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How Facebook and Oculus Could Be a Great Combination

Soulskill posted about 5 months ago | from the goes-together-like-peanut-butter-and-facebook dept.

Displays 151

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: "Nate Swammer writes at Slashgear that with Facebook's purchase of Oculus for a cool $2 billion, the fervor surrounding virtual reality headwear quickly turned to disdain. Betrayal, confusion, and anger became the order of the day for contributors who gave Oculus $2.4 million through its Kickstarter campaign. But now that passions have cooled and looking at the issues dispassionately, the Facebook acquisition may turn out much better than anticipated for users. While many may have a fervent distrust for Facebook, this deal bodes well for Oculus, and by virtue, us.

First Oculus wasn't flush, and although Oculus may have had some hustle behind it, it may not have been enough. John Carmack, Oculus CTO, said via Twitter, 'I expect the FB deal will avoid several embarrassing scaling crisis for VR.' The headwear already famously suffered from a supply chain issue not long ago, which actually stopped it dead in its tracks. Next, in their official announcement of the Facebook deal, gaming was barely a blip on the radar. It wasn't until the very end that gaming was even mentioned, with the bulk of the post discussing 'culture' and driving virtual reality forward. There was little to indicate any big titles were coming for Oculus.

The fact is, Oculus needed help. Not technical assistance, but someone who could be their Sony, more or less. John Carmack says he has 'a deep respect for the technical scale that FB operates at. The cyberspace we want for VR will be at this scale.' Perhaps Facebook isn't the most popular choice, but they are the partner Oculus chose for their future says Swammer. 'Like Google purchasing Android in 2005, it all seems so strange right now [remember this story we discussed in 2009] — but we see how that turned out. If VR really is the next frontier, Facebook just staked their claim to a big slab of land in the heart of some virtual country they'll likely let us see someday — via Oculus.""

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Go (0)

JustOK (667959) | about 5 months ago | (#46614199)

Go go gadget FaceBorg

Oculus had many reasons to partner with Facebook (4, Funny)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 5 months ago | (#46614793)

Two billion of them, to be exact.

Re:Oculus had many reasons to partner with Faceboo (1)

JustOK (667959) | about 5 months ago | (#46614907)

Rooting is futile

Re:Oculus had many reasons to partner with Faceboo (1)

callmetheraven (711291) | about 5 months ago | (#46615149)

2B? In Zuckerfag's dreams. Maybe a tenth of that.

Re:Oculus had many reasons to partner with Faceboo (2)

Cammi (1956130) | about 5 months ago | (#46615259)

Feel free to read the article ... LOL

Re:Oculus had many reasons to partner with Faceboo (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 5 months ago | (#46615463)

Now that's just crazy talk.

it's a beautiful war (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46614233)

hopefully we will not be undone by our unreality 'helmets' & other assorted deception generation media mongrelity? new reality series http://www.youtube.com/results... [youtube.com] promises return to genuine freedom for many

Rift'd (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46614239)

I speak for everyone when I say, he is RIGHT. We NEED this COOL technology!

We need it so bad, my pants are falling down and I'm getting excited. This is facebook we're talking about right? The dating website.

I think in the end, we will enjoy our Demolition Man style sex and become enlightened in our non-fluid transfer sex of the future.

Because I want VR now... WAAAAA I can't get it NOW.

Re:Rift'd (0)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 5 months ago | (#46615573)

That's the first time anyone has mentioned an application that takes advantage of the Oculus VR aquisition by Facebook. Kudos to you sir!

vr helmets useless in never ending holycost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46614253)

like painting targets on our brains volunteering for additional WMD on credit mindphucking illusion of participatory chosenness

No. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46614257)

And color me surprised that the guy who just got a $2B cash infusion thinks this is a good idea. Gaming is barely a blip on the radar? Yeah, that's the problem, you asshole. Gamers bankrolled it; developers kept the momentum going; anticipated titles created the buzz.... but all of that barely registers against Facebook's piles and piles of money, right?

Re:No. (4, Interesting)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 5 months ago | (#46614639)

That is exactly what rubs me the wrong way about that announcement, besides fears that FB will turn Oculus into another data mining opportunity. Gaming is barely a blip? The buzz around Oculus has been from two sides: business (who want to use VR tech for telepresence, operating ROVs etc), and gamers. We want to control our Parrot drone with the Oculus, we want to walk around Tamriel or Middle Earth wearing this thing, or immerse ourselves in virtual battlefields, or perhaps watch a movie in a virtual cinema... What we don't want, need or asked for is friggin' Second Life VR.

With that said, if the drivers / SDK remain openly available, I am sure game developers will get on board. But with gaming "barely on the radar", I fear for the undoubtedly necessary collaboration between Oculus and game developers.

