UPDATED: Oculus headset may get Facebook rebrand, price cut

More juicy news fodder is floating to the surface after yesterday’s announcement that Facebook plans to buy Oculus VR. In a story about the deal, the New York Times quotes a source who claims Facebook will eventually redesign and rebrand the Oculus headset:

According to a person involved in the deal who was not allowed to speak publicly because he was not authorized by either company, Facebook eventually plans to redesign the Oculus hardware and rebrand it with a Facebook interface and logo.

Update: In a statement to TechCrunch, Facebook has denied the allegation by the Times’ source. The rumored redesign is "not true and not in the spirit of our relationship [with Oculus]," Facebook says.

As the Times points out, news of the acquisition has also given one developer cold feet. Minecraft creator Markus Persson tweeted this yesterday:

We were in talks about maybe bringing a version of Minecraft to Oculus. I just cancelled that deal. Facebook creeps me out.

Still, the deal’s architects maintain that it makes sense. In a blog post on the company’s website, Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey says that he, too, had his reservations at first—but was eventually convinced:

When Facebook first approached us about partnering, I was skeptical. As I learned more about the company and its vision and spoke with Mark, the partnership not only made sense, but became the clear and obvious path to delivering virtual reality to everyone. Facebook was founded with the vision of making the world a more connected place. Virtual reality is a medium that allows us to share experiences with others in ways that were never before possible.

Luckey goes on to promise "[v]ery little changes day-to-day at Oculus," although he says the company will have "substantially more resources to build the right team." And speaking of resources, Luckey had some interesting things to add on Reddit:

We have not gotten into all the details yet, but a lot of the news is coming. The key points:

1) We can make custom hardware, not rely on the scraps of the mobile phone industry. That is insanely expensive, think hundreds of millions of dollars. More news soon.

2) We can afford to hire everyone we need, the best people that fit into our culture of excellence in all aspects.

3) We can make huge investments in content. More news soon.

Luckey went on to note, "This deal specifically lets us greatly lower the price of the Rift." That jibes with a related InfoWorld story that quotes Mark Zuckerberg as saying, "We’re not going to try to make a profit selling the devices, long-term. We view this as a software and services thing." It sounds like Facebook could follow in the footsteps of console vendors with a razor-and-blades business model for the Oculus Rift.

I suppose that sounds pretty good. Then again, I can’t help but notice that Luckey looks a little conflicted in the mugshot at the bottom of his blog post. Maybe he just got a call from Zuck about a FarmVille-branded Oculus headset…

Comments closed
    • Cuhulin
    • 9 years ago

    The VC firms are all about either (1) IPO or (2) buyout quickly. The IPO route required getting the product to market, and that is not happening quickly as they learn more and more about making VR work.

    So, it is probable that the investors were, in fact, pushing the deal.

    • d0g_p00p
    • 9 years ago

    To be fair FB has a dedicated hardware team so access to that would be great for Oculus. But yeah becoming a instant millionaire or billionaire would be next to impossible to turn down.

    • yammerpickle2
    • 9 years ago

    Had they gone with Valve they could have called it the Oculus headcrab. They might have been able to make an optional skin to make it look like headcrab.

    • sschaem
    • 9 years ago

    From m. Zuckerburg words.. Fb will sell the device at cost because they will make money by turning this as a “software as a service thing”

    This mean you will pay for the HW, and pay again and again every time you put this Facebook device on your face.

    BTW, you can bet FB army of layers will crush any new company that want to make a vr headset for the rest of us…. This new era of vr won’t be faugh in the r&d labs, but in court rooms.

    • thracia91
    • 9 years ago

    “The problem is that Java just doesn’t have the oompf (low-level system performance) to sustain 60fps at high def with the standard graphics libraries they are using.” Haha, are you serious? I play Minecraft in 2304×1440 (that’s 60% more pixels than “full HD” by the way) and last I checked I got hundreds of frames per second. There are admittedly many problems with coding a game in Java the way they did with Minecraft, but getting enough frames per second out of contemporary hardware is not one of them.

    • NeoForever
    • 9 years ago

    As it often is, they took the path that “made sense” in terms of making money.

    • sigher
    • 9 years ago

    They can give them for free but they won’t get my name and address to send it to. Nor will their mail arrive and announcements on their site been seen by me since that’s all blocked.
    Poor guys.

    • sigher
    • 9 years ago

    The purchase was done shortly after oculus announced they had finalized the last and final design to be shipped to developers as I recall. So yes it’s a good time to buy since you basically have a finished product and yet are in time to push your own spin on it before the retail one is out and doing it later is both not convenient and also will upset even more people.

