Facebook! WHY! MUST! YOU! DESTROY! EVERYTHING! WE! LOVE!
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 …
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?
"@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.
> 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.
"....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.
And lets not forget the Virtual Boy.
*remembers Virtual Boy*
OH GOD BREAK OUT THE BRAIN BLEACH!
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!
(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)
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.
> 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.
"....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.
"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.
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)
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!
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.
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.
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!
"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*).
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.
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.
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?"
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.
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."
Was pretty successful
...for a while
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!!!"
".....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?
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.
This seems to be nothing more than an attempt still appear relevant and "going strong" to investors and shareholders. There have been many many examples of companies doing this. Things have been going decent, MASSIVE amounts of shareholder money are available, but the outlook begins to falter. To keep the shareholders happy the company starts buying up other bussinesses to keep up the appearance of growth. This works for a while (Usually while the CEO and board are stuffing their pockets to breaking point) and then the companies implodes. If this happens to Farcebook (And I have no doubt it is going to implode within the next 5 to 10 years) it'll take Oculus down with it.
Goodbuy Oculus, we hardly knew you.
Also, from the comments in every message I've seen about it, it appears the ENTIRE target demographic went: "Well, up yours too then!" upon hearing of the news. I've yet to see a single positive message from anyone who would consider buying a VR set.
I've been working on and off on paid Oculus Rift prototypes for companies for around 6 months now. None of them have been for games, all of them have been for "experiences". I have never really seen the Rift as gaming hardware.
The technology hasn't just changed over night, it's still the same hardware. The same things will be able to be created.
People need to try and apply some common sense. 3D Facebook? Of course not. Rift Facebook Games? No.
The Rift takes a while to set up, get on and it messy with all the cables. It's not something you'll want to put on just to play a 3 minute game.
Getting good content is hard, it either requires good 3D guys or expensive stereo 360 cameras. Facebook can help make this happen. Virtual museum tours (something I had worked on) will now be much more plausible, as will the other experiences Zuck mentions.
For everybody who has posted here citing their dismay at this purchase have you considered looking at CastAR from technical illusions http://technicalillusions.com/
They are currently in development and I believe their kickstarter is slated to ship the first hardware some time after September this year.
The demonstrations of tabletop multi-person 3D play were enough to persuade me I want this.
Hopefully it'll still get built.
Hopefully it'll still be good.
Hopefully it'll still get games support.
Hopefully it'll not be too expensive.
Basically, "Hopefully <all the things that were hopeful before>".
At the same time, it just feels dirty having such an insidious brand as Facebook involved now. And what will they do with the info coming out of it - who knows? (Who knows what info will come out?)
The biggest thing that pisses me off, though, is the Kickstarter. Nope, I didn't pledge (although I came close). For those who did pledge, they get a nice "We're $2Bn better off, kthxbye", which looks a bit like a kick in the balls with a smile attached. They didn't pledge money for Facebook to get a hold in the market. They pledged for an independent company to develop something cool.
Splitting hairs? Perhaps. But it leaves a nasty taste to me.
The Oculus is no longer cool. And I expect they'll have to change it's name to something more fitting a Facebook user's IQ. They'll probably call it the FaceFace!...Yay.
There does seem to be a worrying trend of tech companies just not willing to push themselves, almost as if they're scared or incapable. Waving cash in their faces makes their backbones fall out their arses.
But we don't know what kind of contract they have with Farcebook.
It probably isn't a real problem, but I can't help a massive feeling of disappointment in the team.
Almost all the comment above are how Facebook has ruined Occulus, and put the VR industry back.
Where is the evidence? Do you all have crystal balls? NONE of the commentators have ANY IDEA what Facebook with do with Occulus. So how anyone can says it's ruined is beyond me.
For all you people know, they could leave the company running as is, pump more money to accelerate development, use the device on Facebook but also let it be sold as a general purpose headset. The effect may be you get your super cool VR headset earlier than previously expected. You may never need a Facebook account to use it, the money may mean even better tech.
You JUST DONT KNOW.
Yes we do. We have largely enough data on Facebook history to know exactly where this is going.
