Facebook buys Oculus Rift for $2 billion and why its good thing
The biggest news for gamers and social media gurus is that an unexpected joint venture took place when Facebook took control of upcoming VR headset company: Oculus Rift. Yes no one expected a social giant to be interested in such a niche gaming headset technology which has nothing to do with casual gaming even, let alone social networking. But Mark Zukerberg is seeing potential in the acquisition and went for it.
The official statement by Oculus Rift’s founder Plamer Luckey confirms that this is something not done just for money but after a lot of thought on how to make Oculus a commercial success and bring it in reality to masses and not just a niche segmented market of hardcore gamers with extra cash for experimental non-mainstream hardware:
This is a special moment for the gaming industry – Oculus’ somewhat unpredictable future just became crystal clear: virtual reality is coming, and it’s going to change the way we play games forever.
When Facebook first approached us about partnering, I was sceptical. As I learned more about the company and its vision and spoke with Mark, the partnership not only made sense, but became the clear and obvious path to delivering virtual reality to everyone. Facebook was founded with the vision of making the world a more connected place. Virtual reality is a medium that allows us to share experiences with others in ways that were never before possible.
Facebook is run in an open way that’s aligned with Oculus’ culture. Over the last decade, Mark and Facebook have been champions of open software and hardware, pushing the envelope of innovation for the entire tech industry. As Facebook has grown, they’ve continued to invest in efforts like with the Open Compute Project, their initiative that aims to drive innovation and reduce the cost of computing infrastructure across the industry. This is a team that’s used to making bold bets on the future.
In the end, I kept coming back to a question we always ask ourselves every day at Oculus: what’s best for the future of virtual reality? Partnering with Mark and the Facebook team is a unique and powerful opportunity. The partnership accelerates our vision, allows us to execute on some of our most creative ideas and take risks that were otherwise impossible. Most importantly, it means a better Oculus Rift with fewer compromises even faster than we anticipated.
Mark Zukerberg similarly confirmed on his facebook status as well that they are going to keep it an open platform just like facebook and the future is to bring a more immersive platform for entertainment beyond the mobile market which facebook had been focusing on in previous year. The aim by them is beyond games as well as he wants to use facebook platform with VR headset to bring a new type of communication to life as well.
I know many nerds hate facebook and wanted Valve to buy Oculus Rift. But lets face it, facebook is still an essential part of our daily routine. Many of us cannot imagine keeping in contact with so many people without it now. Phone calls and snail mail isn’t just meant out for our generation. Even big haters like Notch (Minecraft developer) exist who just cancelled Oculus Rift support for his game after the acquasition and I think its all nonsense. Its a good thing Facebook or Mark acquired Oculus Rift because not only they are now financially secure to actually bring the real product to market but also bring it to a market beyond hardcore gamers. Just consider the possibility that one day Rift will not be just a gaming headset but used by all e.g. you could imagine yourself sitting in a classroom with just your goggles with students and professors across the world; or watching Cricket World Cup on live streamed TV with your friends in a virtual reality room to give a feel of online communication as never before. These kind of things will become a reality through facebook platform.
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