders for development kits and interest from developers has been high. In a statement from the Oculus VR team, they assure everyone that the Facebook and Oculus teams are very much on the same page with regards to the future and potential for the virtual reality platform.

In reaction to the news that Facebook had acquired Oculus VR, Minecraft developer Markus ‘Notch’ Persson and Oculus VR investor called a halt to plans to bring the open-world cube-rearranging game to the Oculus Rift, citing his uncertainty over Facebook’s motives and their historic instability as a platform as reasons.

’I did not chip in ten grand to seed a first investment round to build value for a Facebook acquisition,’[i] said Persson on his blog. [i]’I definitely want to be a part of VR, but I will not work with Facebook.’

92 Comments

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Dave Lister 26th March 2014, 09:32 Quote
Well this is very bad news, and I'd think this will disrupt the whole development of VR.
DrTiCool 26th March 2014, 09:35 Quote
**** no
theshadow2001 26th March 2014, 09:42 Quote
Always disappointing when a company I don't like or trust acquires something I was very keen on.
Nexxo 26th March 2014, 10:04 Quote
Good thing, IMO. Facebook has no intentions to mess with the gaming objectives of Occulus Rift, but can throw a lot of money and influence behind it. Once a promising, but little fringe company it is now backed by a big player and has become a Real Thing.

Anyone who read Neuromancer will remember the vision of the Web as an immersive VR environment. Zuckerberg obviously has the same vision.
Corky42 26th March 2014, 10:06 Quote
Selling out to the highest bidder never goes down well, I'm guessing a lot of people who backed Oculus are feeling rightly miffed. I get the feeling the true impact of this wont be felt for a good few years.
GeorgeStorm 26th March 2014, 10:09 Quote
To me it seems like the benefits will probably outweigh the negatives.

More money behind it, far bigger visibility etc
Nexxo 26th March 2014, 10:10 Quote
Who else should have bought it? Google? As bad as Facebook. Microsoft? Would ruin it with asinine committee management. Sony? Has its own system; would only buy to kill it off. Apple? Not its thing, and would lock it to their ecosystem only. Valve? Yes, but they'd lock it to only their ecosystem.
Meanmotion 26th March 2014, 10:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeStorm
...bigger visibility etc

Unintentional puns for the win.
GeorgeStorm 26th March 2014, 10:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meanmotion
Unintentional puns for the win.

:D
Dave Lister 26th March 2014, 10:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Who else should have bought it? Google? As bad as Facebook. Microsoft? Would ruin it with asinine committee management. Sony? Has its own system; would only buy to kill it off. Apple? Not its thing, and would lock it to their ecosystem only. Valve? Yes, but they'd lock it to only their ecosystem.

On the other hand there was no apparent reason to sell it. They were often in the news (more than sony's VR) for positive reasons, they were constantly developing it and seemed to have a lot of interest from developers.
s1n1s 26th March 2014, 10:31 Quote
would have been happy for them to remain independent that was the appeal in the oculus for me, why go this far then sell out.

any big company who brought oculus would have been a bad thing and to think facebook will not meddle is naive, you don't spend 2 billion on something and then leave it as is

I can only imagine all the data facebook will sell with this, not to mention all the shoehorned social "experiences"

on a plus note check this https://twitter.com/minliangtan/status/448606945272803328
Maki role 26th March 2014, 10:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Lister
On the other hand there was no apparent reason to sell it. They were often in the news (more than sony's VR) for positive reasons, they were constantly developing it and seemed to have a lot of interest from developers.

Personally I don't think they'd have done very well on their own. The thing is, Sony's Morpheus would have started market competition. Now competition is good, but only if both sides are balanced. If they're not balanced, then it becomes a whitewash and the loser effectively goes out of business.

If Sony are making one, it'll probably be PS4 exclusive, but then do you honestly think Microsoft won't make something to compete with Sony's for their xbox? So out comes the Microsoft equivalent, which could well support PC connections (like with kinect or the 360/One controller). With a big player like that, things could get tight. The occupies guys have already faced massive issues sourcing parts, would they really be able to continue like that for long?

As long as Facebook treats Occulus as a separate entity, everything will be fine. The extra R&D budget, studio support and manufacturer support will all be hugely beneficial to the cause.
will_123 26th March 2014, 10:51 Quote
I really hope they focus on what OR was intended for before they start spinning it out to make investors happy....I want GAMEZ! I dont think this is good news, but will be happily proven wrong :)

"We're clearly not a hardware company. We're not gonna try to make a profit off of the devices long term. We view this as a software and services thing, where if we can make it so that this becomes a network where people can be communicating and buying things and virtual goods, and there might be advertising in the world, but we need to figure that out down the line."

Zuckerberg quoted on TechCrunch src: http://techcrunch.com/2014/03/25/why-facebook-bought-oculus/
PCBuilderSven 26th March 2014, 11:05 Quote
[QUOTE=]After games, we're going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences[/QUOTE]

Yes, like 24 hour spying by the us, the NSA, and anyone who throws some cash our way. Then, thanks to all our spying, we can also throw adverts right at your face which are ideadlly targetted to piss you off as much as possible. Full screen ads just got a whole new meaning. Then we'll integrate it with facebook, so you need to be logged in at all times to use it, and we'll ensure that that process is as unstable as possible so you can never use it. We'll also make sure that all bandwidth of your internet connection is used up by us, so there's no way you'll every get a good online experience.
SchizoFrog 26th March 2014, 11:07 Quote
Oculus Rift, the future of Farmville.
SimoomiZ 26th March 2014, 11:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Who else should have bought it? Google? As bad as Facebook. Microsoft? Would ruin it with asinine committee management. Sony? Has its own system; would only buy to kill it off. Apple? Not its thing, and would lock it to their ecosystem only. Valve? Yes, but they'd lock it to only their ecosystem.

I agree , probably better to reserve judgement .

But there are concerns over the proprietary steps Facebook may take, i.e., if someone develops some amazing application for it and is making a lots of money will they try to nudge them out , or take an Apple type locked down approach? They claim O VR will be independent , but will it? Will you need to log in to a FB account to play games etc ? Will exciting features like future 4k plans lose out to production cost/profit margin decisions? Will they be interested in keeping things like its more expensive OLED tech? There are lots of ways it could go wrong as a result of this buy out . And against those is the FB potential to promote/market the device properly.
Yaka 26th March 2014, 11:27 Quote
Meh was looking at getting one to tinker around with but won't, hope it won't need a FB acount to use when it goes retail.
Umbra 26th March 2014, 11:38 Quote
On Twitter: Markus Persson ?@notch 13h

"We were in talks about maybe bringing a version of Minecraft to Oculus. I just cancelled that deal. Facebook creeps me out."

Obviously doesn't creep him out that much, https://www.facebook.com/minecraft
wonder if he would have said that if facebook offered him a few million before the game took off

Mark Zuckerberg said on the call to investors,
"We're clearly not a hardware company. We're not gonna try to make a profit off of the devices long term. We view this as a software and services thing, where if we can make it so that this becomes a network where people can be communicating and buying things and virtual goods, and there might be advertising in the world, but we need to figure that out down the line."