Re:No. (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#46614779)

What will be interesting to see(and I'm honestly not sure, so this is a question to anyone who might know as much as it is speculation) will be whether the bar for what facebook wants will turn out to be lower, higher, or just different from what game developers want.

If they want to do something 'social', it wouldn't be a huge surprise to see much greater emphasis on accurately capturing facial expressions of the wearer, so that those can be painted on an avatar of some kind(and emotional responses to advertisements gauged, naturally). On the other hand, they might be much less concerned with whether everything works properly when you whip round because you think you hear a zombie/xenomorph/commie coming up behind you.

We know that, in-engine, plausible ballistics is peanuts compared to plausible dialog or animating characters that don't break absurdly from time to time. What will the outcome be here? Is covering the 'gamer' use cases a subset of whatever dark plans Facebook has? Is it a (likely to be neglected) superset? Are they two somewhat divergent areas of emphasis?

I assume that certain baseline specs are more or less universal if you want a VR system that won't have the user heaving up their guts within the hour; but that there is nontrivial room for variation/quality level beyond that, and Facebook's intentions might not match those of gamers terribly strongly.

Re:No. (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 5 months ago | (#46615481)

Think "Facebook meets Second Life with better-than-1998-graphics".

Then, feel free to throw up.

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46615823)

Think "Facebook meets Second Life with better-than-1998-graphics".

Then, feel free to throw up.

Think "Facebook meets Second Life with everybody using their real names or a verified phone number that can be traced back to their real world ID".

Now you can feel free to throw up.

Re: No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46614891)

Just imagine 'Facebook' in blue letters silkscreened on its black plastic VR helmet shell.

Yeah you fucking losers! We all are in fact. I hope nVidia has a device in the works and CRUSHES fuckbook!!!

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46615057)

What we don't want, need or asked for is friggin' Second Life VR.

It depends on what you mean by SL VR. A glorified chat program that collapsed in on itself over people getting offended and furries? No, of course no one sane wants that. But a VR world like the Metaverse? There are plenty of people interested in such a thing; Palmer himself has mentioned OASIS (if that's the right fictional virtual world, the one from the awful Ready Player One) many times.

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46615519)

Just to play Devil's advocate, hasn't a second Life Style "metaverse" always been a big part of the dream of VR?

Starting with Snowcrash, and continuing with Ready Player One. Geeks dream of the metaverse.

Re:No. (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#46614699)

And color me surprised that the guy who just got a $2B cash infusion thinks this is a good idea. Gaming is barely a blip on the radar? Yeah, that's the problem, you asshole. Gamers bankrolled it; developers kept the momentum going; anticipated titles created the buzz.... but all of that barely registers against Facebook's piles and piles of money, right?

There's also the fact that, pending some sort of sea change, Facebook is kind of an engorged pustule on the ass of gaming. 'Social' gaming (ironically, usually rather less actually social than 'non-social' multiplayer games of almost any genre) is a horrible place where lousiness that would make the bargain bin of old blush is combined with ruthless exploitation of human weakness that would make your local heroin dealer a trifle queasy.

That's just not very encouraging. Though, that said, given that 'facebook' and 'gaming' have never been anything other than a mess, perhaps the best we can hope for is that they'll mostly ignore it/hack together a dubiously successful Second Life/Playstation Home clone and then focus on synergizing the graphic-centric virtual friendspace or some nonsense, and provide benign neglect elsewhere.

Re:No. (3, Informative)

callmetheraven (711291) | about 5 months ago | (#46615157)

Facebook is kind of an engorged pustule on the ass of gaming.

Facebook is kind of an engorged pustule on the ass of humanity.

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46614839)

ns, I didn't even think that fb had $2B, and if they had any cash that was probably it. I really do NOT see fb continuing to pump cash into occulus... ...and I still do NOT see the fit here...

Pioneers (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 5 months ago | (#46614265)

"If VR really is the next frontier " I expect OR to take a lot of arrows. Few pioneers reach old age.

Re:Pioneers (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 5 months ago | (#46615661)

Pioneers? I've already got VR. Had it since Quake and Descent came out in the 90's. Who wants to strap a toaster to their face when they can have VR glasses that look like glasses and work on the go from their smartphones? [vuzix.com]

If it was such a big deal, the existing VR companies would already be improving on latency and price by leaps and bounds on their own over the two decades we've had consumer VR gear. It's just not that big a deal, you're still just feeding images to a brain, I don't understand the hype; See also: Kinect hype.

It's AR (augmented reality) that I find so much more beneficial and useful. I have been using AR in industrial noise abatement. We set up our sound monitors, then triangulate audio sources, and then we can overlay them on world as 3D volumetric data using AR. From my android tablet I can even use a high/low pass filter to isolate a particular noise signature and locate its visual source via timestamp and pattern recognition to see exactly where it's coming from, and how frequently it occurred in the sample timeline. This way we can safely diagnose problem noise sources while the dangerous machinery is not in use.