If it gets to store shelves, you won't need to sign in to Facebook, you'll be plugged in automatically. You will, of course, have a sign in option for those who are stupid enough to think that it is a good idea to tell The Zuck and his minions that this new online thingy belongs to someone who you already know everything about, but I'm sure Zuck's minions will find a way to correlate their records without your help.
Oh, I'm sorry, you didn't realize that the Foculous is going to phone home ? Oh but it will, because it's Facebook and Facebook means ads and personal information harvesting. And that means that El Zuck will watch what you're watching while he's watching you, to "better" serve you ads.
And you can bet the Foculous will be dirt cheap - gotta get them ad views in somehow.
El Zuck must be sporting a heavy one right now, bitch.
I feel so sorry for Carmack. What a way to end one's career.
Upvotes vs Downvotes....
If you take the average reg reader as a likely first user of the Oculus, then if the comments & voting is anything to go by, people here hate the idea of anything Facebook owned, and by that simple connection will not be buying it, meaning the initial users, where you could sell many thousands at a highish price, and even with bugs still existing, have vanished, and you now have to aim at the 'non-techie' market.. which basically sony will win.. because those people don't know any better, and want something they can use with their games console...
I was planning on buying myself a Rift, no longer, I now plan on building my own VR headset once I can source the parts and then publishing the how-to and making the code open source...
No point losing any sleep over it - im quite pissed off that the OR upstart has sold his soul to the devil. I hoped he might have more strategic foresight and commitment to his product and the community it has fostered over the last 18 months or so....but no...money talks, and when youre 20 years old instant cash always wins over what might be the right thing in the long term
This surely ranks as one of the biggest potential losses to the gaming world.
I only hope Sony's Morpehus can match the latest Rift in terms of performance before its finished - id rather they had my cash than Zuckerberg.
So it's not main stream, it's not publicly launched, it's not backed by the big gaming companies, not backed by large electronics companies (TV's etc), next gen consoles just launched, 4k bendy tvs just launched, the world is more social than ever... and big zucker thinks putting on a full face mask is what people want? because that's really social... want to watch the game i'm playing oh sorry cant do that...
This device is for the ultimate recluse that wants to live in nothing but a VR. #FAIL - i'm so social...
And what exactly would that bring me ? How is that going to add value over showing me what it is I'm supposed to be studying ?
Apparently The Zuck thinks that everyone in the world wants to be seen doing something, or that everyone is a 12-year-old that has to do everything with his schoolmates. It might be a selling point for the 12-year-olds, but for adults I don't see any interest in being put in a virtual classroom.
The point of the Internet is to bring the information you're looking for directly to you, on your screen. It is not to put a virtual town hall between you and what you need to study. The days of going to University and sitting ten yards from the board are not interesting when you use computers. Only a narcissistic show-off can find it more interesting to be viewed studying than actually studying.
This sentence does, however, reveal a lot as to how Facebook is going to pervert the system. Whatever you look for, be ready for a wave of user names flooding the screen with the possibility to "Like" every one of them. I wonder how you'll actually be able to see what you're looking for ?
For that matter, I wonder how much bandwidth this thing is going to need ?
My one concern is this business of 'adverts'. Do they intend to stream adverts to the Rift to be displayed over whatever virtual environment you're viewing. Imagine playing the likes of WoW or EOS and having some soda pop advert appear before you. It would ruin the imersion of the game, and make having a rift utterly pointless.
Leave the adverts out and I might consider it. Keep them in and I'll find something else for 3d imersion.
Palmer Luckey has apparently answered questions on Reddit (of all fucking places), and made a number of promises. Basically he says the things everyone wants to hear, but as a commenter points out, he's no longer in a position to make promises, and anyone who believes Facebook wont try tie-ins with the Oculus probably already owns a number of bridges.
Anyway, read for yourselves; http://time.com/38366/here-are-7-promises-oculus-has-made-after-getting-bought-by-facebook/
Not least because I donated to the Kickstarter and got nothing from this.
But they'll add facebook to some games. Sooo... Isnt this going to be a software thing to fix? I mean people crack copy protection out of games all the time.
If not, then its back to my eMagin z800 headset with me!
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