Mmm, So your sniping that head shot and a "Buy Ammo from Wallmark" virtual advert rolls out the end of your virtual barrel :(
impar 26th March 2014, 11:48 Quote
Stanley Tweedle 26th March 2014, 11:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki role
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Lister
On the other hand there was no apparent reason to sell it. They were often in the news (more than sony's VR) for positive reasons, they were constantly developing it and seemed to have a lot of interest from developers.

Personally I don't think they'd have done very well on their own. The thing is, Sony's Morpheus would have started market competition. Now competition is good, but only if both sides are balanced. If they're not balanced, then it becomes a whitewash and the loser effectively goes out of business.

If Sony are making one, it'll probably be PS4 exclusive, but then do you honestly think Microsoft won't make something to compete with Sony's for their xbox? So out comes the Microsoft equivalent, which could well support PC connections (like with kinect or the 360/One controller). With a big player like that, things could get tight. The occupies guys have already faced massive issues sourcing parts, would they really be able to continue like that for long?

As long as Facebook treats Occulus as a separate entity, everything will be fine. The extra R&D budget, studio support and manufacturer support will all be hugely beneficial to the cause.

Palmer was already doing very well on his own. Morpheus is locked to PS4. Palmer wanted Oculus to run on PC and Android. Palmer had achieved a lot already. Selling out to facebook and announcing it 6 days before april 1st is actually the biggest joke of the decade. It's a joke on all of us because he had us believing in his vision. Part of the appeal of oculus was that it was a little guy's vision and not being tied to some vast faceless dubious corporation. Palmer states facebook has a reputation for openness. Actually it's the opposite so that statement was ironic and almost tongue in cheek.

There hasn't been any negative reaction to the previous investors Palmer has joined forces with. This is his biggest investment and the amount of shock, disappointment and resentment is a clear indication of how people dislike this deal.
Umbra 26th March 2014, 12:03 Quote
Wonder what all the people who pledged on Kickstarter think :(
MachineUK 26th March 2014, 12:03 Quote
I have no issue with this. The very fact that they have sold, means they were probably stretching thin for money anyway. ok, Zuckerberg wants to use it for social media, but there is no way he will have any beef with letting them focus on games also.......too big of a cash cow.
IanW 26th March 2014, 12:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Umbra
Wonder what all the people who pledged on Kickstarter think :(

The best way to regain goodwill would be to refund to backers the $2.5million they got via kickstarter.
Maki role 26th March 2014, 12:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stanley Tweedle
Palmer was already doing very well on his own. Morpheus is locked to PS4. Palmer wanted Oculus to run on PC and Android.

Yes and as I said in my post, which you clearly didn't read properly, I'm highlighting the point that if the PS4 has a version, why wouldn't the Xbox One get one if it's popular?

He wasn't exactly doing very well, they had to go through so many delays in production because they couldn't even secure parts. They need the purchasing power to ask for a few hundred-thousand units for it to take off fully, only a handful of developers actually did anything with the device, despite many promises. At their previous position, they were in no way able to reach those figures, kickstarter can only go so far.

As for those who backed the kickstarter, why the hell should they get their money back? Without that backing the Occulus never would have reached the stage it has. The kickstarter has been a massive success and allowed Occulus to succeed by gaining a large internet following, not to mention getting the idea across to developers initially. The funding has not been wasted.
abezors 26th March 2014, 12:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by IanW
The best way to regain goodwill would be to refund to backers the $2.5million they got via kickstarter.

Actually they have no legal reason to do such a thing - the Kickstarter fund was for the DK1 only, which they produced and made good on. Though I agree they certainly need to regain trust somehow, and FAST. Hordes of people are cancelling their pre-orders for the DK2 already, and quite rightly.

If it makes anybody feel better, the $2bn was largely made up of Facebook shares (I believe around 1.6bn of the total). Considering that Oculus can't immediately sell these shares (as the share price on the market will drop) they are essentially stuck with a pile of FB shares for a long time... As many have noticed these share prices are likely to continue dropping in value as FB continues to go downhill.
Icy EyeG 26th March 2014, 13:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by IanW
The best way to regain goodwill would be to refund to backers the $2.5million they got via kickstarter.

Exactly, I'm pretty sure that the wide majority of the contributors didn't do it thinking this would happen.
Imagine if they had a $2.400.000 stretch goal saying: "Facebook buys us!". No one would have invested one penny.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Who else should have bought it? Google? As bad as Facebook. Microsoft? Would ruin it with asinine committee management. Sony? Has its own system; would only buy to kill it off. Apple? Not its thing, and would lock it to their ecosystem only. Valve? Yes, but they'd lock it to only their ecosystem.

How about no one? Seriously, nowadays, every good new idea gets absorbed by huge companies.
I don't even get why they could survive independently. Sure it'd take a bit more time to grow, but they'd still have their reputation intact to their primary target audience.

I highly suggest that you guys read the kickstarter comments page, remembering that these were those that made the company possible.

EDIT: Oh and, by the way, imagine if their DK2 model was announced after the buyout. The number of preorders would be a lot smaller, for sure.
will_123 26th March 2014, 14:07 Quote
Quote:
I highly suggest that you guys read the kickstarter comments page, remembering that these were those that made the company possible.

The Kickstarter page is rather vocal!
Umbra 26th March 2014, 14:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki role
As for those who backed the kickstarter, why the hell should they get their money back? Without that backing the Occulus never would have reached the stage it has. The kickstarter has been a massive success and allowed Occulus to succeed by gaining a large internet following, not to mention getting the idea across to developers initially. The funding has not been wasted.

The real issue might be the damage this causes for some future KS projects if people start to feel like this guy?

From the KS comments.
Quote:
"Sergey Chubukov about 5 hours ago

You selling out to Facebook is a disgrace. It damages not only your reputation, but the whole of crowdfunding. I cannot put into words how betrayed I feel by this."

I've only pledged to one project, "Obduction" the new adventure game by Cyan the Myst game creators and it's pretty unlikely they would sell out to anyone but this will certainly make me think before I pledge to anything in the future.
Pliqu3011 26th March 2014, 14:53 Quote
I really don't see the problem with this. Oculus gets a whole lot of financial support, bigger market significance (great for securing better deals on screens etc.) and potentially a huge new audience.

Yes, there are some concerns about Facebook's view on privacy, but how would that effect the developement of the Rift? Acting all hysterical about this is helping absolutely no one (and I honestly expected better from Notch).

EDIT: And I wouldn't look too much at the Kickstarter comments, since there's always a percentage of backers who have the tendency to get ridiculously angry over even the most insignificant of changes and telling they feel "betrayed" etc. Just look at the campaigns of Numenera, DFA,...
GeorgeStorm 26th March 2014, 14:57 Quote
Weren't the KS pledgers pledging money in order to create the product, or a devkit or whatever it was, which they have/will do.