Sorry, I couldn't wait a decade for game consoles to finally get over VirtualBoy. I had work to do with VR / AR. Hell, I only use my monitors about half the time anymore since VR + 3D UI = 360 degree desktop - Turn my head and I've got screens as far as the eye can see, and more. You can hack together a poor man's version with Compize's Desktop Zoom by setting the head tracking to move the mouse cursor, but really you want the panning to follow head tracking while mouse controls the pointer.

The biggest problem for VR is 3D UI, I've done some experimental research, but it's not there yet. With AR and the Kinect I've played around with using the poor-man's head = mouse cursor for zoom / panning and depth cameras for emulating touch events. It's too sloppy for precision work with gen1 Kinect, but I can make touch emulation work pretty well with OpenCV and a decent webcam (a bit better than what you find embedded in a laptop nowadays). However, many people get motion sick from the glasses, and latency's not an issue, it happens even when passively watching 3D movie theaters, glasses can't change your inner ear's sense of movement and balance, yet.

For common use 3D UI I'm really liking head tracking without the VR display, and using a standard monitor instead. When combined with eye tracking. I can emulate a very immersive 3D viewport that really feels like a window. You can tilt to view "deeper" or "around" other objects, lean to see the next workspace, and double-blink-to click, largely eliminating mouse use replacing it with fast and rich eye+keyboard navigation. Look to move pointer, ctrl+blink to set "intermediary focus mode", sort of a visual analog to focus change via tabbing like hover to focus, but with another key or blink to actually focus instead of dwell-clicking. Double-blink does a best guess as to what button is nearest the cursor. For Firefox I had to write a simple plugin for the UI system.

Anyhow, business doesn't care about this shit. Most folks don't even want to learn a better keylayout that the purposefully fucked QWERTY, let alone a new way to mouse with their eyes and head. They can already telepresence with their smart phones, laptops and desktops, 3D isn't a huge improvement for most folks it's a gimmick (like adding video to a phone voice chat is -- protip: people would rather text that talk unless they're really horny).

If the Oculus Devs are "pioneers", then every day users of VR, AR and 3D interface hobbyists like me must be like ancient aliens who visited VR planet when it was primordial ooze. Shit, I was playing Dactyl Nightmare and Exorex in VR at the arcade the year before Carmack's Doom even came out.

Re:Pioneers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46615767)

Arrows? The sale to FB, Thats a self inflicted one in the the knee

Depends (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#46614301)

Can I rip the FB crap out of it? That's pretty much the question that will determine whether I want to have it. I don't really mind having FB as the manufacturer of the thing, for all I care it could be made by FB, MS or CommieNaziIncorporated, as long as it's affordable, working and free of any baggage that tries to push me towards it manufacturer.

If it's used as some kind of vehicle to push FB onto the few who don't have it and don't loathe it on principle, then I can very well do without and am retroactively glad I decided against funding the kickstarter.

Re:Depends (1)

The123king (2395060) | about 5 months ago | (#46614373)

I'm guessing you don't own a smartphone then...

Re:Depends (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#46614393)

Elaborate please? I guess mine is old enough that I don't get the joke.

Re:Depends (2)

The123king (2395060) | about 5 months ago | (#46615147)

Android phones have Google lock-in, iPhones have Apple lock-in, Blackberry's have Blackberry lock-in. It's hard to find a consumer electronic device that doesn't contain some form of vendor lock-in, be it in the form of apps, search engines, messaging clients, online services etc etc. And ofc to use any of these services require giving up some personal details, such as mobile phone numbers, date of birth, credit card details, email address mothers maiden name, favourite colour etc...

Re:Depends (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46615213)

SOME Android phones have Google lock-in. Manufacturers providing bootloader unlocks negates that, if it's available for your device, you DON'T have to use anything Google.

Re:Depends (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | about 5 months ago | (#46615355)

Android phones have Google lock-in

How is a device on which I can install CyanogenMod locked-in to Google? Please explain.

Re:Depends (2)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about 5 months ago | (#46614461)

I'm guessing you don't own a smartphone then...

If you're a nerd you can root your Android phone and get rid of the G+ stuff, assuming you own the phone and don't care about voiding the warranty. iPhone doesn't even come with any of the top five social networking apps preinstalled last time I checked.

Re:Depends (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46614673)

maybe they've changed things, but google android phones may have g+ installed,
but they don't force you to use it. and i'm pretty sure (i haven't tried with g+)
you can uninstall it like any other app.

Re:Depends (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46614781)

They pressure you to use G+, however you just click cancel whenever they offer and as of today, I haven't had to actually accept it. Even in that one game that seemed to really want me to joing G+, I was allowed to refuse to join and still play. Although, I'm guessing that any scores and whatnot were only stored locally and I wasn't being offered the online features.

