Print 49 comment(s) - last by KoolAidMan1.. on Mar 28 at 10:44 PM

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 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.

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls

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