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Facebook plans to do more than just gaming

Facebook is stepping into the virtual gaming world through a recently announced purchase of Oculus VR.

According to Business Insider, Facebook is buying Oculus VR for $2 billion USD in cash and stock. A breakdown looks more like $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook common stock.

Oculus VR is an Irvine, California-based startup that was founded by Palmer Luckey. The company launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund development of their first product -- the Oculus Rift -- which is a virtual reality headset for immersive gaming. The Kickstarter campaign reached over $2.4 million in funding.

While Facebook has seen a lot of success with games like "FarmVille," the social giant said it plans to do more than just virtual gaming with the company.

"After games, we're going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences," said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. "Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face -- just by putting on goggles in your home."


Oculus VR doesn't have a consumer version of its Oculus Rift yet, but it's available for developers at the moment. 

The Oculus Rift headset makes you feel like you're in the gaming environment, taking video games to a whole new level of feeling "real" beyond just graphics on your TV and movements with a controller. 

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2014, the Oculus Rift "Crystal Cove" prototype was named Best of CES 2014. 

"We are excited to work with Mark and the Facebook team to deliver the very best virtual reality platform in the world," said Brendan Iribe, co-founder and CEO of Oculus VR. "We believe virtual reality will be heavily defined by social experiences that connect people in magical, new ways. It is a transformative and disruptive technology, that enables the world to experience the impossible, and it's only just the beginning."

Oculus will keep its headquarters in Irvine and continue development of the Oculus Rift. The transaction with Facebook is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014.

Source: Business Insider



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RE: The worst...
By TSS on 3/25/2014 8:01:16 PM , Rating: 2
How to kill good PR 101.

I'm not giving up on the oculus just yet... But facebook talking about a "platform" has me seriously worried. If this turns out to be anymore then a perhiphial simply owned by the same company that owns facebook i'm out right away.

If it's going to require a facebook account for anything except facebooking i'm setting fire to something. Or, yknow, just go to Sony.


RE: The worst...
By AmbroseAthan on 3/26/2014 10:00:28 AM , Rating: 5
I can't speak directly to what will happen, but I do wish more of the articles on the net included Mark's Facebook post about this as it helped alleviate some of my fears. I highlighted one key paragraph in it:

quote:
I'm excited to announce that we've agreed to acquire Oculus VR, the leader in virtual reality technology.

Our mission is to make the world more open and connected. For the past few years, this has mostly meant building mobile apps that help you share with the people you care about. We have a lot more to do on mobile, but at this point we feel we're in a position where we can start focusing on what platforms will come next to enable even more useful, entertaining and personal experiences.

This is where Oculus comes in. They build virtual reality technology, like the Oculus Rift headset. When you put it on, you enter a completely immersive computer-generated environment, like a game or a movie scene or a place far away. The incredible thing about the technology is that you feel like you're actually present in another place with other people. People who try it say it's different from anything they've ever experienced in their lives.

Oculus's mission is to enable you to experience the impossible. Their technology opens up the possibility of completely new kinds of experiences.

Immersive gaming will be the first, and Oculus already has big plans here that won't be changing and we hope to accelerate. The Rift is highly anticipated by the gaming community, and there's a lot of interest from developers in building for this platform. 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.

But this is just the start. After games, we're going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face -- just by putting on goggles in your home.

This is really a new communication platform. By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures.

These are just some of the potential uses. By working with developers and partners across the industry, together we can build many more. One day, we believe this kind of immersive, augmented reality will become a part of daily life for billions of people.

Virtual reality was once the dream of science fiction. But the internet was also once a dream, and so were computers and smartphones. The future is coming and we have a chance to build it together. I can't wait to start working with the whole team at Oculus to bring this future to the world, and to unlock new worlds for all of us.


Now, admittedly who knows what this will turn into but it does give me some hope that he did directly comment on gaming and that will be the first thing they focus on; to continue the work they are already doing.

If they stay true to their word this could accelerate when we see the commercial version finally ship. Personally, I am hoping to get a DevKit2 and play ESO with it!


RE: The worst...
By AntiM on 3/26/2014 12:37:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I can't speak directly to what will happen, but I do wish more of the articles on the net included Mark's Facebook post about this as it helped alleviate some of my fears. I highlighted one key paragraph in it:
...

None of this stuff is going to work well without very good bandwidth. Unless he also has a plan to address the abysmal state of high-speed connectivity (aka... monopolies) in this country, I don't see his plans coming to fruition anytime soon.


RE: The worst...
By Argon18 on 3/26/2014 2:12:13 PM , Rating: 2
"Now, admittedly who knows what this will turn into but it does give me some hope that he did directly comment on gaming and that will be the first thing they focus on; to continue the work they are already doing. "

Don't buy into the PR hype and nonsense. Since when is Facebook a "gaming" company? Hint: they're not. If id Software or Valve bought them, I'd have some confidence in it, but Facebook?? No chance in hell.

Not to mention that start-ups always always wither and die when subjected to the bureaucracy and soul-crushing weight of a large corporation.

I'm not rightly sure what to make of this acquisition, or the Boston Dynamics one. Neither has anything to do with Facebook, and neither has customers that are in Facebook's demographic. I don't see anything positive coming out of this.


RE: The worst...
By ianweck on 3/26/2014 4:36:11 PM , Rating: 2
Simply replace the word "gaming" with "forced advertisement viewing" in Mark's post above, and I think we can all see where this is going. I'm a little surprised that Google didn't think of this first.


RE: The worst...
By aharris02 on 3/28/2014 11:18:16 AM , Rating: 2
Ads in a VR world will be inherently different from ads we see now, or they run the risk of interrupting the VR experience. I presume neither fb nor Oculus are willing to let that happen, so, if anything, expect product placement ads in social and gaming worlds.

A generic can of soda on a table gets skinned to display a CocaCola ad, for example. That's far less intrusive than banners on fb walls, and I'd expect it to only show up in situations where it won't ruin the user's experience.


RE: The worst...
By Disorganise on 3/26/2014 5:26:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face -- just by putting on goggles in your home.

I'm imagining a TV for the sport-side seat and webcam for the rest. Claustrophobic head-gear not required.

Incidentally - who would want to see their Dr virtually? On the rare occasion I make a visit, it usually involves touch to determine tamp/swelling/tenderness etc


RE: The worst...
By TheDoc9 on 3/26/2014 12:06:55 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
I'm not giving up on the oculus just yet..


I am, it's over for Oculus. It will now either be vaporware or will trample privacy.

This is the best possible news for Sony's option. This is going to be a good year for them.


"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen











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