Re:Depends (1)

The123king (2395060) | about 5 months ago | (#46614829)

for all I care it could be made by FB, MS or CommieNaziIncorporated, as long as it's affordable, working and free of any baggage that tries to push me towards it manufacturer.

This implies that OP doesn't like any form of lock-in from any manufacturer. To use Google Play, you have to use, err, Google services. To use the Apple App Store you have to sign up for an Apple ID. Each manufacturer has various ways of tying you into their own ecosystem...

Re:Depends (1)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about 5 months ago | (#46614897)

Up until recently you didn't need Google Play Services to run most apps on Android, but things do seem to be moving in that direction slowly but surely.

I guess you could order a Firefox OS phone that's not tied to any major social network / identity ecosystem: http://stores.ebay.com/ztemobi... [ebay.com] Doesn't look great, but it's only 80 bucks.

Re:Depends (1)

The123king (2395060) | about 5 months ago | (#46615105)

Firefox OS phones are hardly real smartphones. All FF OS provides is calling, texting, a camera and a web browser. All stuff my £30 Nokia dumbphone had back in '07. Granted, the web browser wasn't anywhere near as good as Gecko (or IE5 for that matter), but it still worked.

Re:Depends (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46614521)

it will be connect to FB before it will work with anything else.

Re:Depends (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#46614563)

In that case I'm waiting for the firmware upgrade. From a third party, of course.

Re:Depends (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 5 months ago | (#46614629)

Will the hardware be open? That's the important question and we should be able to find that out almost immediately. The early stages of this will be: how open the thing is to firmware upgrades. Will there be robust hardware documentation, a JTAG connector or equivalent, etc?

Re:Depends (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#46614727)

Well, I think asking for JTAG compliance (let alone a connector) might be a bit too much. But we can hope.

Re:Depends (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46614549)

As long as I can pull out FB and load Linux on it, I'll buy one.

Seriously, I think the FB blinders are a great idea...anyone who spends their day on Facebook can now be hidden away and easily identified by others, thus removing a significant portion of very dull, insulated people.

Re:Depends (1)

Number42 (3443229) | about 5 months ago | (#46614717)

Wait, wait. The Rift isn't an independent, it's a peripheral. You can't run a full-fledged OS on that. Someone could port the old OR software to be compatible with the new hardware and games written for it (the source code was shipped with the SDK, after all), but we don't even know whether Facebook is going to rape social networking into the Oculus yet. Well, at least we're not sure.

Re:Depends (1)

trawg (308495) | about 5 months ago | (#46614567)

If it's used as some kind of vehicle to push FB onto the few who don't have it and don't loathe it on principle, then I can very well do without and am retroactively glad I decided against funding the kickstarter.

Out of interest, have any of Facebook's other acquisitions been used to force users onto the FB platform? In other words, do they have a strong precedent of doing this?

In the case of Oculus spending $2b and then immediately trying to alienate its core user base by somehow pushing FB on the tiny percentage of users that don't already have it seems like it would be a weird thing to do.

Re:Depends (1)

umafuckit (2980809) | about 5 months ago | (#46614619)

What FB crap? There is no final product: you don't know what it'll be like yet. Probably it'll just have a FB logo and FB will have some pointless (to you or me) services that utilise VR. If you don't have a FB account and aren't interested in that stuff then likely you just skip it, plug the OR into your PC and game away. We don't know that OR will be used to "push" FB. We don't know anything yet.

Re:Depends (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#46614637)

Sorry. I was extrapolating from what I saw so far from FB. But hey, maybe you're right and they change by 180 by the time this product sees the light of day.

Re:Depends (2, Insightful)

umafuckit (2980809) | about 5 months ago | (#46614827)

Look, I don't like FB either but you're looking at this in a very one-sided way. As the article points out, Instagram and WhatsApp haven't been subsumed into FB in any obvious way following their acquisition. Go to the websites for those services and you won't see evidence of FB. With Instagram, for instance, it appears from the site that FB sharing is optional (I haven't used the App, but the website indicates this). So from past behaviour, FB haven't done an all-out assimilation of everything they've purchased. In addition, FB have contributed [github.com] plenty to the opensource community. So there are good things there in addition to the crap they've pulled. Finally, they haven't done hardware before and so this very new territory. We know very little about what FB want to do with OR and, frankly, it doesn't look like they know either. It's quite plausible that they will be hands off. No 180 turns needed to envisage such a scenario.

Re:Depends (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 5 months ago | (#46615517)

I just love all of the optimism here on Slashdot. It is truly heartwarming.

Daily Astroturf (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46614305)

Oh good, we're getting the daily Hugh Pickens post out of the way early today. Can we get the daily Nerval's Lobster/Nick Kolakowski done early, too?