They didn't promise not to be bought buy a bigger company etc, in the end the pledgers are still going to get what they pledged money for, so I don't really think they have that much of a right to complain?
Icy EyeG 26th March 2014, 15:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pliqu3011
I really don't see the problem with this. Oculus gets a whole lot of financial support, bigger market significance (great for securing better deals on screens etc.) and potentially a huge new audience.

Well, but that can go the other way as well, like the cases this blog collects:
Our Incredible Journey (about)

This can also explain why the KS backers are so angry, even though they have the kit they paid for. The future of the company will determine whether that product will remain supported, IMO.
Cthippo 26th March 2014, 15:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
Oculus Rift, the future of Farmville.

Only if they can get the wool texture right on the VR gloves...

I should probably go now
Pliqu3011 26th March 2014, 16:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeStorm
Weren't the KS pledgers pledging money in order to create the product, or a devkit or whatever it was, which they have/will do.

They didn't promise not to be bought buy a bigger company etc, in the end the pledgers are still going to get what they pledged money for, so I don't really think they have that much of a right to complain?

Exactly. As far as I know, the funding platform is called "Kickstarter", not "Foreverindependentcompanystarter".
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icy EyeG
Well, but that can go the other way as well, like the cases this blog collects:
Our Incredible Journey (about)

This can also explain why the KS backers are so angry, even though they have the kit they paid for. The future of the company will determine whether that product will remain supported, IMO.

I don't know what will happen in the future, but I trust that Luckey has made the right choice.
Aside from the enormous opportunities I named before, who knows, maybe they needed the money to even get to the public release?

The advantage of the Rift compared to the examples on that blog is that it's a relatively open platform. There is no way to just "switch off" all Rifts in the world should the company stop existing, and with the given tools, fans can still create some content. Though I agree that it would certainly be infinitely better if Oculus does not merge or get hollowed out...
Corky42 26th March 2014, 16:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icy EyeG
This can also explain why the KS backers are so angry, even though they have the kit they paid for. The future of the company will determine whether that product will remain supported, IMO.
I think this is the problem with some KS projects, by asking people to back a project they feel a sense of entitlement, wrongly so IMHO. The backers got what was claimed on the tin, early access to a development kit, AFAIK they were never promised a finished product.
Gareth Halfacree 26th March 2014, 16:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icy EyeG
Exactly, I'm pretty sure that the wide majority of the contributors didn't do it thinking this would happen. Imagine if they had a $2.400.000 stretch goal saying: "Facebook buys us!". No one would have invested one penny.
There's an important word, there: invested. When you back a project on Kickstarter, you're not investing anything; you're attempting to pre-order a product that doesn't exist, in the knowledge that it may never exist. You may pay less and just show your financial support with a donation for no gain; you may pay more and gain additional bonuses like T-shirts or lunch with the creators; this is still not an investment.

The people who backed Oculus Rift on Kickstarter did so, in the overwhelming majority, to pre-order a Development Kit. Their money was taken, used to create the Development Kits, and the backers received their Development Kits. The transaction was, thus, completed. Oculus owes its Kickstarter backers nothing; it's already given them everything it ever promised.

Imagine, for a moment, that I bought a Nintendo Wii U. Now imagine that Nintendo, struggling financially, gets an offer from Microsoft to buy it lock, stock and barrel. Nintendo accepts; I'm unhappy, because in this theoretical scenario I hate Microsoft. Should Nintendo refund me the purchase price of my Wii U? Of course not; I'm a customer, not a shareholder; Nintendo owes me nothing. The situation is exactly the same for Oculus VR; Kickstarter may use the word 'backers,' but those who bought in at the start are customers.

Now, if you actually invested in Oculus VR, and have shares accordingly, then you would have been given the opportunity to vote against the Facebook acquisition. (Well, unless they're non-voting shares, which they probably would have been... Look, let's not complicated this, yeah?) The fact that 'backers' don't get shares shows Kickstarter for what it really is: a surprisingly risky webshop for pre-orders of potential products, not a vehicle for people to 'invest' a fistful of dollars in a company.

Here endeth the rant. (Got my dander up reading comments on Oculus' Kickstarter page from overprivileged types who reckon that $400 on a kit they've already received gives 'em the right to demand a refund 'cos its founder jumped at the chance to never have to worry about money again. Crazy stuff.)
N17 dizzi 26th March 2014, 16:45 Quote
All these **** no's. Does anyone have evidence to back up the premise that facebook will drive Oculus to the pavement?
Mister_Tad 26th March 2014, 16:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree

Here endeth the rant. (Got my dander up reading comments on Oculus' Kickstarter page from overprivileged types who reckon that $400 on a kit they've already received gives 'em the right to demand a refund 'cos its founder jumped at the chance to never have to worry about money again. Crazy stuff.)

This, so much this.

"OMFG, WHAT A SELL OUT, WHERE ARE HIS PRINCIPLES, I THOUGHT HE STOOD FOR THE LITTLE GUY, THE INDEPENDENT BUSINESS, RABBLE, RABBLE RABBLE!!!"

Guys... it's $2bn

Let me rephrase:

Two...

Freaking...

Beeeeeeeellion...

Dollars.

I'd sell out to Facebook for less, and so would everyone here, and everyone rabbling on KS.

Fin.
Nexxo 26th March 2014, 17:18 Quote
Markus Persson is hardly a spokesperson for congruence and reason. :p

And yeah: Two. Billion. Dollars. Bitches. Many moaners would sell their very souls for a lot less.
dangerman1337 26th March 2014, 17:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Who else should have bought it? Google? As bad as Facebook. Microsoft? Would ruin it with asinine committee management. Sony? Has its own system; would only buy to kill it off. Apple? Not its thing, and would lock it to their ecosystem only. Valve? Yes, but they'd lock it to only their ecosystem.
Except How would Facebook benefit from Oculus? How can Facebook bring Oculus to the masses without downgrading the technical specs so it's audience can use it and barely has a retail presence where anyone can try a Rift Headset? I mean being acquired by Apple would make more business sense (they'd be worse with the locked ecosystem but make more business sense as they have a retail presence that sells hardware and some can try it out) than the likes of Facebook. The only feasible way where Facebook could utilize it to make money back if they try to shove Facebook integration into it or have advertising in it unless this was all a ploy by Palmer and co to grab money and sooner or later and run for it. There's another thing that is hard to guarantee that Facebook will not force Oculus VR to integrate Facebook or at least make it optional when we just had last year Microsoft did a 180 with the Xbox One restrictions with online and used games.

