Facebook To Acquire Oculus VR, Games Only The Beginning

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News Posted: Tue, Mar 25 2014 5:54 PM
Facebook is snapping up Oculus VR, maker of the hotly-anticipated Oculus Rift virtual reality gaming headset. For those immediately worried that Facebook will ruin Oculus Rift, fear not: Mark Zuckerberg assured the world in a post that not only will Facebook be accelerating the Oculus Rift gaming platform, it will be leveraging Oculus VR’s technology into other spaces, as well.

Zuckerberg calls Oculus VR a communication platform, and he sees the technology expanding in powerful new ways. “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.”

Oculus Rift

“Virtual reality was once the dream of science fiction,” continued Zuckerberg. “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. I can't wait to start working with the whole team at Oculus to bring this future to the world, and to unlock new worlds for all of us.”

This is a huge development for Oculus VR, as not only will it get the full support (financially and otherwise) from Facebook that it needs to fulfill its wildest ambitions, the company will operate independently within Facebook (and will remain at its Irvine, CA offices), so hopefully all the best parts of the company will remain intact.

Oculus Rift Valve Team Fortress 2

There’s reason for that hope; say what you will about Zuckerberg and his ideas about privacy, social media, and selling user data, but the man is truly a visionary. If any major company was going to acquire Oculus VR, it may as well have been Facebook.

The deal is worth $2 billion, including $400 million in cash, according to a Facebook investors release. The deal should close in Q2 2014.
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I'm happy with this as long as its stays relatively open to developers. We want quality software coming from any source for VR. But hopefully this speeds the process, I'd like to get my hands on a consumer version relatively soon.

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Joel H replied on Tue, Mar 25 2014 6:28 PM

Words can't express how much my interest in Oculus just fell.

Wait, yes they can. Zero.

I am no longer interested in this product. And I thought it would reinvent gaming.

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RiCoFrost replied on Tue, Mar 25 2014 6:44 PM

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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World is ending.

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JMeloni replied on Tue, Mar 25 2014 6:48 PM

don't want mine anymore if this is true

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Marco C replied on Tue, Mar 25 2014 6:48 PM

Damn. One of the more innovative pieces of gaming technology flushed right down the toilet.

Marco Chiappetta
Managing Editor @ HotHardware.com

Follow Marco on Twitter

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EzHunt replied on Tue, Mar 25 2014 7:07 PM

lol its ruined now

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Jason replied on Tue, Mar 25 2014 7:09 PM

Ol Zucks been on a role. First WhatsApp now this. Everyone is severely hating on the fact the he's bought them like he's going to turn it into VR facebook goggles. I think it's fine. People losing interest just because he's involved is ignorant. Just wanting a reason to complain. Support the project now that it has better funding and resources, don't dump on it because Mark is now involved.

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Yay, now they can beam their stupid ads directly into our eyeballs! So much for wanting one now, they'll figure some way to adify it like everything else they touch, an we're talking about Facebook the company that doesn't listen to consumers and changes things to what they think will be good...yeah screw that.

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HanyangXu replied on Tue, Mar 25 2014 7:48 PM

Waiting for the day when Facebook bites off more than they could chew and ends up bankrupt. Just WAITING...

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sevags replied on Tue, Mar 25 2014 8:11 PM

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! This is positively HORRIBLE news! What a waste of a very promising company. I am no longer interested in purchasing this product, looks like I will be backing Sony and their VR push. It is sad to say but I hope Facebook fails with Oculus. Maybe that way another gaming company (Steam?) buys out the tech for pennies on the dollar.

Burn in hell Facebook. Rot Mark Zuckerberg. Fail Oculus.

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What!?!? What's is the sole purpose a ''chat-media'' site to destroy something so perfect :(

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Well best case scenario another type of virtual reality platform will be made will be made

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MCaddick replied on Tue, Mar 25 2014 8:23 PM

I absolutely no longer want one of these any more.

Even if Zuck has good intentions, we all know where its headed now.

I hope John Carmack is feeling as stupid as people think he is.