Re:Daily Astroturf (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46614315)

Remember to visit Hugh Pickens DOT Com.

Re:Daily Astroturf (1)

lennier1 (264730) | about 5 months ago | (#46615043)

Dome kind of Goatse mirror?

Accept no substitutes!!!

"Feels" Unnatural... (4, Insightful)

Ramley (1168049) | about 5 months ago | (#46614331)

Business decision(s) aside, it feels completely unnatural that such a cool, grassroots company sold out to a behemoth monstrosity like FB.

I would really like to see FB taken down a notch (putting it nicely), and this I am afraid will draw more people to it, as this tech is very compelling. I don't want to have to use FB to play with VR on this level. Perhaps I won't have to.

Maybe Oculus did need the help referred to in the article, but couldn't there have been another way? $2B would be hard to turn down, but (imho) they could have gotten there another way, and maybe surpassed it.

just my $0.02

Re:"Feels" Unnatural... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46615117)

Maybe they felt Sony could steal the show? And accepted the best offer they had? Sony will jump in to VR with lots of developer studios and flexibility to advertise their device. Oculus, without FB, could hardly compete with that. Most people say that Project Morpheus and DK2 are very similar. Oculus needs to make their product and services more compelling if they are not to just become the least popular VR options of the 2.

Complete fulfillment! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46614335)

This is a great combination. The Facebook addicts who live in their mom's basement can now complete their illusion that they have a life, walking outside virtually and interacting with people. Think of the possible accessories, such as an orifice that is warm, wet, and pulsing.

WTF? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46614343)

How does it "bode well" that Mark Zuckerjew, part of the NWO and Zionist scum who do everything in their power (which is huge) to rape the privacy of every person outside their group of super rich psychos, and much worse, are in complete control of the only interesting tech device for at least 10 years? It was literally the *one* thing I was looking forward to. A proper VR helmet. Finally. And they betray me. I will never forget this stab in the back, Carmack.

Will this affect their investment (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 5 months ago | (#46614347)

Or will the FB infusion dilute it so much they're just screwed? If the latter, who could blame people for avoiding contributing in the future?

My own op-ed (5, Interesting)

geoskd (321194) | about 5 months ago | (#46614353)

Carmack screwed the analysis quite thoroughly, and now its too late for them. One of two scenarios is in play here:

1) Facebook bought OR because they wanted to diversify their holdings to make themselves more resilient to changes in their core market. In this case, Facebook will likely leave OR mostly alone and except for adding some money to the pot, but when it becomes clear that OR can not or will not scale at the growth that Facebook wants/needs, then it will get the axe.

2) Facebook bought OR because of some overriding strategy that involves OR's technology. In this case, Facebook will not be allowing OR to keep going the way they have been going, which more than likely means very little if any emphasis on VR gaming, and instead is intended as a social platform for virtual interaction. In this scenario, the best that OR can manage will be to get some games developed and released, but to that end there will likely be no support from Facebook.

Carmack was correct when he stated that OR needed two things: first, they would need cash infusions at several points to be able to scale at the rate that flash-in-the-pan games require in order to meet their sales goals. Without that cash, developers would be reticent to make any games that truly took advantage of the platform because then they would be locked to it with no guarantee that OR could manufacture enough units to *not* severely limit sales of the game developers product. Facebook solves the cash problem, but only by reintroducing another reason for developers not to get involved: Facebook itself. Facebook has burned many developers before, and consequently developers are less likely to become involved with them than they would have been with any other company (possibly excepting Microsoft).

The second thing that OR needs is developer support, which, for the reasons described above, the Facebook deal makes far more difficult than it would have been if OR had been bought by almost any other company.

All things considered, OR might fare better having been bought by Facebook than going it alone, but that is by no means clear.

Re: and for a hardware company w/ no market share (1)

Kogun (170504) | about 5 months ago | (#46615207)

I thought about your 1) but concluded no, because when companies do this, they acquire proven companies with a predictable revenue stream. Oculus is burning money and their business model relies on a bunch of people adopting new behaviors for interacting with their computers. A killer VR app is needed to make this work, even among the hardcore gamer market. FB is not the killer app for VR, so...there must be much more to this story we don't know yet for this to be the case..

For 2) I think this is on the right track and would add that if Oculus had an IP portfolio that provided licensable tech, AND there was a giant, burgeoning VR market about to explode, then there'd be even more weight for this scenario. Not sure Oculus had that key IP, however.

But given the huge amount of money paid--for a hardware company with no market share in a nearly non-existent market, I think about 40x too much--FB either bought a toy they wanted to make sure came to market, or they aren't done with acquisitions and the other shoe has yet to drop.