I'd also point out that Oculus Rift won't likely sell millions in months that it'd require being bought to fully bring it out to many as possible. I'm still open to it but if they integrate it with Facebook software, data mining or the like then I will not buy it.
Gareth Halfacree 26th March 2014, 17:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dangerman1337
How can Facebook bring Oculus to the masses without downgrading the technical specs so it's audience can use it
Why do its 'technical specs' need to be downgraded? I'm pretty certain even your average Facebook user can handle "insert HDMI cable, insert USB cable, install driver" - and if you're talking about having the GPU grunt to game at a Full HD resolution, wouldn't that have been exactly the same problem with going mass-market Oculus VR would have faced if they'd remained independent - and easily solved by running at a lower non-native resolution, just like I sometimes have to do with my 1920x1200 monitor and my weedy little AMD A10-5800K APU?
Quote:
Originally Posted by dangerman1337
and barely has a retail presence where anyone can try a Rift Headset?
It's got a damn sight bigger retail presence than Oculus VR, which had zero retail presence at the time of purchase. Any supermarket in the UK (and, I assume, the US) has Facebook gift cards at the checkout; it also had an ill-fated attempted at a smartphone retail partnership, which I'm sure it's learned plenty from. Oculus VR, on the other hand, did a Kickstarter and sold some stuff through its website; that's yer lot.

Facebook claims it's bought the company so it can extend the technology to other 'verticals' including entertainment and communications. It's not hard to see where this is going: avatar-based 'video' chats, virtual theatres where you can watch - and comment on - films and sporting events with your Facebook friends, and so on and so forth. But it's made no indication that it's doing this instead of gaming but as well as gaming. Everyone was happy with what Oculus VR was doing on that front; so far, it seems like it's going to continue doing that but with a hell of a lot more money to throw at it. This is A Good Thing.

I say all this, incidentally, as someone who can't stand Facebook's data grabbing ways, and refuses to have an account. Yes, even though I use Android and tell Google absolutely everything about my life. Go figure.
Pliqu3011 26th March 2014, 17:47 Quote
I often like to romantically imagine the internet as a place of intellectual discussion and content creation, but when looking at stuff like Luckey's thread on reddit I'm starkly reminded that it's actually for the most part a cesspool of overly dramatic, self-entitled assholes. (and also why I don't usually visit reddit)

I present to you, an anthology of the thread:
Quote:
"Hey guys give me your money! This will be an awesome indie gadget built and designed for YOU by YOUR suggestions alone! We will listen to all your ideas and work hand in hand with developers.
* Money thrown *
~ 2 weeks later ~
Lol **** you guys!"

1021 points + 1 gold

"I honestly thought Palmer had a chance to be the next Steve Jobs. Now he'll most likely be relegated to a footnote in VR history."
552 points

"Seriously. It's a good thing he's **** all over the community. How else could he shove those big sacks of cash straight up his ass?"

143 points

"His lips have been sealed by the overpowering force of acquisition. He is no longer a free man. PR talk is what he will be forced to deliver from now on."
1309 points

"I'll say it again Oculus doesn't exist anymore, they're Facebook now. Treat everything related to Oculus the same exact way you treat everything that's Facebook related."
867 points

"It's ****ing disgusting to see this guy, who a week ago was talking to the community in a down to earth, practical, honest way, now talking in this bullshit vague corporate language.
There are no laws against what you ****ing did Lukey, but it was unethical as **** you scum."

403 points

"You did a Kickstarter, and today you betray the people who funded your company's existence. You walk away with tons of money, but the future of VR is dead. You killed it again."
176 points

"Congratulations, you just killed any and all hope or trust millions of people had in your product and the future of gaming and computing as we know it.
I'm not even sure what to say because it's pretty obvious you put sacks of money before your supposed "dream", and will sell yours and everyone elses hopes and dreams away to an absolute ****ing pariah of a company that's actively destroying any semblence of privacy or open digital market left in the world."

2274 points, 6 gold
Yadda 26th March 2014, 18:10 Quote
If it means we can play virtual rock, paper, scissors with our FB friends then I'm all for it. :)

(...or virtual charades. I can barely contain my excitement. :D)
Nexxo 26th March 2014, 18:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pliqu3011
I often like to romantically imagine the internet as a place of intellectual discussion and content creation...

No, that was UseNet: text only, mainly universities, research establishments and some hard core geeks with acoustic couplers at home, talking shop. Then Tim Berners-Lee (Higgs be upon him) invented HTML and the internet became accessible to the masses (shudder). Place hasn't been the same since.
megamale 26th March 2014, 18:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dangerman1337
Except How would Facebook benefit from Oculus?

Allow me the naive view. Facebook will benefit even if they don't touch it. They bought it, the profits (if any) will go to Facebook. If Zuckerberg is right about this being the "next big thing", then integration or not, it makes sense to buy into it. They can even resell it later on for more money.

I just think that they haven't figured it out yet. There "could" be something they can do with this, or not. This is just a one way bet. If I had 2 billion I would have bought the company myself.
Woodspoon 26th March 2014, 19:16 Quote
There will be adverts, they will find a way, it will be annoying.
Nexxo 26th March 2014, 19:26 Quote
All you doomsayers: go read Neuromancer. At least watch Johnnie Mnemonic. Digest.
Corky42 26th March 2014, 19:36 Quote
Oculus Addresses Some Of The Internet's Biggest Concerns.
http://kotaku.com/oculus-addresses-some-of-the-internets-biggest-concern-1552003153
Quote:
Palmer Luckey, co-founder of Oculus, has been known to show up on Reddit to respond to fans since the virtual reality's Kickstarter first showed up two years ago. Yesterday, he took to Reddit again to reply to many angry fans about their concerns.

Though his post on Reddit closely resembles the official Oculus statement, his follow-up interactions responding to Reddit's questions do shed light on some of the bigger concerns people have been voicing.
Sloth 26th March 2014, 19:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
All you doomsayers: go read Neuromancer. At least watch Johnnie Mnemonic. Digest.
Or just take a short walk, enjoy a cool beverage, and take a deep breath.

There, all better. Now the world is no longer collapsing because a single VR device is potentially, but entirely inconclusively, hampered by a perfectly logical and reasonable financial decision. ;)
Yadda 26th March 2014, 20:10 Quote
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supermonkey 26th March 2014, 20:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
No, that was UseNet: text only, mainly universities, research establishments and some hard core geeks with acoustic couplers at home, talking shop. Then Tim Berners-Lee (Higgs be upon him) invented HTML and the internet became accessible to the masses (shudder). Place hasn't been the same since.
That was almost the virtual version of shaking your fist and telling the kids to get off your lawn.
Nexxo 26th March 2014, 20:47 Quote
Pretty much. :D

Oh, and when my mobile rings, it makes a ringing sound, damn it!

With all this ranting at Luckey ("Why oh why did you do this? Why?! WHY?!?!"), nobody is considering why Facebook might have done this. Did Zuckerberg just blow $2 billion to have just another, tiny, tentative niche area to display its adverts to hardcore gamers? Does it really expect the average Facebook user to be wanting to wear VR goggles? Come on.