    As for carmack, he was a driving force behind what set the oculus rift apart from all previous VR headsets by his special approach from the view of gamers. And seeing he was such a big influence I expect he was OK with the sellout.
    Although it will be interesting to hear if he sticks with the outfit in the (near) future.

    • squeeb
    • 9 years ago

    lol

    • sigher
    • 9 years ago

    “You”? I think not, facebook dweebs maybe, but that’s good because the limited field of view makes attacking them easier I imagine as the twats walk around tethered to their macbooks.

    • sigher
    • 9 years ago

    “When Facebook first approached us about partnering, I was skeptical. As I learned more about the..” money all greed came out and won me over.

    • jihadjoe
    • 9 years ago

    Riftbook?

    • thor84no
    • 9 years ago

    There’s a world of difference between carrying a device in my pocket and having half my face covered by one while I head down the shops. I’m sure I have little to no idea what your average Joe will think of such things, but I don’t think I’m alone in saying I’d never ever want to use an OR in a form remotely similar to what they are today in public. Now, if I could have full-view AR in a pair of glasses or contacts, that’s something else altogether.

    • ZGradt
    • 9 years ago

    It’s still possible that Linux will get support, but who knows? I doubt it’s a big concern for Facebook. It’s all speculation anyway.

    I never said that I was concerned about the price. I have a v2 on pre-order, which is going to cost me almost $400 out-the-door. I just got sick of waiting. I passed on Rift v1 because of the crappy resolution, lack of motion tracking, and lack of software. Hopefully v2 will arrive right about the time Star Citizen releases their dog-fighting module. I figure I’ll get that for now, and grab a second one for player 2 when the “commercial” version becomes available.

    I wouldn’t mind paying $600 for one of these gizmos if it really lives up the the hype. Make it a walled-in garden that only runs what they want you to run, and I’ll quickly lose interest.

    Besides, this early in the game, do you think that Oculus is really concerned about the price? Commodity items compete on price. Right now, they have a monopoly. They can’t make them fast enough. Would it be bad for the consumer if Apple or Amazon decides to make a Rift-killer? Competition is good.

    Look, I happily paid some outrageous amount for my iPhone 3GS back in 2008(2009? I forget). Do I regret it? No. It was a great device, and nobody else was even close at the time. But look around today. I can have my pick of a variety of smartphones that are all equally capable. I think it would be a great roadmap for VR goggles as well.

    Instead, it sounds like they are trying to use the Rift as a way to get their foot in the door and then swamp you with ads and services while carefully hoarding even more personal information for whatever nefarious uses they have planned. All this in the name of bringing down the initial cost of ownership. If that is the case, and if it works, they’ll have a lock on the market which will raise a barrier to entry for any competition. Definitely not a good thing for us.

    Time will tell.

    • Yeats
    • 9 years ago

    I can’t help but think of headcrabs now. Gonna have to start carrying a crowbar…

    • hoboGeek
    • 9 years ago

    [quote<]When Facebook first approached us about partnering[/quote<] , Mark said : You've gotta ask yourself a question: "Do I feel Luckey?" Well, do ya, punk?

    • Bensam123
    • 9 years ago

    Why would you want to carry around a device that plays minigames and allows people to constantly get in touch with you no matter what?

    I’m sure a lot of things we now do would seem preposterous in the past… but that’s why we’re heading to the future.

    • thor84no
    • 9 years ago

    I can’t read this without imagining it as a dystopian future. Why on earth would you want to wear VR while walking around in your everyday life? Google glass is already ridiculous enough, the idea of wearing a full VR headset in public just seems preposterous.

    • thor84no
    • 9 years ago

    I fail to see how just by accepting more capital he’d suddenly have no choice but to go for a deal like this. There was no reason to think OR wasn’t going to be successful on its own – none at all. Those investors would have invested mostly on the grounds of OR as it was, not on its potential to be bought by Facebook – no one really seemed to expect that at all.

    • thor84no
    • 9 years ago

    So what if Facebook would have made software for the Oculus regardless? You honestly think them making software as a completely independent third party would be the same as when they hold controlling shares and can in essence do whatever they want to the Oculus? No chance that they’ll take the opportunity to bake some of said software in by default? Is Facebook so above abusing their position in your book?

    • Puiucs
    • 9 years ago

    your “good enough” made most of the people sick from using the VR headset after just a few minutes of gameplay.
    now they have the money for better hardware and software. the deal with facebook changes nothing. facebook would have had software made for the oculus regardless.
    people bitching about the buyout are just looking for a reason to write hate comments for no good reason. most the facebook buyouts turned out alright.
    it’s good to take what they say with a grain of salt, but it’s not smart to become an tinfoil hat idiot.