Leaving a leading game dev company to work for Facebook.

What a tool.

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To be fair, they didn't do that with Instagram, which seems like it would be perfect for Facebook integration. Also, with how the Oculus works, it's not like they could easily do that anyways. It's just a monitor with headtracking.

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We can now pet our pets in Farmville in reality LOL

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sevags replied on Tue, Mar 25 2014 8:59 PM

Mcaddick; forget Mr Carmack, imagine how Andrew Scott Reisse would feel if he were still alive, may he rest in peace.

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StaticFX replied on Tue, Mar 25 2014 9:49 PM

Just think.. CandyCrush in VR.. and ADS.. lots of em!  maybe even banner ads while you play games!

 

Angry

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Connor replied on Tue, Mar 25 2014 11:50 PM

I want this to just be a means of accelerating and improving the production of the Rift. I can even see that happening.

But it doesn't seem likely.

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If this is going thru i will stop haming and will never touch console, computer or any kind of gaming gear anymore.

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Prepare to have some kind of unremovable ad delivery system built directly into the goggles.

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ErazmusNZ replied on Wed, Mar 26 2014 5:44 AM

Initially I thought this is gonna suck "because Facebook, that is all.", then I thought "No wait, they may chuck cash at it and make it good sooner" but now I've come full circle, I've thought about it some more and it is purely sucky "because Facebook, that is all."

It's not because of Marky Mark, it's because FBs business is advertising. I don't really expect initially to see streaming ads in-game although I do think that eventually it will happen. I expect more likely they will try and force developers into some sort of game to FB integration. Status updates straight from your OccR and other such nonsense. I expect that, sooner, rather than later, they will mandate game developers require FB login while gaming with the OccR, this would then help bolster their stats as far as Logged In and Active users go (although by how much? - every little bit counts). Remember the IPO and plumeting stock price when people realised only X% of the total FB population was a real person and active.

And lastly, I think they've done it to try and stay relevant with a different crowd, hardcore gamers who maybe didn't spend as much time on FB as they did in-game.

This is all a calculated business move by FB, they wouldn't have done it for the good of gaming, they've done it for the money they anticipate to make from it. They're unlikely to be selling billions of units at a profit so they'll be anticipating other income from the device, and that's not good for the OccR or gaming.

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I got a PS4 and Xbox One, I thought Microsoft seems as they have Kinect would have been the first to adopt this tec, but MS seem to be loosing direction, and you know why? because they are going the same route as this dude, it's all about controlling the living room, Sony on the other hand seem to be taking it in a better direction, though Playstation Live is a bit naughty, I just built a gaming PC and it blows both consoles but I do like console gaming so if it's VR then it will be Sony's I buy until MS pulls their finger out, my Xbox One is devaluing every day due to MS thinking that they can dictate what the consumer wants rather than being arrogant about it all the time.

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StaticFX replied on Wed, Mar 26 2014 9:32 AM

Microsoft has already been working on a VR device as well as this VR Projection device that extends the view around your room (Illumiroom https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJ4hWa6y710) - Just like Sony has now (or will)

The main problem I see with this, is all those people that threw money at the Rift through Kickstarter! They should get a kick back for investing since this would not have gotten anywhere without them (and Im not saying this for myself.. i didnt invest)

 

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scolaner replied on Wed, Mar 26 2014 11:34 AM

This isn't necessarily horrible news, y'all. Being bought up by a huge company like FB isn't sexy, and sure, that tarnishes the image many have of the little company that would reinvent gaming, but 1) Oculus now has all the resources of FB behind it and 2) FB is letting it be independent (for now)...Oculus is even staying in its old offices.

But I don't think this has anything to do with FB as a social media platform, and everything to do with FB as a multi-faceted company in the future. Zuck is smart enough to know that FB as it stands now can't last forever; FB will have to innovate and change to continue its success.

And remember, just because Zuck is a bajillionaire CEO doesn't mean he's no longer a techie at heart, and the Oculus Rift must get his heart a-pumpin'.

