Is Oculus Rift Safe On Facebook's Hand?

Facebook's recent purchase of Oculus VR for $2 billion has been unexpected and shocking. Can they deliver Oculus Rift's true promise?

By Grayshadow, Posted 30 Mar 2014

Recently an unexpected and shocking business transaction took place: Facebook purchased Oculus VR for $2 billion. In response to this sudden transaction, various people expressed their fear and anger. Ranging from consumers to prominent figures within the video game industry, each provided personal livid views. Many believed that this promising Kickstarter project sold out, and that this new medium would become an ad riddled social device. While Facebook has a dubious relationship with a lot of people, it’s safe to say that the Oculus Rift is indeed safe within their hands, despite the outrage. They’ve purchased many companies and judging from the initial interviews about the partnership, it seems that Oculus VR’s path hasn’t shifted.

Oculus Rift,Oculus VR,Facebook,Virtual Reality,Gaming,Virtual Video Games,Mark Zuckerberg

A common fear that a lot of people are exhibiting is that Facebook will ruin the original gaming intentions of the Oculus Rift. The assumption is that it’ll be an inferior experience populated with ads despite CEO and founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, stating that they’re “going to focus on helping Oculus build out their product and develop partnerships to support more games,” and allow them to operate independently while at the same time “make Oculus a platform for many other experiences.” This of course didn’t change people’s feelings towards the deal, especially Markus “Notch” Persson who canceled the Oculus Rift support for Minecraft because he didn’t want to work on social experiences.

Oculus VR didn’t see the transaction in the same negative light as everyone else. Instead, Oculus VR explained how joining Facebook would ensure a more affordable Oculus Rift, which was a concern after a manufacturer stopped making a certain component. They also supported Zukerberg’s claim that this partnership wouldn’t mean serious changes. In the past Facebook has purchased various companies and have practiced similar procedures.

Oculus Rift,Oculus VR,Facebook,Virtual Reality,Gaming,Virtual Video Games,Mark Zuckerberg

This is the first time Facebook has purchased a hardware company, and with the software companies they’ve purchased in the past, little changes have been made. For example, Instagram was acquired by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion in cash and stock, and while both companies grew, little to no alternations were made to the application. Unlike Instagram, the market appeal to Oculus Rift is still unknown.

Virtual reality’s mass market appeal also hasn’t been proven. This type of technology hasn’t become readily available to the public, and attempting to use the same revenue model that Facebook currently uses, such as ad support, would be detrimental to its success. Let’s face it, virtual reality technology still carries a lot of disgrace among gamers because of the Virtual Boy and could be another gimmick, like 3D. But as I Zukerberg stated, they’ve given Oculus VR the ability to work independently.

Unlike 3D, the Oculus Rift was primarily known among gamers and other technology fanatics. Facebook is more mainstream, understood by a wider audience in various communities and fields, and that shouldn’t be a primary concern. Now more people will know about this expensive headset, increasing the chances of higher sales. With Sony entering the field with Project Morpheus, Oculus VR has a better chance of expanding instead of being at the mercy of a larger and more powerful company.

Oculus Rift,Oculus VR,Facebook,Virtual Reality,Gaming,Virtual Video Games,Mark Zuckerberg

Right now it’s uncertain how this deal will transpire, for now we’ll have to wait and see but shouldn’t be vexed because of this uncertainty. Both Facebook and Oculus VR have said all the right things to quell any annoyance that has been assumed because of this deal, but the overreaction of the community has overshadowed the positivity this will have on VR technology. Oculus VR is in a better position of delivering a quality product at an affordable price, that can possibly provide more services than just gaming in the future because of Facebook’s support.

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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