    • Puiucs
    • 9 years ago

    do you even know what the word proprietary means? does it matter if the tech comes from phones or from what they made? they already have tons proprietary tech inside that thing. linux support depends only on they software development team. and now they actually have the money to hire more people to work on software.
    Sony announced that their VR headset might launch at under 300$. Oculus can’t compete with that price if another big company releases a VR headset for windows.

    John Carmack is still working on improving the oculus headset and now they have the money to make it cheaper and actually have software at launch.

    All of you should stop crying like little kids and be glad that oculus is growing so fast.

    • ZGradt
    • 9 years ago

    “”We’re not going to try to make a profit selling the devices, long-term. We view this as a software and services thing.” It sounds like Facebook could follow in the footsteps of console vendors with a razor-and-blades business model for the Oculus Rift.”

    That sounds so sketchy. I was hoping to purchase a Rift as I would a monitor, but this sounds more like I’m going to be stuck buying “apps” from a “marketplace” or something.

    “1) We can make custom hardware, not rely on the scraps of the mobile phone industry. That is insanely expensive, think hundreds of millions of dollars. More news soon.”

    Proprietary hardware… Yay… That means they can force you to only run their code. And don’t count on Linux drivers…

    This makes me sad. It sounded like they had a good deal going, with the Carmack and the enhancements in Crystal Cove. I really have no idea what Facebook can bring to the table, other than buckets of cash. And businesses never throw cash at anything unless they think that they’ll get more cash in return.

    • yammerpickle2
    • 9 years ago

    As a backer I’m betrayed. The ink is not even dry, and they have already gone from VR community hero to ad boy sell outs. Now to rub it in the faces of the community that helped develop the tech, and generate the buzz that helped them secure funding they are going further humiliate us with facebook branding.

    • Grigory
    • 9 years ago

    Perfect!

    • Bensam123
    • 9 years ago

    Rebranding probably will happen in one form or another, not sure about the interface… I didn’t think the Oculus had a interface as it’s not like a smartphone.

    I really don’t think this merger will go the way people think it will, with the Rift just becoming a Facebook trinket. Rather it’ll end up as a virtual reality device people are inclined to wear everywhere, something like Googleglass^2. Since real HUDs don’t really exist right now outside of military (expensive and limited), the next best thing is looking at a display with a camera on the front, which the Rift already can do.

    You’d essentially be able to walk through life while wired into the matrix. Stuff would pop up on your hud, which is really just a visor of sorts. It leads me to question what would happen staring at a screen two inches in front of your face for prolonged periods of time though. If that’s all people looked at 99% of the time…

    There are other big companies that have their fingers in much more then what their business originally started with, IBM/Google/Samsung/GE, it looks like Facebook is ready to graduate.

    • Bensam123
    • 9 years ago

    Aye, this is small game politics. He figured he could win more love with the community if he simply canceled the deal and a modder would make it anyway.

    If they were committed to VR, they would be partnering with a different VR headset, but they didn’t.

    • Vaughn
    • 9 years ago

    While I think the news is terrible.

    Most people would sell out given this opportunity!

    I’m kinda surprised at all the shock and awe this is kinda the status quo these days.

    Or become a CEO tank a company and get a nice big paycheck on the way out. Just to get hired again to do it all over.

    • JohnC
    • 9 years ago

    [url<]http://i.imgur.com/xbmzqYp.gif[/url<]

    • Cyco-Dude
    • 9 years ago

    the demise of 3dfx is totally different and has nothing to do with this. as for minecraft, there is already a mod that enables or support so no need for a “knock-off”. i don’t see how notch supporting or would limit his choices or freedom. is the fear that if you use or, you can’t use anything else? is the fear that fb will be embedded somehow in your game? these fears are unfounded, and go against what has been said regarding fb’s acquisition of or.

    i’m just tired of people now ditching support of the tech just because of the fb deal. time will tell if it was good for them or not…i’ll leave the tinfoil hat scenarios to someone else and just watch and wait.

    • NovusBogus
    • 9 years ago

    [quote<]I just don't see a logical reason why a social networking site would buy a company that is making a phyiscal product, and one that is not directly tied to social networking[/quote<] ...which is exactly why they might want to buy Oculus Rift. Facebook wants *everything* to be tied to social media, organic or not.

    • Ari Atari
    • 9 years ago

    Ya…. I don’t think I could really say “I’m jacking off now.” when I’m done playing.