Besides...what if this is the beginning of FB competing against MS and Sony for gaming dominance? What a fun three-headed competition that would be...

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Jaybk26 replied on Wed, Mar 26 2014 12:11 PM

I didn't even consider some of the possibilities of that. I have to admit I was narrowly focused on revolutionizing gaming. But I know people who pay hundreds of dollars for the best seats at concerts, shows, and games; this could hugely increase the availability of prime seating.

I also have to admit I have no problem with the acquisition by Facebook. Now we know that it will be fully funded and developed. :D

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sevags replied on Wed, Mar 26 2014 12:24 PM

seth: Not all of us are hating on oculus now just simply because FB is buying them, it is based on FB practices as a whole... Leaving Oculus in their own offices (for now) means absolutely diddly it doesn't guarantee anything and it doesn't mean they still have full control. Who cares if Rift will now be released sooner I could have waited an extra 6 months or even 12 months I didn't need FB speeding up production. Like many have said FB's main business is advertising and you better believe they will eventually find a way to tie that in with Rift more so then Oculus would have if they remained independent. Mark, and FB, have never shown any indication that they care what their customers/users think up until it starts hurting marks bottom dollar and all of a sudden there is a reversal or only a partial reversal but only after some damage has been done. FB hasn't showed any interest in what its users actually want and ask for they seem to roll out updates based solely on in house testing something that Oculus was avoiding by trying to keep as much input from others as possible. Here is where Rift becomes very undesirable in my eyes; Privacy. We all know FB has made some shady decisions in the past when it comes to its users privacy and there is no reason for me to think that Rift will be any different and seeing as the US government has used FB, and FB games, to spy on Americans making me far less trusting of any software or hardware that comes out of FB. 

I really don't think Oculus had any funding issues and the only thing FB brings to the Rift table is gobs of money, what they will take away from the table is user input, real gaming direction, your usage data, and privacy. These are some of the reasons why myself and many others have lost faith in the Rift initiative not simply because it's FB but because of FB's track record. The fact that a non-gaming company bought what was supposed to be purely a gaming device for now doesn't fill us with confidence either. 

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I Agree with Sco... Zuck is a very smart billionaire and might eventually trick us all in making the Oculus into something we never imagined interesting news

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scolaner replied on Wed, Mar 26 2014 3:13 PM

I don't think you're necessarily off-base on your points, it's just that you and pretty much everyone else (including what appears to be the rest of the HH staff) are only seeing the potential negatives.

FB is an advertising company because it made one great product that had no other way to make money--same as essentially every other Internet company. Privacy...man, privacy is an illusion. FB is just as at fault as Google, MS, Apple, Yahoo, and so on, but the U.S. government is the chief enemy on that front.

I don't have faith that Zuck, nor any other tech mogul, necessarily has the world's best interests at heart, but I do expect that he and others will keep making amazing stuff. Why wouldn't Zuck make the Rift amazing? He could have a cash cow on his hands, from gaming to everyday life.

So you may be right that Rift will lose some of that user input, and sure that wonderful grassroots feel is now officially gone, but that doesn't mean the Rift will be less awesome. It might now become more awesome.

Of course, I may be completely wrong, and Zuck will destroy Oculus. But I think that's less likely than my sunnier outlook. :)

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I think I'm one of the few who thinks this is a great deal and great news overall. Looking forward to this

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oh well seems really cool but i dont think it will catch on because idk how much they cost but it must be 100 dollars or more!

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Hey remember that time when a Desktop and Mobile search engine bought Android, a mobile Operating system development company? Boy, what kind of stupid company buys into something they have no experience about? Obviously going to set them back...

Oh and what about that time when a software company bought Makini Power (a green energy company) What on earth does a software company know about energy production... and robotics? and the automobile market..

And whats with Elon Musk who developed Paypal, and SpaceX. Paypal in space??

Im with stupid... If you seriously think this is a set-back you couldn't be more retarded, and it's the reason you earn less than $50,000 a year. The incapability of forward thinking is what separates those that do, and those that work for them.

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