If FB wants to somehow integrate into a VR-type environment, then I think FB acquired the wrong company, and they should have courted CastAR. The CastAR device, being potentially highly mobile inside with smartphone hookup, and in AR mode, allows you to walk about, integrates into an environment is far more friendly to the kinds interaction FB provides. Either way, however, CastAR benefits by Oculus' success, as the vast majority of users still need to be convinced that VR or AR is a worthy thing. 'Foculus Rift' blazes that trail and CastAR grows alongside as the market does.

This is Why Notch Dropped the Deal (4, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 5 months ago | (#46614359)

This is precisely why Pearson dropped Occulus after the buyout. We had a cool piece of tech, and a company ready to deliver it the the place best suited to it -- video games.

Now we have a multi-billion dollar social media site willing to spend more on the marketing and propaganda budget for the deal itself than they are on the actual technology. Hence this article.

Facebook is the Walmart of the Internet. Occulus should have taken their cue from Snapper and walked away.

Re:This is Why Notch Dropped the Deal (5, Insightful)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 5 months ago | (#46614537)

Amazon is the walmart of the internet. Look at their operation. It's ridiculous.

Further more, the notion that VR is best suited for games so short sighted I don't even know where to begin.

VR still remains a gimmick (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46614367)

whatever people think about VR it will remain a gimmick i don't see average non gamers buy devices that cost 350 USD

Don't forget that VR is just like 3d every 10 years they try it.

"we see how that turned out" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46614369)

Like Google purchasing Android in 2005... we see how that turned out

Yes. It turned out to be an ecosystem that tracks the every move of hundreds of millions of people to data-mine for advertising purposes, and is full of malware and spyware. Anything bought by an advertising company like Google, Facebook or Twitter will exist to harvest your behavior.

That's what some of us don't want. We want a device that does what it says on the tin, and no more. A VR headset device please, not a "log into Facebook so your social graph is harvested and sold" device.

Captcha: disdain

Just what I need... (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | about 5 months ago | (#46614371)

the next Anthony Wiener wannabe sending me his junk in 3D.

We have not evolved enough for this technology.

Oculus + FB = Snowcrash (5, Interesting)

oneiron (716313) | about 5 months ago | (#46614377)

Was this FB deal Carmack's play all along? [slashdot.org]

3. by moonboy asks: I once read, in Wired, an article that said you have an incredible headstart on everyone else for making "virtual worlds" on the Internet using your engine from the Quake games. Do you have any intention of doing this? Has anyone approached you about it? It would seem like a fantastic use of the technology with online gaming being so popular. Entire worlds online could be created virtually and very life-like with many different purposes.

John Carmack Answers: Making Snow Crash into a reality feels like a sort of moral imperative to a lot of programmers, but the efforts that have been made so far leave a lot to be desired. It is almost painful for me to watch some of the VRML initiatives. It just seems so obviously the wrong way to do something. All of this debating, committee forming, and spec writing, and in the end, there isn't anything to show for it. Make something really cool first, and worry about the spec after you are sure it's worth it! I do think it is finally the right time for this to start happening for real. While a lot of people could envision the possibilities after seeing DOOM or Quake, it is really only now that we have general purpose hardware acceleration that things are actually flexible enough to be used as a creative medium without constantly being conscious of the technical limitations. Two weeks ago, I pitched a proposal to develop some technology along these lines to the rest of the company. I may wind up working on some things like that in parallel with the next game project.

Re:Oculus + FB = Snowcrash (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 5 months ago | (#46614655)

Okay, maybe they're right. Maybe the Facebook deal is a snow crash of the Metaverse. But really, we should have built the Metaverse first.

All the dazed developers staring at random bitmaps when they've been snow crashed isn't pretty to look at.

Re:Oculus + FB = Snowcrash (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46615123)

Can you imagine the headlines if the Metaverse was actually built? They'd make Fox News' presentation of 4chan seem sane and accurate by comparison.

Re:Oculus + FB = Snowcrash (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | about 5 months ago | (#46615169)

You can bet that someone is currently working on something like a pseudo-narcotic and that they and/or someone else is working on malware based on a pseudo-narcotic.

I doubt it'll be connected to the Sumerian language though.

It Doesn't Matter... (1)

Zero_DgZ (1047348) | about 5 months ago | (#46614397)

I think in a few years we'll all be having a good laugh about how Oculus doomed themselves with this move. I think there are enough people on this planet like me who are 100% distrustful of Facebook and anything they have to do with anything. I have long size made the vow that Facebook and its affiliates get zero dollars of my money and zero seconds of my attention.

We keep reading articles about how Facebook is on the way out, its core userbase of young hip twentysomethings is evaporating quickly, and soon its largest remaining userbase will be the octogenarian set, etc. The bubble is about ready to pop, and I predict (maybe we can have a good laugh at this in a year or two as well) that Facebook is very quickly going to go the way of Myspace, Livejournal, etc.: Namely, they still kinda-sorta exist but nobody save for a very small core few actually give a fuck, and neither of them are exactly cash cows.

