The Obvious question being, why does Facebook want a company that has been aimed at hardcore gamers?
Mark Zuckerberg said, “Mobile is the platform of today, and now we’re also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow”. For those worrying about the Oculus Rift VR changing focus Zuckerberg has quelled these misconceptions. “We’re going to focus on helping Oculus build out their product and develop partnerships to support more games. Oculus will continue operating independently within Facebook to achieve this”.
The response has not been all positive from hardcore gamers and some developers, most notably Notch, of Minecraft fame, who immediately cancelled the Oculus Rift version of Minecraft, a huge blow for sure.
Other backers who have previously backed the Oculus Rift on Kick-starter have demanded their money back. With the general consensus being Facebook really isn’t interested in gaming for the Oculus Rift. Zuckerberg stated, “After games, we’re going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences”. What other experiences could he be talking about? Zuckerberg went on to say, “Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting a doctor face-to-face – Just by putting on goggles in your home”.
The biggest news coming out of this is the fact that the oculus will be going on retail sale, and will be cheaper. It will be interesting to see where Facebook go with the oculus tool set and it is worth noting however that paying $2 billion for a piece of equipment which doesn’t even own any patents on the technology that powers it. This is evident in Project Morpheus, which has already been deemed superior. Paying $2 billion, with $500 Million in cash being paid up front should inspire confidence in this partnership and diminish the fears that Facebook will run Oculus into the ground.
For now all statements from both parties echo the same mantra, that the Oculus kit can now be what it was set out to do, and change the VR tech space. With such a huge partner now backing it, it will now be very unlikely that the Oculus will not achieve its sales targets. The only thing I can see Facebook bringing to the table for the foreseeable future is Facebook logon credentials, which is pretty much already built into everything nowadays anyway.