back to article Facebook swallows Oculus VR goggle-geeks. Did that really happen?

Facebook has bought startup Oculus VR, which makes the much-hyped virtual-reality Rift headsets, for $2bn. The acquisition comes as people spend more time with their pals in digital worlds rather than the physical realm, and Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg wants to tap into that shift. The acquisition of Oculus VR Inc was …


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  1. mafoo



    1. bazza Silver badge

      Re: NOooooOOoooo

      This is a golden time for start ups. Make up some "cool" idea. Start developing it, make it look possible lay on a demo. Do a bit of corporate twerking in Zuckerberg's direction and collect the $Nbillion that he'll send your way after a casual chat over a mediocre coffee.

      Google and Apple aren't far behind I suspect, but Facebook really does throw it's cash around like it's going out of fashion. Are they the biggest corporate suckers, or is that still HP?

      1. Vociferous

        Re: NOooooOOoooo

        @bazza: You don't know what Oculus Rift is? Check some Youtube videos and contemplate what almost was.

        1. bazza Silver badge

          Re: NOooooOOoooo

          "@bazza: You don't know what Oculus Rift is? Check some Youtube videos and contemplate what almost was."

          @vociferous, I won't bother following up your recommendation. I've tried one of the pre-production prototypes. Cool, yes. Finished, no. Heading the right way, certainly. Perfectly pitched to reel in the wealthy and compulsive Zuckerberg, yes.

          I don't know exactly that that was their game plan, but $2billion now is a handsome return on their efforts. They've probably had a lot if fun doing it, and now they don't even need to go through the depressing process of marketing their product.

          For any start up getting bought out is most certainly factored into the business plan as a possibility. With someone like Zuckerberg around its well worth having buy-out as a primary goal.

          As for Zuckerberg he's now got to make more than $2billion out of it. That might be quite difficult.

          No one is going to use Facebook in 3D from their mobile. Facebook ain't the gaming platform of choice and Sony, Microsoft and Steam aren't going to give him any slack. It would make sense if he bought Steam too, but I suspect that they're not for sale at any price. And Facebook owning Steam sounds like a disaster anyway.

          He could just market devices himself, but exactly how does that get more people spending more time in Facebook? It's just an elaborate peripheral. That surely isn't Facebook's primary business; people using Rifts on Steam/XBone/PS4/PC games are not going to be directed towards Facebook by those platforms. The world of CAD, engineering and science might be an additional marketplace but that's not a mass market.

          1. Vociferous

            Re: NOooooOOoooo

            > I've tried one of the pre-production prototypes. Cool, yes. Finished, no.

            Then you of course know that the recent pre-production versions fixed most of the problems.

            > Heading the right way, certainly. Perfectly pitched to reel in the wealthy and compulsive Zuckerberg

            You are seriously thinking too small. If it had NOT been bought by Facebook, I would say that within five years a majority of PC gamers would not have been using normal screens any more. By that time there should have started appearing movies for this format. Another ten years and hardly anyone at all would have been using normal screens for entertainment. Now this wont happen. Instead...

            > Facebook in 3D from their mobile.

            ...this is what's going to happen. Shitty 3D, probably streamed, aimed at cellphones, in a browser window.

            The technology focus will shift from being PC-only mid-end virtual reality gear, to being a mobile-first ad distribution platform. It'll probably not kill the technology, as Valve, Microsoft and probably also other hardware manufacturers like Asus and Samsung, are working on their own implementations, but it'll slow adoption.

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

              Re: Vociferous Re: NOooooOOoooo

              "....I would say that within five years a majority of PC gamers would not have been using normal screens any more....." Yeah, I think you swallowed as much of the hype as Zuckie. You obviously are too young to remember people making EXACTLY the same statement years ago with the Asus VR100 headset, or the ELSA Revelator 3D glasses, and before that with the Metabyte eyeScream glasses.... The ELSA Revelator kit was actually quite good, good enough that it was developed into imaging tech for F-16 fighter pilots' helmets, but it did not kill monitors.

              1. Steven Raith

                Re: Vociferous NOooooOOoooo

                And lets not forget the Virtual Boy.

                *remembers Virtual Boy*


                VB was a massive, massive embaressment for Nintendo, and pretty much ended the legendary Gunpei Yokos career at the Big N.

                On sale for six months, killed off without a fanfare. Now that's a failure!