Zuckerberg obviously has a vision for this product that extends far beyond Facebook adverts.
s1n1s 26th March 2014, 21:11 Quote
while I agree a lot of people and backers seemed to have lost their composure, I can fully see where these entitled people are coming from. A lot of people seem to just be disregarding their views, personally I think if you are a customer or consumer or however you want to put it. You are entitled to comment on whatever you've purchased or brought into.

I'd imagine that if people had known, this was going to be the outcome of helping kick start Oculus VR, I doubt they would have backed it at all.

Me personally I was interested in the oculus, however I no longer am. I never backed it and will now never purchase it due to it's relations with facebook. Additionally due to this I'll probably never back anything crowd funded now.

My main concerns is how it will be monetised by facebook because it will, no company pays $2billion not to get involved or use what they purchase for themselves, and considering FB mostly makes it money advertising (and selling data although denied I do not believe that to be the case since they own everything single thing you upload or write on their service).

I can seem them offering it out as a service and allowing other companies to have access to its userbase for a price.
dangerman1337 26th March 2014, 21:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Why do its 'technical specs' need to be downgraded? I'm pretty certain even your average Facebook user can handle "insert HDMI cable, insert USB cable, install driver" - and if you're talking about having the GPU grunt to game at a Full HD resolution, wouldn't that have been exactly the same problem with going mass-market Oculus VR would have faced if they'd remained independent - and easily solved by running at a lower non-native resolution, just like I sometimes have to do with my 1920x1200 monitor and my weedy little AMD A10-5800K APU? It's got a damn sight bigger retail presence than Oculus VR, which had zero retail presence at the time of purchase.

I'll concede to you on the technical specs for the most part, I just feel if they want it at a "mass market" price then it'd have to be something like say 199 USD in the US which means low persistence, lower Hz, lower resolution than what could be possible if it was higher price. Nobody wants a repeat of Sony and the difference between BOM and retail price with the PS3.
Quote:
Any supermarket in the UK (and, I assume, the US) has Facebook gift cards at the checkout; it also had an ill-fated attempted at a smartphone retail partnership, which I'm sure it's learned plenty from. Oculus VR, on the other hand, did a Kickstarter and sold some stuff through its website; that's yer lot.
There's a difference between gift cards and a physical product like the Oculus Rift. Selling gift cards is a whole different ball game.
Quote:
Facebook claims it's bought the company so it can extend the technology to other 'verticals' including entertainment and communications. It's not hard to see where this is going: avatar-based 'video' chats, virtual theaters where you can watch - and comment on - films and sporting events with your Facebook friends, and so on and so forth. But it's made no indication that it's doing this instead of gaming but as well as gaming. Everyone was happy with what Oculus VR was doing on that front; so far, it seems like it's going to continue doing that but with a hell of a lot more money to throw at it. This is A Good Thing.
True but virtual theaters, video chats over the internet would have to be very low latency and not throw off wearers (nausea, doesn't make the wearer have "presence") which would require high speed internet infrastructure that does not have the network/ISP mucking around for very high bandwidth uses. By the time those two happen will Facebook be around in a state to do such operations or even exist? MySpace was popular mid-2000s and isn't now, can Facebook be able to do future operations even when their financial outlook is dubious and dodgy (*cough* when they went public *cough*)? I mean personally I think Virtual Reality will be big with the things you have listed as it will answer how most of the world will be able to enjoy the things that Suburban upper/middle Americans enjoy as the entire world's population could not be materially sustainable as them. In fact I bet that the likes of theme parks (why got to a theme park when a Virtual Reality world is as good or better?) and Live concerts (the Music Industry, both indie and big label are sick) won't be around when Virtual Reality becomes wide spread and also future workplaces will be based around Virtual Reality worlds and commuting to work will be very rare for the most part.

I am somewhat skeptical overall, on one hand I have not totally written off Oculus Rift yet on the other I am pessimistic that Luckey will keep to his word or Facebook won't make Oculus VR tie it to Facebook and make Oculus and VR a thing for social media only and VR doesn't become accepted by the mainstream.
Gareth Halfacree 26th March 2014, 21:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dangerman1337
I'll concede to you on the technical specs for the most part, I just feel if they want it at a "mass market" price then it'd have to be something like say 199 USD in the US which means low persistence, lower Hz, lower resolution than what could be possible if it was higher price. Nobody wants a repeat of Sony and the difference between BOM and retail price with the PS3.
Which is exactly what Oculus VR would have had to do without Facebook's involvement, if they wanted to hit the mass market. No difference.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dangerman1337
There's a difference between gift cards and a physical product like the Oculus Rift. Selling gift cards is a whole different ball game.
No, there isn't. It's product. Facebook has product in all major supermarkets; that means it has contacts in all major supermarkets. A few phone calls later, meetings are set up; the Rift is demonstrated; the retailers agree to stock demo pods and units in their entertainment sections. Compare and contrast with Oculus VR by itself, which has no contacts and no existing product in retailers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dangerman1337
True but virtual theaters, video chats over the internet would have to be very low latency and not throw off wearers (nausea, doesn't make the wearer have "presence") which would require high speed internet infrastructure that does not have the network/ISP mucking around for very high bandwidth uses.
Not sure what you're talking about here. We already have video chat, and several virtual theatre programs for the Rift. It all works fine. Have you never used Skype?
dangerman1337 26th March 2014, 21:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Not sure what you're talking about here. We already have video chat, and several virtual theatre programs for the Rift. It all works fine. Have you never used Skype?
There's a difference between a Virtual Reality Headset (which Zuckerberg is implying) and a Computer Monitor, if you want to have a Virtual Reality Theater that's believable you need a Virtual Reality Headset that outputs a very high frame rate and resolution and doesn't have much or null compression which would require far more bandwidth. Unless I'm wrong...
Gareth Halfacree 26th March 2014, 22:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dangerman1337
There's a difference between a Virtual Reality Headset (which Zuckerberg is implying) and a Computer Monitor, if you want to have a Virtual Reality Theater that's believable you need a Virtual Reality Headset that outputs a very high frame rate and resolution and doesn't have much or null compression which would require far more bandwidth. Unless I'm wrong...
If you don't mind me saying so, you're wrong. Hint: you stream the video you're all watching as normal, but the VR portion is rendered locally. When you're playing Battlefield 4, is everything streamed from the server? 'Course not: it's rendered locally, and only the data that tells your local system where everyone is and what they're doing is transmitted. Virtual theatre works in exactly the same way. And, as I said, you can already get virtual theatre software for the Rift. It's a solved problem.
Yadda 26th March 2014, 22:02 Quote
Joking aside, I don't really have a problem with Facebook buying Oculus out. Big-guy buys little guy, it happens in business all the time.

That's not to say I'd wouldn't have preferred Oculus to remain on its own though. There's something very attractive about smaller, niche companies independently producing specialist items. Sure, their products may be more expensive and have less mass-market appeal, but they are usually of a higher quality and have an ethos which is so often lacking today.