So all they needed was money? (1)

johnsie (1158363) | about 5 months ago | (#46614417)

There are plenty of other sources to get income from. But instead they took the easy option and sold their soul to the devil. And for the amount of money they were offered, who wouldn't? The bad guys in this are Facebook. They already have access to too much personal information about people. They don't need any more.

Re: So all they needed was money? (2)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 5 months ago | (#46614507)

Yea, but I am pretty sure anyone would sell their soul (metaphorically) when the buyer is offer in somewhere between 100 and 1000x what you are actually worth.

Consider Oculus is "just another" VR company, with their biggest innovation being that they were crowd funded, and their product barely released and with a fairly small audience (due to price, interest, motion sickness, etc).

Being bought for more than what Google paid for YouTube.

Being bought for at least 100x more than what FB could have developed for themselves, closer inline with what FB wants to do with the product.

Mind boggling.

You can't polish a turd. (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 5 months ago | (#46614431)

You can't polish a turd. You can, however, glue another turd to it.

Re:You can't polish a turd. (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 5 months ago | (#46614685)

Put more correctly: if you put a cup of cherries into a mixing bowl with a quart of dog turds and stirr.....

Re:You can't polish a turd. (3, Funny)

ag0ny (59629) | about 5 months ago | (#46614713)

Not true:

Mythbusters Polishing a Turd
https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

Re:You can't polish a turd. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46615461)

Not true:

Mythbusters Polishing a Turd
https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

Nope. They polished "poop", they most certainly did not polish a "turd".

Re:You can't polish a turd. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46615413)

I hatezzzz da Faxeb00ch!!!!!
 
HERP!!!!

Re:You can't polish a turd. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46615467)

You most certainly can polish a turd (Mythbusters proved it)! The problem is, all you have now is shiny shit.

Re:You can't polish a turd. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46615663)

I see you've used CVS and Subversion?

                     

It's really rather simple... (3, Interesting)

Assmasher (456699) | about 5 months ago | (#46614455)

The backlash is because many people who are comfortable with tech think FaceBook are the biggest bunch of douches in the tech world. The primary reason they feel that way is because FaceBook treats EVERYTHING as an avenue to generate revenue off of your personal life, treats everything as if it belongs to them, and makes decisions about privacy that any rational person would recognize as highly questionable and implements them simply because they will result in a likely revenue stream.

Who wouldn't want a company like that taking a fledgling tech darling that many people really were going to make gaming soooo much better?

"Hi, little baby unicorn, meet Darth Vader - he's going to raise you..."

For myself, I can't wait to put on my partially subsidized Oculus-berg and play Elite Dangerous and dodge asteroids textured in Vistaprint ads and a constant background subliminal audio soundtrack about whatever the latest f***ing things is that Dr. Oz is hawking...

Re:It's really rather simple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46614879)

Meet Palmer Lucky, the unicorn [imgur.com] .

The future of VR just got it's first sponsor. (4, Interesting)

geekmux (1040042) | about 5 months ago | (#46614471)

" Facebook just staked their claim to a big slab of land in the heart of some virtual country they'll likely let us see someday — via Oculus.""

Uh..."let" us see it?

This is please login to Facebook to continue we're talking about here, which is exactly what you're going to see when you power on the new and improved FaceRift; a Facebook login prompt.

And our new vision of future VR just got its first major sponsor.

If you thought the internet got annoying with "Like us" popping up every damn where you click, just wait until your new branded internet VR/3D comes out...it'll make NASCAR advertising tactics look like your neighbors garage sale.

Re:The future of VR just got it's first sponsor. (1)

evanism (600676) | about 5 months ago | (#46614719)

With a built in retina scanner that will positively ID you and follow your goddam eyeball....where did you look, how long, how frequently.

This is evil.

fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46614497)

Seriously. The bubble is going to burst and burst hard.

New toy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46614577)

It feels like Zuck has so much money to spend that he thought he'd get himself an expensive new toy. I mean, come on, how many expensive sport supercars can one get before they're not fun anymore?

OR is just the right toy for a buy, and that isn't RealTouch :)

Hold that thought. Zuck should probably get RT too - using a shell company, so the headlines don't say "Faceporn - Facebook gets into porn" - and with an OR+RT bundle he might even rule the world. Better Facebook than Sony in this case.

Re:New toy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46614593)

On second thought, he might have some competition from Microsoft. They may want RT for their own Windows platform. You know, the one that socks cock...

Re:New toy (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 5 months ago | (#46614631)

It feels like Zuck has so much money to spend that he thought he'd get himself an expensive new toy.

That is all it feels to me too.

Re:New toy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46614763)

Right toy for a boy*.

And the word in the reply isn't spelled "socks"...