                Steven R

                (Yes, I know, it's not a headtracking type device, but it's a good example of even the biggest of big comapanies looking into the eyes of the Medusa that is VR and turning to stone like everyone else up till now)

              2. Corborg

                Re: Vociferous NOooooOOoooo

                There was a whole movement of VR kit in the 90's. Virtuality in the arcades and I had a set of Revelators. These were just stereoscopic glasses rather than a headset and it made Colin Mcrae Rally and Flight Unlimited great to play, but the advent of low refresh rate LCD's killed future products like this. I don't like Facebook, but I'm glad the money is now behind the tech and we might actually get a modern, low cost headset at last. Hopefully success will breed competition, standardisation and a better experience for all.

              3. Vociferous

                Re: Vociferous NOooooOOoooo

                > I think you swallowed as much of the hype as Zuckie. You obviously are too young to remember people making EXACTLY the same statement years ago

                I'm 46, and I remember those technologies and others, going back to the 90's. I tested a few of them. They all sucked, even for their time. The Oculus does not suck.

                The past is a guide to the future, not an exact copy.

                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

                  Re: Vociferous NOooooOOoooo

                  "....They all sucked, even for their time...." Actually, the ELSA Revelators were damn good for the time, though using them for several hours could give you a headache. The problem was other people you wanted to se you playing couldn't see anything other than the echoey 3D image of the game.

                  "....The Oculus does not suck....." Yeah, it's so great to give yourself neck-ache swinging your head around with half-a-pound of gimmick hanging off the front of your face. IMHO even Google Glass has more potential.

                  "....The past is a guide to the future, not an exact copy." I'm guessing you posted that from your spot in the queue for a Muller flying car? The history of previous such headsets is a very good guide to the unlikelyhood that the Occulus Rift will be a widespread success, let alone come close to making monitors extinct, regardless of whether The Zuck is plugging it or anyone else.

              4. Mage Silver badge

                Re: Vociferous NOooooOOoooo

                Sony is suddenly looking better.

                But Nintendo was really going to be big on this. But shades of Red?

                I'm reminded of Lucifer's Hammer, Ursula Leguin's "neareal" and John Brunner.

                Hmm.. Is it good either way, I don't know.

            2. bazza Silver badge

              Re: NOooooOOoooo


              "You are seriously thinking too small. If it had NOT been bought by Facebook, I would say that within five years a majority of PC gamers would not have been using normal screens any more."

              Oh I quite agree with you, there's no doubt it would all be very attractive for gamers, and from what I've seen so far it would be very good.

              I'd go even further that; I have multiple monitors hooked up to my development machine, but there's never enough screen real estate to have all the dozens of debug, code and app windows open all at once. Imagine having several dozen monitors rigged up into a rough hemisphere-like arrangement with oneself sat at the centre. Tricky and expensive to achieve. However a Rift could do you a virtual one of those with ease, and it would be fabulous. I want one of those quite badly.

      2. DougS Silver badge


        I think Facebook had overtaken HP as the biggest corporate suckers with the $19 billion thrown WhatsApp's way. $2 billion for a VR headset that makes Google Glass look like something your grandma will be sporting tomorrow just puts them further ahead.

        Microsoft is now in third place, and without Monkey Boy at the helm any longer they may put bad acquisition hell behind them. Google has made a few boners, but is still well back. Apple is way off in the distance, as they haven't ever made an acquisition that cost even a half billion, let alone joining the 11 digit acquisition club like Facebook and HP have (and Microsoft would have if Yahoo had been smart enough to take their money and run)

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: @bazza


          Google has made a few boners…

          I'm slightly worried where you're going with that!

      3. J J Carter Silver badge

        Re: NOooooOOoooo

        >collect the $Nbillion that he'll send your way after a casual chat over a mediocre coffee.<

        Just so long as the CEO is Jewish, of course!

      4. beep54

        Re: NOooooOOoooo

        HP? Why not Yahell. Or even AOL(hell). Still, we can hope that f*book will just drown in the cash it spews. Well. One can hope....

    2. Roger B

      Re: NOooooOOoooo

      Facebook, not Yahoo! Facebook are with the bitches, Yahoo are with the exclamations.

      Is Facebook one of the Google/Apple type companies who have to much money in cash in Ireland or Switzerland or whatever other tax haven that they cannot easily move back to the USA without paying a huge amount of tax, but, if they spend the cash on acquisitions that is a kind of work around?