For example, imagine if B&W sold out to say, Tesco... just imagine.
rollo 26th March 2014, 22:07 Quote
There was Rumours that they were looking for a backer with cash for a long time, And with the delays and difficulties they have had getting screens its not at all surprising its eventually been brought.

The only real shock is by who.

No one else really has alot of cash and wants into to VR that badly to pay 2billion dollars, People saying Apple or Samsung are in dream land ( Niether company cares too much about desktop pc users ) and the rest are making competing products.

Sony MS and Valve are all looking to launch there own VR stuff. Does not leave alot of other technology companies to buy it.

Truthfully at least we might see a consumer version sometime this year.
Stanley Tweedle 26th March 2014, 22:40 Quote
Palmer has stated that the deal means "custom everything". "No longer having to rely on scraps". Complete custom design from start to finish. He's also dismissed rumours of a single facebook controlled portal for Oculus as BS. He isn't going to let anything bad happen to his vision. I've been thinking about why it is people have reacted this way. It's down to how we perceive Zuckerberg versus Luckey. I don't think the Facebook movie helped Zuckerberg's image either. It's the polar opposite of the way Palmer is perceived. With Palmer we see someone with a genuine openness and passion to make his vision succeed. Someone who started from nothing but has achieved a lot in a short space of time. The view we have of Mark is very different. Kind of the arrogant nerd who can't be trusted with our privacy. However unfair this view is, it seems to have stuck and I guess the rapid expansion and world domination of Facebook further serves to alienate people. Yet here I am posting on facebook and interacting with friends there every day. So from my perspective there is some degree of hypocrisy in my negativity towards it.

After hearing from Palmer on Facebook I believe he is still just as committed to making Oculus succeed for the right reasons. Oculus will remain an open VR platform but with unlimited resources to optimise and deliver perhaps something even better than he could have hoped for. So despite my initial negative reaction I'm going to say that I still trust Palmer's vision for Oculus and I still intend to buy.
SexyHyde 27th March 2014, 00:31 Quote
Microsoft own ~1.5% of Facebook so i'm guessing this will give them access / preference to Oculus.

Refunds to kickstarters is stupid, unless your donation was for stock.

I like everyone reacting like this, shows a lot of people don't like Facebook. but maybe its just me being biased as I deleted my account 2 years ago. I don't like the fact that it is a closed system that data mines, and the fact that it changed so much. What I liked when it first came out had been removed or significantly altered by the time i had left.

Anyone contemplating leaving, I would say do it. All the people I used to talk to are still available by phone/ text/ email (as you need a phone number or email address to create a FB login) twitter/ snapchat/ voxer/ telegram (not whatsapp oviously) etc. are also available. Plus it feels way more personal when you do get these direct contacts, Facebook always seemed like peering over the neighbours fence or messages attached to junk mail.

Loved the irony of the guy calling for a boycott, via his Facebook profile.
SimoomiZ 27th March 2014, 00:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Why do its 'technical specs' need to be downgraded? I'm pretty certain even your average Facebook user can handle "insert HDMI cable, insert USB cable, install driver" - and if you're talking about having the GPU grunt to game at a Full HD resolution, wouldn't that have been exactly the same problem with going mass-market Oculus VR would have faced if they'd remained independent - and easily solved by running at a lower non-native resolution, just like I sometimes have to do with my 1920x1200 monitor and my weedy little AMD A10-5800K APU?

Yes, they would have had the same problem. But the intended market may now shift away from gamers - which may in- turn, drive down specs. Oculus was being marketed, and indeed had built up its cred as cutting edge gaming tech. In that sense if Valve had purchased Oculus I think the gaming community would have been far happier. Not that I blame them . I mean, $2bn isn't something you can sensibly turn down.

The idea of moving on to much higher resolutions looks unlikely though now. Everything about FB suggests casual & mass market and for that it'll need to be relatively inexpensive. This may be completely misreading things , but if it ends up a cheaper generic device with lower resolution and lower spec would you be surprised?
Pliqu3011 27th March 2014, 01:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimoomiZ
The idea of moving on to much higher resolutions looks unlikely though now. Everything about FB suggests casual & mass market and for that it'll need to be relatively inexpensive.
Why? Smartphones seem to get higher and higher resolution displays, so apparently there is a lot of interest for it in the "casual & mass market".
supermonkey 27th March 2014, 01:13 Quote
Considering what Facebook paid for WhatsApp, $2 billion seems almost cheap by today's corporate tech buyout standards. For that price, I'm a bit surprised Google didn't buy them, if for no other reason than to absorb some of the core technology elements and eliminate a possible future competitor.
Bindibadgi 27th March 2014, 01:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Who else should have bought it? Google? As bad as Facebook. Microsoft? Would ruin it with asinine committee management. Sony? Has its own system; would only buy to kill it off. Apple? Not its thing, and would lock it to their ecosystem only. Valve? Yes, but they'd lock it to only their ecosystem.

Nailed it.

All this internet crycrycry is by people who only see companies for how they interact with them. Not the bigger picture. OR needs a ton of cash to have serious buying power in the display world, and getting a real product to market. Higher resolution is more viable than ever because instead of buying off the shelf they can now make a custom order from someone like Japan Display or Samsung. When you put a new product - a technically cutting edge one - to market you need to aim for the premium segment. It's where you are more free to spec higher, charge a higher price and sell less quantity but still recoup your development costs. You sell to the alpha-techies and if you can convince them they become your brand ambassadors: so demand grows. Then gen-2 has $600, $300, $60 kits with varying capability and application. So, maybe a $60 kit is a shitty low-res, but that's for mass market, whereas we're the kind of people who will be buying the $600 pimped out sexytime one.
I just hope they create a standard API and want to work with 3rd parties so we can make an ROG one. Then you'll get exponential choice and innovation.

Also KickStarter is not Equity. Welcome to the real world. Just because you supported a company during their growth phase doesn't mean you're a part of it. :p
Yadda 27th March 2014, 02:21 Quote
A very interesting pitch, Mr Asus, thank you for your time. :)
Bindibadgi 27th March 2014, 02:40 Quote
I WANT TO PLAY SKYRIM VR GIVE IT TOOO MEEEE
Yadda 27th March 2014, 03:13 Quote
:D Haha. Well I can't argue with that now, can I?
SAimNE 27th March 2014, 05:34 Quote
i'm just going to wait it out. if upon release facebook kept their promise of letting them operate independently then i'll be happy, otherwise goodbye oculus.
SimoomiZ 27th March 2014, 09:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Nailed it.

All this internet crycrycry is by people who only see companies for how they interact with them. Not the bigger picture. OR needs a ton of cash to have serious buying power in the display world, and getting a real product to market. Higher resolution is more viable than ever because instead of buying off the shelf they can now make a custom order from someone like Japan Display or Samsung. When you put a new product - a technically cutting edge one - to market you need to aim for the premium segment. It's where you are more free to spec higher, charge a higher price and sell less quantity but still recoup your development costs. You sell to the alpha-techies and if you can convince them they become your brand ambassadors: so demand grows. Then gen-2 has $600, $300, $60 kits with varying capability and application. So, maybe a $60 kit is a shitty low-res, but that's for mass market, whereas we're the kind of people who will be buying the $600 pimped out sexytime one.
I just hope they create a standard API and want to work with 3rd parties so we can make an ROG one. Then you'll get exponential choice and innovation.