Perhaps this is insurance for FB (3, Interesting)

umafuckit (2980809) | about 5 months ago | (#46614599)

FB are now so established and enmeshed into other services that they are unlikely to suffer the fate of previous social networks. Nonetheless, it's hard to shake off the thought that users are fickle and FB's popularity may suddenly wane. Perhaps FB see it that way and they want to branch out into something more "solid", like hardware, or perhaps they've just decided that they have the cash and want to do something cool with it. Either way, it seems likely that this will mean a better Oculus arriving sooner. It might have a FB logo on it, and FB might have services for it. But so what? I don't have a FB account and if I bought an Occulus to play games then why would I worry about FB? I get why there's backlash but in reality, when you strip the emotion from it, it's likely a good thing for VR.

Re:Perhaps this is insurance for FB (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#46614801)

You seem to be making the optimistic assumption that the facebook integration will go no deeper than the logo... They may or may not be motivated to do so; but if they fancy making the hardware next to useless without talking to their mothership, that's totally doable.

Re:Perhaps this is insurance for FB (1)

umafuckit (2980809) | about 5 months ago | (#46614845)

Yep, I'm being optimistic--I admit it. I don't think they'd be dumb enough to cripple the product by requiring FB integration. By my reading they haven't even done this with Instagram, so why would they do it with a gaming headset? That would be daft. Of course I could well be wrong, but given the absence of any real information as to what's going on it seems premature to write off the whole thing and just assume FB will fuck it all up. Let's see the product first.

Re:Perhaps this is insurance for FB (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about 5 months ago | (#46615305)

You underestimate the marketing scum: just as with all the sites with the FB logo, of occulus will require you to have FB account with your real name

I am just hoping for a Scanners future.... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 5 months ago | (#46614617)

As long as the dumb people heads explode, this can only become a very good thing for the world.

Pure Evil (1)

evanism (600676) | about 5 months ago | (#46614695)

It would have been nicer if it had help from a company that isnt pure evil.

not buying it (1)

mnt (1796310) | about 5 months ago | (#46614743)

and no amount of weasel words will change my mind.

Ridiculous VR headgear (1)

SpankiMonki (3493987) | about 5 months ago | (#46614749)

Who would wear one of these ludicrous contraptions? I mean, something like this [realtouch.com] or this [lovepalz.com] seems fashionable...but only a complete douchebag would want to be seen wearing one of those Oculus/Sony gadgets.

Re:Ridiculous VR headgear (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46615381)

When I play computer games I'm alone in my apartment, so who the fuck cares about what I look like?

FB angling to own VR? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46614923)

I think Zuckerberg ran out of other people's ideas after FB and is flailing in all directions to get into something (anything) else other than the sinking ship of FB to stay afloat. So he's going to use Oculus as the stalking horse to nail down every remotely relevant patent via his troll army of the undead (aka patent lawyers) and end up owning VR the way MS owned the PC OS. Otherwise $2B makes no sense.

Wrong headline. (2)

LoRdTAW (99712) | about 5 months ago | (#46615367)

The headline should read: How Facebook and Oculus are Astroturfing to Make You Think it Could Be a Great Combination

Facebook and supply chain management (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 5 months ago | (#46615499)

The headwear already famously suffered from a supply chain issue...

And Facebook was their choice to help with this? Facebook might be very good at some things but supply chain management isn't exactly in their wheelhouse. Facebook could provide the deep pockets to deal with problems but manufacturing isn't their thing.

The bit that made me laugh was an interview with a board member I heard recently on NPR where he said something (paraphrasing here) like "we thought long and hard about this acquisition". They were offered $2 billion for a company not worth a fraction of that. If they didn't sprain something saying "Yes!" too fast then they were in violation of their fiduciary duty.

Twas Hinted at... (1)

byteframe (924916) | about 5 months ago | (#46615535)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

^ Did any one catch this hint from weeks past? :)

Now, I love huffing the FB hate fumes as much as y'all, (reminds of the the good ol' days with fuss-beta campaign), but there's really nothing to worry about. This will be an open technology, as it would have to be. It's not as though Occulus will be the only provider of VR hardware -- the many eventual brands and variants are going to be purchased for the purposes of playing Steam games with the OpenVR/SteamVR libraries. You're first kit could be a Sony.

It's all good! YES, there will be a Facebook Matrix/SecondLife, and it _will_ require an account. I imagine like Facebook generally, it will be loosely about dating and sex. That could very well turn many of you into FB account holders, don't lie. If you can feel somewhat assuaged now, maybe it will seem good to you that they now have all them dollars.

I'm mainly upset that they didn't sell out to Valve, the cool company. How much gold did they offer Occulus?

FB exclusive, bad for Occulus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46615733)

As awesome as everyone seems to think FB is, not everyone thinks so, the result is less market and exposure of Occulus. Call it like it is, a FB exclusive.

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