      But, wow, 2 beeeelion dollars!

    3. James O'Brien

      Re: NOooooOOoooo

      Well fuck me silly....

      I was seriously considering getting one but after this news I'm not going to bother wasting the money. I have absolutely no faith that Farcebook will not screw this up.

      Oh well I would rather prefer something I can plug into my head so I can REALLY experience the game.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh cock

    Well that's that ruined. What next?

    1. mafoo

      Re: Oh cock

      Farmville... in 3D

  3. Aslan

    The Fuck Oculus?

    I refuse to participate in Facebook. This means I'll be forced never to buy your product. I've been seeing lots of in game support for Oculus and looking forward to purchasing the retail version when it's made available.

    Please do no ally yourselves with the evil that is Facebook.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Fuck Oculus?

      If you use any of, gmail, Skype, LinkedIn, Steam etc; then you are in the same boat as you would be on Facebook.

      You have no privacy any more, save what you protect with encryption.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        'You have no privacy any more'

        That's exactly what they want us to believe but its not true!!!. It may have been heading that way prior to E Snowden. But the reality is... the internet and 'spying-on-ourselves' is still in its infancy, this is especially true for young families.

        You can and should close your USA based accounts and make a statement if you feel that strongly about it, as I did... I have gotten many friends away from Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and LinkedIn and Twitter in the past year, and I will work harder to get more to switch off...

        But most people are too busy and just haven't thought enough about all of this. Every day though, there are more and more revelations about data abuses. It will only take the mother of all privacy meltdowns to get people to change, but that's coming, as hacking and spying have become all too prolific!

        Just look at the news today about the abuse of HMRC powers. Then last week we had the CIA hacking congress! It would have been deemed unnewsworthy a year ago for Zuck to call Obama and yet that was headline news last week also. Now, it will take a while and probably more than just a few Target retailers, but people will wise up, and news will spread rapidly via the internet.

        Believe me, the big cloud-fog firms are scared. They know their business will be hit from this fallout! Particularly US based firms. So show some backbone, and stop being so defeatist! You let them win if you give up!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 'You have no privacy any more'

          "You can and should close your USA based accounts"

          And UK accounts. And Oz accounts. And NZ accounts. And French accounts....

          "I have gotten many friends away from Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and LinkedIn and Twitter in the past year"

          Please name viable alternatives (note: *VIABLE*).

    2. Stu

      Re: The Fuck Oculus?

      Well I've pre-ordered DK2, and am thinking of cancelling, but I'm coming to realise that Facebook have injected a serious cash flow into Oculus, hence would have a lot more clout in the HW market to demand the screens and other tech they want - specifically it would benefit from curved OLED, Ultra resolution >1440p, very low latency, and very low persistence (see recent tech babble about Crystal Cove and DK2). Not only that they now have production scalability into the millions of units.


      And what is the real price to us? How about just setting up a throw-away facebook account with absolutely no personal details on, sign-in to the nightmare of FB and get on with enjoying everything VR. That's my hope anyway.

      Adverts, well if that happens then I'm out! Aside from this there's little else I could imagine FB doing to ruin the experience.


      Still in future we might see the likes of a Dark-Alex type developer that almost single handedly blasted open the Playstation Portable, somebody could come along in a similar way and separate Facebook from the Rift.

  4. EvanPyle

    Ah Facebook, the Myspace of 2013.

  5. Vince Lewis 1

    had to check the date

    Its not April the 1st.

    This is wrong on so many levels.

    The idea of a VR Facebook fills me with a re-hydrated sick feeling.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: had to check the date

      Been there for years - it's called Second Life...

  6. Denarius Silver badge

    sounds familiar

    not quite. Asimovs "The Robots of Dawn" where a whole planet cant stand each other in person and "meet" via viewing.. Viewing was a holodeck experience. This sounds like Step Two to such a misanthropic nightmare.

    1. dogged

      Re: sounds familiar

      As a confirmed misanthrope, I quite like this idea.

  7. David 66

    Just heard the news

    Suddenly cured of my desire for Oculus Rift.

  8. Jim84

    Carmack now works for Zuckerberg

    If you had said that two years ago you would have been laughed at.