Also KickStarter is not Equity. Welcome to the real world. Just because you supported a company during their growth phase doesn't mean you're a part of it. :p

If they're given room to develop like that , then yes, it'd be a positive thing. It's certainly passing the PR test; more news coverage yesterday than all the time it's been around combined.

Interesting on 3rd parties . This seems like the sort of thing ASUS could develop better themselves, considering how they've shaken up the PC display and sound markets. However, that's another aspect of this OR acquisition by FB: Their legal team will be locking down everything with patents- so if FB screws this up , half of the tech will be unavailable to some other company to pick up and run with.
Guinevere 27th March 2014, 09:44 Quote
My guess is Mark Zuckerberg was on the bottle one night... yelled at his PA a slurred indecipherable way:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Zuckerbeg
Givvs me the cheque booook... Veer Arrr is where itsh atsh. Getsh me ansh Occulas veeee are and hooks it ups to me timeline ... I wannas poke Mjoll the Lioness in skyrhimmmm. Zzzzz Zzzzz

He wakes up and finds out she didn't help him order him a dev kit 2, but bought the entire company.

In my world, Mark Zuckerberg is a happy yet sleepy drunk.
Gareth Halfacree 27th March 2014, 10:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimoomiZ
Yes, they would have had the same problem. But the intended market may now shift away from gamers - which may in- turn, drive down specs.
Why would it? Oculus VR has sold 75,000 dev kits so far, despite being in a *very* early stage of development - and the majority of 'em being a crappy low resolution with long-persistence LCD panels causing nausea-inducing blur. The vast majority of software written on and for these 75,000 dev kits is gaming-oriented. That's not going to be thrown away. Facebook may look to bring the Rift to other markets, but that's likely to be in addition to gaming, not to its exclusion. Remember that Oculus VR employs John Carmack of id Software (Wolfenstein, Doom, Quake) fame; do you think he's going to knuckle down and work on three-dimensional advertising software just 'cos he's now a Facebook employee? Don't be daft.

(Fun fact: when Carmack first showed off the engine that would power Wolfenstein 3D, id Software started talking about patenting the technology. "Do that," he told 'em in no uncertain terms, "and I'm leaving the company." I've seen nothing of late that suggests Carmack's moral compass has been realigned in recent years.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimoomiZ
The idea of moving on to much higher resolutions looks unlikely though now. Everything about FB suggests casual & mass market and for that it'll need to be relatively inexpensive. This may be completely misreading things , but if it ends up a cheaper generic device with lower resolution and lower spec would you be surprised?
They've already moved onto a higher resolution. You can go to the Oculus VR website right now and pre-order the DK2, which includes a Full HD low-persistence OLED display and better head tracking than its predecessor - and for $50 less than the original development kit.

Let's say that Facebook *does* want a mass-market version. Let's also say that they're targeting a sub-$100 price point. Let's further conjecture that this means a 640x480 blurry LCD display and limited - or no - head-tracking. What makes you think that Facebook would produce that instead of the existing high-resolution model or an improved successor?

Samsung makes a bunch of crappy bottom-end Android smartphones with outdated software, terrible displays, low-resolution cameras and tiny screens, and sells 'em to the under-£80 market. However, Samsung also makes flagship smartphones with eight-core processors, scads of storage, ultra-high resolution displays and the latest software, which it sells for £600 or more. If Facebook did make a low-end Rift headset to sell to the mass market, what evidence do you have that it wouldn't do exactly the same as Samsung - and any other tech company - and launch it alongside a higher quality, lower volume but higher-margin version for the enthusiast market?

Does Intel sell nothing but Celerons and Atoms?
Icy EyeG 27th March 2014, 10:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Nailed it.

All this internet crycrycry is by people who only see companies for how they interact with them. Not the bigger picture.

So, if I understand correctly, I should never expect companies to be ethical and do the right thing, but I sure as hell should buy things from them. In the case of Asus, the Padphone case comes to mind, because of the lack of OS updates. So instead of getting angry about it, I have to buy a new Phonepad with a recent Android build, so that I can have an updated OS... Until next year. That's what I have to expect from a company, right?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi

Also KickStarter is not Equity. Welcome to the real world. Just because you supported a company during their growth phase doesn't mean you're a part of it. :p

Well, I sure as hell won't ever participate in crowdfunding, unless the project is free and open source. That's the only way to be sure.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimoomiZ
However, that's another aspect of this OR acquisition by FB: Their legal team will be locking down everything with patents- so if FB screws this up , half of the tech will be unavailable to some other company to pick up and run with.

That's what I'm a afraid of. If that happens, so much for innovation.
Gareth Halfacree 27th March 2014, 10:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icy EyeG
Well, I sure as hell won't ever participate in crowdfunding, unless the project is free and open source. That's the only way to be sure.
I approve of this sentiment. FLOSS (and open hardware) projects often struggle for funding, 'cos there's no clear exit strategy for venture capitalists. As an added bonus, think of all the Kickstarter (and similar) projects that have run out of cash or otherwise failed part-way through without delivering on their promises: if they were free or open source, the development could have been carried out in public - and when the money runs out, anyone who wants to can pick up the ball and continue where the project left off.
SimoomiZ 27th March 2014, 10:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Why would it? Oculus VR has sold 75,000 dev kits so far, despite being in a *very* early stage of development - and the majority of 'em being a crappy low resolution with long-persistence LCD panels causing nausea-inducing blur. The vast majority of software written on and for these 75,000 dev kits is gaming-oriented. That's not going to be thrown away. Facebook may look to bring the Rift to other markets, but that's likely to be in addition to gaming, not to its exclusion. Remember that Oculus VR employs John Carmack of id Software (Wolfenstein, Doom, Quake) fame; do you think he's going to knuckle down and work on three-dimensional advertising software just 'cos he's now a Facebook employee? Don't be daft.

(Fun fact: when Carmack first showed off the engine that would power Wolfenstein 3D, id Software started talking about patenting the technology. "Do that," he told 'em in no uncertain terms, "and I'm leaving the company." I've seen nothing of late that suggests Carmack's moral compass has been realigned in recent years.)
They've already moved onto a higher resolution. You can go to the Oculus VR website right now and pre-order the DK2, which includes a Full HD low-persistence OLED display and better head tracking than its predecessor - and for $50 less than the original development kit.

Let's say that Facebook *does* want a mass-market version. Let's also say that they're targeting a sub-$100 price point. Let's further conjecture that this means a 640x480 blurry LCD display and limited - or no - head-tracking. What makes you think that Facebook would produce that instead of the existing high-resolution model or an improved successor?

