Is Facebook Buying Oculus VR a Good Thing?

OculusRift

Oculus VR is a company that’s building the next-generation of virtual reality platforms for gaming. Their first product, the Oculus Rift, is a virtual reality headset that allows you to step inside digital environments and play games by actually being in them. Needless to say, it’s a very cool idea.

The Oculus Rift is supposed to be the piece of technology that catapults gaming into the future. The virtual reality head-mounted display is so immersive that many people are also speculating it will allow us to have social experiences without leaving our home. Users could potentially have face-to-face consultations with their doctor, sit courtside at a basketball game, or learn inside a classroom. The possibilities are limitless.

Tech-enthusiasts have been infatuated with the Oculus Rift since its demonstration at E3 2012. Over 9,000 backers donated to the Oculus Rift Kickstarter campaign and raised over $2 million in three days. The company was also able to raise an additional $90 million from investors and promised a consumer version of the device would be available by the end of this year.

Two days ago Facebook bought Oculus VR for $2 billion, raising concerns about the future of the device. Although the acquisition secures Oculus’ growth, many people are concerned about letting a social media company have control of this technology.

One person that isn’t skeptical is Facebook’s founder and CEO.

“Mobile is the platform of today, and now we’re also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow. Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate.”

– Mark Zuckerberg

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The reality of living in a virtual world isn’t that far away. According to scientists at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, mind-to-mind thought communication will be possible by the year 2030. By then the Oculus Rift will have 15 years of development (along with other wearable technology like Google Glass and Project Morpheus) and virtual reality will just be reality.

Not surprisingly, many people that donated money on Kickstarter feel betrayed. They think Oculus VR used them to raise brand awareness in order to sell off the company. Even worse, this happened just months before they were scheduled to release the Oculus Rift to the masses. But if it weren’t for Facebook, what started as a new way to play video games probably wouldn’t transform into its full potential.

Despite this, game developers are also upset and even pulling out of the project. The first to do so is Markus Persson, creator of Minecraft.

Persson goes on to explain further on his blog that although social media could become one of the biggest applications of VR, he “did not chip in ten grand to seed a first investment round to build value for a Facebook acquisition.” He has a good point but is he right?

As much as I’m excited to see the Oculus Rift change the way we play video games, I’m more anxious to see how it changes our lives. What about you? Are you ready for the future?

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9 Responses to Is Facebook Buying Oculus VR a Good Thing?

  1. Dan March 27, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

    VR goggle mixed with Facebook’s tendency to tinker with your privacy… that… almost seems dystopian.

  2. John March 27, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

    ****erberg should of never touched it. This was going to be awesome for us pc gamers. Now, I won’t touch the thing. It’s going to flop in the pc world (what it was originally intended for) and ****rberg is going to turn it into some social media bull**** that won’t require a computer so that everyone can get one. That way he can make the most money and run this piece of **** into the ground by using apps that people have to pay for, thus, making himself more money with complete disregard for what people want.

  3. Brian March 27, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

    I wouldn’t mind it if Google bought Oculus but why Facebook? Its a social Media company, not really big into gaming. Id say its not a good idea.

  4. ThaiHoang ThatAsianguy Sony March 28, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

    Should have asked fans and not money

  5. Corey March 29, 2014 at 3:57 am #

    And there you have it. Technology has reached a point to where people may never leave their homes again….but seriously I hope Mark doesn’t just keep it only for his social media crap. I’ve been wanting to see how realistic the gaming platform could be. Instead now we are gonna be spied on. With this technology I bet that we will look at someone and everything about them will be available.

  6. Michael March 29, 2014 at 10:30 am #

    I was desperately looking forward to it, and now I don’t want it. Facebook has a solid history of poor programming, disrespect for users’ privacy, and over monetizing by incorporating obnoxious, unavoidable ads. Facebook doesn’t care about or listen to the end user; they care about making tons of money for themselves. If I were in the Kickstarter, I would be even more furious.

  7. Ed March 29, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

    How are face-to-face interactions suppose to work if both parties are wearing the Oculus?

  8. Crazy3ight April 1, 2014 at 10:37 pm #

    Never really was a fan of Oculus to begin with as far as viability goes, It has been over hyped from the start. However Facebook has the funds needed to bring down the production cost which may save Oculus, which was, in my mind, doomed from the start with a niche market and some military applications. If I was a Facebook investor I would be very suspect with this move. For starters they way over paid for an untested product which is at best a 50/50. All and all I think this was a bad move by Facebook, great outcome for Oculus. Being first to market with a product and a start up has proven fatal, when the last time you saw someone using a Blackberry, just sayin.

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