    Also, Facebook have overpaid for Oculus, it would not have taken them $2 billion to develop something superior to what Oculus have now. And Oculus don't have any patents or even a monopoly on the tech. Sony are doing it. Valve are doing it. Microsoft can't be far behind. This is shareholder value destruction.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Vociferous

      Re: Carmack now works for Zuckerberg

      No, this is facebook buying the future very cheaply. The Sony goggles are nowhere near as good as Oculus, and Valve's and Microsoft's are still utter vaporware which only exist as press releases. And are you sure about the "no patents"?

  9. maccy


    Over at Oculus, co-founder and CEO Brendan Iribe added: "We are excited to ... get lots and lots of money OH FUCK YEAH MONEY MONEY LOTS OF FUCKING MONEY .... err, sorry , I mean, we're excited to work with Mark and the Facebook team to deliver the very best virtual .. ah fuck it. It's just money. Where's my Ferrari?"

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: MONEY

      Interestingly it was a stock deal - most of the cash was spunked on WhatsApp. Still, it's OPM - other people's money, quite possibly yours and mine via the usual vehicles such as pension funds.

  10. Vociferous


    FUCK! It's the first technology I've been really excited about for years. It had "win!" painted all over it in huge letters of fire. And now it's dead. Goddamit. Just goddammit. Worst tech news I've heard since ... ever. Even Commodore bankrupting wasn't this bad.

    Yeah, two billion dollars, but this was tech that was going to transform gaming, not push ads for facebook in a fucking browser. Well, let's hope they HAVEN'T patented the tech so at least other companies can release 3D headsets.

  11. LINCARD1000

    A Disturbance In The Force... a few million gamers cried out in horror then were silenced, forever.

    As if we needed another reason to dislike the Zuckerberg empire. What a crying shame.

  12. LaeMing Silver badge


    Facebook becomes IMVU on a huge scale?

  13. W.O.Frobozz

    So much for kickstarters

    This has to be the biggest "fuck you" to all the people who donated money for this thing...only to have it shunted off to the sewer of the web before it even breaks the champaign bottle. Someone got REALLY RICH off all that free kickstarter money, and anyone who donated got a proverbial kick in the goolies. Notch of Mojang pretty much said the same thing. I doubt he'll be the only high-profile dev to say it. I have a feeling Mr. Carmack woke up feeling like "someone made him his bitch."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So much for kickstarters

      Sounds a bit like Ouya then!

  14. mIRCat

    Spend the dosh! Eye candy buffet, no free nosh, bitches!

    Someone should have told Zuckerboy if he'd waited he could have grabbed a pair of goggles for a couple hundred quid.

    On the upside this will save me from having to splash the cash on my own set of them.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Yikes. F**k that! Plan B... I'll be holding out for one of the other ones then... Sony et al...

  16. Grifter

    Fuckity fuck, FUCK! Fuck no, not buying anymore! This is horseshit.

  17. king of foo

    second life?

    Was pretty successful

    ...for a while

    ...then died

    I hear 3 or 4 people still use it

    I'd be surprised if Facebook weren't looking into that/similar.

    Seems a bit far fetched to me. Won't the tech be prohibitively expensive for your typical "Facebook people"? Seems like it would have made a killing from hardcore gamers and hipster types but I'm lacking the imagination to see it having widespread commercial appeal in the social media scene.

    Would have made more sense for the likes of Nintendo or Xbox/PS to pick it up.

    Or a porn company...

    In other news, Facebook acquire "fleshlight" and invest in various patents most commonly associated with pneumatic drills...

    Analysts speculate "He's building a sexy robot suit!!!"

    1. Vociferous

      Re: second life?

      Yeah. Second Life meets Teh Social. Streamed. On cell phones.

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      Re: King of foo Re: second life?

      ".....I'd be surprised if Facebook weren't looking into that/similar....." Considering the type that is a heavy Faecesbook user probably won't even wear a proper set of headphones so as not to muss their hair, does anyone think they'll actually be Faecesbookers willing to wear clunking great 3D goggles?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: second life?

      I think any platform that has 50-60000 daily users and over a million registered users is hardly a failure.

      Yes, secondlife is still going.

      Yes, it's still making money.

      I wish people would check some of the machinima created in the last year and stop thinking of what it was like 6 years ago (which was still better than minecraft)

      Check out the ones of people using occulus rift & leap motion with Secondlife, quite amazing, some of them.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Quite fancied one of those.

  19. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge

    Darwin awards all round

    As more and more FB users walk in front of trucks whilst wearing their 3D goggles.


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