Samsung makes a bunch of crappy bottom-end Android smartphones with outdated software, terrible displays, low-resolution cameras and tiny screens, and sells 'em to the under-£80 market. However, Samsung also makes flagship smartphones with eight-core processors, scads of storage, ultra-high resolution displays and the latest software, which it sells for £600 or more. If Facebook did make a low-end Rift headset to sell to the mass market, what evidence do you have that it wouldn't do exactly the same as Samsung - and any other tech company - and launch it alongside a higher quality, lower volume but higher-margin version for the enthusiast market?

Does Intel sell nothing but Celerons and Atoms?

The DK2 is indeed impressive tech wise, but it's not final. Any backsliding on specs will be pounced on by critics.

On the broader points, many will hope you're right. If there are multiple models and no limitations placed on the OR development team's ambitions, or self defeating FB proprietary features, it'll be a fantastic product . But because it's FB, many are suspicious.

And ...Intel are primarily, first and foremost chip makers. FB's HW experience is zilch.

Obviously this can only be conjecture; no one knows, but much will now rest on how much freedom the original OR people have in shaping its future development direction.
Corky42 27th March 2014, 10:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimoomiZ
Yes, they would have had the same problem. But the intended market may now shift away from gamers - which may in- turn, drive down specs.
I cant see the spec being lowered, if anything i think it will drive for ever better specs. As Luckey said. "VR will be lead by the games industry, largely because it's the only industry that already has the tools and talent required to build awesome interactive 3D environments."

Are non gamers going to be happy using a low spec VR system, or are they going to want the 3D environment to reflect real life as closely as possible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimoomiZ
And ...Intel are primarily, first and foremost chip makers. FB's HW experience is zilch.
Is it not better to be taken on by a company with no experience in your field of work ? That way it's more likely you get to call the shots, without being told that isn't how we do it.
SimoomiZ 27th March 2014, 11:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
I cant see the spec being lowered, if anything i think it will drive for ever better specs. As Luckey said. "VR will be lead by the games industry, largely because it's the only industry that already has the tools and talent required to build awesome interactive 3D environments."

Well it's just conjecture, but there could be a scenario whereby the FB people and the OR want to aim it at different markets - the more casual obv. being very price sensitive.
Quote:
Are non gamers going to be happy using a low spec VR system, or are they going to want the 3D environment to reflect real life as closely as possible.

They may figure 'casuals' won't be fussy.
Quote:
Is it not better to be taken on by a company with no experience in your field of work ? That way it's more likely you get to call the shots, without being told that isn't how we do it.

Who knows? That could go either way.
Gareth Halfacree 27th March 2014, 11:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimoomiZ
The DK2 is indeed impressive tech wise, but it's not final. Any backsliding on specs will be pounced on by critics.
Except they've already started building them. You pre-order now, you get a DK2 - with full-resolution display and everything - in April. For $350. Facebook or no Facebook.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimoomiZ
And ...Intel are primarily, first and foremost chip makers. FB's HW experience is zilch.
Isn't that why Facebook just spent $2B *buying* a hardware specialist, rather than developing its own VR tech from scratch?
Corky42 27th March 2014, 12:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimoomiZ
Well it's just conjecture, but there could be a scenario whereby the FB people and the OR want to aim it at different markets - the more casual obv. being very price sensitive.
But going on what Luckey said that isn't going to happen. While things may change, or he maybe spewing PR bull, his word is all we have to go on ATM.

If anything he has said the opposite will happen.
Quote:
We have not gotten into all the details yet, but a lot of the news is coming. The key points:

1) We can make custom hardware, not rely on the scraps of the mobile phone industry. That is insanely expensive, think hundreds of millions of dollars. More news soon.

2) We can afford to hire everyone we need, the best people that fit into our culture of excellence in all aspects.

3) We can make huge investments in content. More news soon.
If they wanted to make cheap VR units they would stick with using scraps from the mobile phone industry.
SimoomiZ 27th March 2014, 14:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
But going on what Luckey said that isn't going to happen. While things may change, or he maybe spewing PR bull, his word is all we have to go on ATM.

If anything he has said the opposite will happen.

If they wanted to make cheap VR units they would stick with using scraps from the mobile phone industry.

Not disagreeing B)... I guess everyone needs to remain open minded about this until more details emerge.
Nexxo 27th March 2014, 20:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimoomiZ
They may figure 'casuals' won't be fussy.

Sorry, but casuals are in fact the most fussy customers ever. Because unlike us, they don't understand technical limitations and will not compromise for innovation; they just want it all awesome, not understanding why that might not be possible. They want it to just work. It's why they bitch about last year's iPhone without realising what an awesome miracle the average smartphone really is.
LordPyrinc 28th March 2014, 06:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
I WANT TO PLAY SKYRIM VR GIVE IT TOOO MEEEE

;)
[USRF]Obiwan 28th March 2014, 15:18 Quote
Who ever made the bet that John Carmack would work for Facebook someday is now a happy man.
Icy EyeG 28th March 2014, 20:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by [USRF]Obiwan
Who ever made the bet that John Carmack would work for Facebook someday is now a happy man.

I may be wrong, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him leaving to Valve to work on their VR solution.
impar 29th March 2014, 16:14 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Umbra 29th March 2014, 16:30 Quote
Well, I guess any arguments that FB buying Oculus is a bad thing can be dismissed now that Valve's Michael Abrash, who has seemingly led the company's VR research comes out and says this.
Quote:

That worry is now gone. Facebook's acquisition of Oculus means that VR is going to happen in all its glory. The resources and long-term commitment that Facebook brings gives Oculus the runway it needs to solve the hard problems of VR – and some of them are hard indeed. I now fully expect to spend the rest of my career pushing VR as far ahead as I can.

We shall see, I hope he's right
Pliqu3011 29th March 2014, 16:57 Quote
Abrash's complete post on Oculus, very much worth a read:

http://www.oculusvr.com/blog/introducing-michael-abrash-oculus-chief-scientist/
erratum1 30th March 2014, 03:54 Quote
Wow wish I could have come up with something like that...and sell it for 2 billion hell yea.

I would say it's in good hands as the youngest billionaire I think he's no fool.
Icy EyeG 30th March 2014, 13:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pliqu3011
Abrash's complete post on Oculus, very much worth a read:

http://www.oculusvr.com/blog/introducing-michael-abrash-oculus-chief-scientist/

Well, I'll say... Now it is more that certain that VR is going to be a complete monopoly between Oculus and, maybe, Sony.
Nexxo 30th March 2014, 13:44 Quote
Microsoft has just bought 150 VR patents. Not to mention the head start it has with Kinect and the fact that it has the dominant OS on PCs. Expect a third player. Oh, and there's Google.
Corky42 30th March 2014, 14:23 Quote
From what i gather Microsoft is working on AR, although I'm not to sure that is very different from VR :?
GravitySmacked 31st March 2014, 07:52 Quote
New Oculus Facebook Rift gameplay footage! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpbqRmqKlDw&feature=youtu.be
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