Zuckerberg Buys Oculus Rift: Will the Gaming Community Feel the Impact?

h1ylsw6l0r3nlq8iohrbWhether we would like to admit it, or not, Facebook has been an essential part of the gaming community for quite a while now.  Whether it be Farmville, Bubble Witch Saga, Candy Crush, or more, Facebook has been the hub for time consuming games.  Although most of those games are also available on mobile, Facebook has stayed relevant as a marketing tool for the games, as well as a “cheat” of sorts to play longer.  For example, when I use all of my lives in Candy Crush on my mobile device, I can log into Facebook and instantly have five more waiting for me.  Not that I would do that…erm…back on topic now.

Although this is not necessarily a Nintendo post, it could have an impact on gamin in general, including Nintendo.

Recently, Facebook announced that it is buying Oculus VR for $2 billion!  Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg has stated that the purchase will be utilized as a a multiple use device, not just for gaming.  However, gaming is the beginning focus.  With the purchase, there is no word on whether Facebook plans into getting into the video game market, beyond the footprint it already holds within the boundaries of Facebook gaming.  However, Facebook’s decision in regards to which developers can take advantage of the device, as well as the consoles that those devs will develop for, could make a large imprint on the gaming industry’s future.

Virtual realiity gaming is not new, just look at the amazing (insert sarcasm) Virtual boy and the success it had! Sony seems to have a good feel for what the Virtual boy could have/should have been with their new device, and Microsoft will probably throw their hat in the game eventually.  However, the Oculus Rift seems to be the cream of the crop so far.  Zuckerberg had the following to say:

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

Here is what the team at Oculus has to say:

We started Oculus with a vision of delivering incredible, affordable, and ubiquitous consumer virtual reality to the world. We’ve come a long way in the last 18 months: from foam core prototypes built in a garage to an incredible community of active and talented developers with more than 75,000 development kits ordered. In the process, we’ve defined what consumer virtual reality needs to be and what it’s going to require to deliver it.

A few months ago, Mark, Chris, and Cory from the Facebook team came down to visit our office, see the latest demos, and discuss how we could work together to bring our vision to millions of people. As we talked more, we discovered the two teams shared an even deeper vision of creating a new platform for interaction that allows billions of people to connect in a way never before possible.

Today, we’re pleased to announce that we’ve joined forces with Facebook to create the best virtual reality platform in the world.

At first glance, it might not seem obvious why Oculus is partnering with Facebook, a company focused on connecting people, investing in internet access for the world and pushing an open computing platform. But when you consider it more carefully, we’re culturally aligned with a focus on innovating and hiring the best and brightest; we believe communication drives new platforms; we want to contribute to a more open, connected world; and we both see virtual reality as the next step.

Most important, Facebook understands the potential for VR. Mark and his team share our vision for virtual reality’s potential to transform the way we learn, share, play, and communicate. Facebook is a company that believes that anything is possible with the right group of people, and we couldn’t agree more.

This partnership is one of the most important moments for virtual reality: it gives us the best shot at truly changing the world. It opens doors to new opportunities and partnerships, reduces risk on the manufacturing and work capital side, allows us to publish more made-for-VR content, and lets us focus on what we do best: solving hard engineering challenges and delivering the future of VR.Over the next 10 years, virtual reality will become ubiquitous, affordable, and transformative, and it begins with a truly next-generation gaming experience. This partnership ensures that the Oculus platform is coming, and that it’s going to change gaming forever.

We’ll see you in the Metaverse!

– Palmer, Brendan, John and the Oculus team

Although the impact on Nintendo will not be direct, it seems that the video game industry as a whole is about to experience a shake-up.  What are your thoughts?

 

7 Responses to Zuckerberg Buys Oculus Rift: Will the Gaming Community Feel the Impact?

  1. BornFlunky says:

    They can’t even do half the things they want to do with a simple computer screen, and they take this gaming-oriented success story and just do… this. I… ugh.

    Maybe it hasn’t really sunk in yet, but as of this particular moment, this is incredibly saddening and frustrating.

  2. King Bowser says:

    The Virtual Boy was not a virtual reality device.

  3. Bowser's Daddy says:

    Bowser,

    Son, I am disappointed in you. I thought I raised you better than this, which is why I am not surprised that you are overweight and failing to capture the love of your life as she pursues someone with less appeal than yourself. I also read the above article, and find that the use of the phrase “Insert Sarcasm” tells us that he was not being serious. This form of oversight is exactly why your plans are always foiled by a fat man with a plunger. The Virtual boy was marketed as a virtual reality device due to the “true 3D”

    “The Virtual Boy (バーチャルボーイ Bācharu Bōi?) (Originally known as VR-32.) is a table-top video game console developed and manufactured by Nintendo. It was marketed as the first “portable” video game console capable of displaying “true 3D graphics” out of the box, in the form of virtual reality.”

    Son, I feel that I have failed you as a father, treating you like a prince and sheltering you underneath my bosom. However, I feel that it is time to correct my mistakes and make good of the situation that I have created.

    As of now I am asking that you vacate our time-share castle and allow others to take advantage of the lower rates I am advertising. Please remove all of the pests that you have invited in throughout the years. I am giving you 30 days to make this a reality. You can then move back home and abide by my rules, or you can go live with your mother and her disgraceful husband, King Wart. Maybe then you can be a true prince until he dies and makes you king. I know you hate vegetables, so you should be happy at home with him.

    Meanwhile, I will be here in my mansion sipping on pina coladas and feasting upon steak and fresh salads, taking an occasional shot of Whiskey.

    I am sorry it has to come to this, but your antics have brought nothing but disgrace to me and my social status. Archibald Horatio Agnatio Bowser, or Ahab as we used to call you when you were little, I do still love you, but sometimes love has to hurt. As a part of this punishment, I will be cutting off your access to our Credit cards and emergency funds.

    Have a good life,

    Daddy

  4. King Bowser says:

    If only.

    The Virtual Boy may have been marketed with some pop words including “virtual reality,” but those were only buzzwords as the device was only meant to show off a new 3D technology that Nintendo had access to. Which makes it, in this respect, not comparable to the Rift in any way (sarcasm or not) as they are entirely different devices. An argument on the lack of success of the Virtual Boy from a 3D standpoint is also possibly unfounded considering the continued success of the 3DS. The Virtual Boy went the way of the Dodo for other obvious reasons.

    Enjoy the pina coladas. I hate those little umbrellas anyway.

  5. Lou says:

    The Virtual Boy went so fast, I’m not sure it should count as anything. But regardless of what the marketing materials said, in no way was it a virtual reality device. It had one color for crying out loud.

    Maybe one day VR will take off, but given that few people use Kinect, Move tanked horribly, and hardly anyone uses the 3D feature on the 3DS, I guess I’m skeptical of widely accepted use.

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