    • fhohj
    • 9 years ago

    VR ads.

    imagine what that is gonna be like. just think about that for a little while.

    yyea.

    • fhohj
    • 9 years ago

    Agreed. It has to be Facebook’s attempt to be more like a Microsoft or an Apple. I guess someone thought that this was as good a chance as any at getting their name on a device that would get market penetration. I think the head-scratching over it all is indicative of how few options Facebook had to get in on this type of thing. Between Microsoft, Sony, Apple, Google, and ISPs, there’s already other large companies with their flags on the ground somewhere in the whole “content device” thing. So this was their best shot in a way.

    I personally don’t like it one bit though.

    • Grigory
    • 9 years ago

    That Facebook is entirely about collecting all your personal information to sell to advertisers to make money is nonsense. They are also about collecting all your personal information to sell to intelligence agencies to make money and help the current US administration.

    • kt3946
    • 9 years ago

    That may be what people’s _issue_ about the buyout are, but they have nothing to do with the reality of the matter.

    Notch had stated specifically, numerous times before, that if any Oculus development were to commence, they would likely not be coming from the Minecraft team. Namely because they don’t want to move away from the Java based platform. Hence why the Xbox360 and other platform teams are actually different groups partnering with them on the projects. The problem is that Java just doesn’t have the oompf (low-level system performance) to sustain 60fps at high def with the standard graphics libraries they are using. This could be easily done with a custom Windows/PC or MacOSX native application, just not with the JVM framework interfering as such. Notch wasn’t all that up on the idea unless another group was going to take over development of that custom framework rather than tie up his teams time on it. So, the VR partnership was already nearly off the table from the get go, since Oculus wasn’t necessarily prepared to do all the development work on it anyways.

    The fact that Notch, who is a big privacy advocate and hates even the _idea_ of Facebook would back out knowing that they are their owners, is no big surprise here.

    Facebook, is one of the highest-tech companies out there. Nearing Google in complexity regarding their platform. Their server, platform, and data center teams have been contributing greatly to the open source community. They have heavily contributed server and platform designs to the Open Compute project (www.opencompute.org) and have been a stellar community representative in many regards.

    So while the basis of their revenue turns many people off (even though tons of OTHER companies do it WITHOUT your knowledge), the fact of the matter is, they’ve been a great community supporter and giving back to the tech community at large.

    What this will _really_ do is give Oculus the financial freedom to explore more. Rather than using cast-offs of the Phone industry, they can now go to manufacturers directly and negotiate on the quality, technical considerations, and details that they were unable to before. This will give them the financial backing they need to actually make all of this a REALITY rather than just some Nintendo Power-Glove experiment…

    The real problem is that Facebook’s investors are likely in a tizzy about this. They can’t see beyond the next quarter’s statement, and long-term purchases like this, with no real potential short-term revenues strike at the heart of their investor strategies (same reason Tim Cook is getting all the hate from investors at Apple).

    Facebook, having no direct play into the platform, will likely give the Oculus team plenty of space to do their thing. Anyone else buying them out (Microsoft, Sony, Apple) would likely pull them apart into the organization and kill pretty much every creative outlet these guys have. The fact that Facebook bought them might just be the best thing that could have happened….

    Only time will tell…

    • ludi
    • 9 years ago

    You’re overthinking this IMO. Facebook recently spent [i<]$19 billion[/i<] for WhatsApp; the Oculus purchase is chump change by comparison. And although Facebook is public, Zuckerberg still holds a 57% controlling interest in Facebook, which means he is the primary investor. Given that the company IPO'd at $104 billion after starting as a life as an online college yearbook, I don't think the other investors are in any hurry to bail.

    • Goofus Maximus
    • 9 years ago

    All visions come into better focus, when they are printed over many iterations of Ben Franklin’s face… the more Franklins you see, the clearer the vision becomes!

    • Goofus Maximus
    • 9 years ago

    I’m glad. Just think if the product name turned into the “Face-Face” or the “Occulus Wall”…

    • lilbuddhaman
    • 9 years ago

    He’s saying that the $75 mil that they got in Dec 2013 was from investors that wanted to see a return, and those investors would have destroyed him and the company had he not accepted the deal with Facebook.

    They were screwed as soon as they accepted that money (and another ~20mil?) previously to get their product moving.

    • sschaem
    • 9 years ago

    The issue is not about the tech, but about a data mining corporation now owning and controlling this product. The stars are not the same, facebook is entirely about collecting all your personal information to sell to advertisers to make money. People just have a hard time believing this model is beneficial to the original virtual reality and gaming agenda of Oculus .

    Its also the death of a young upstart that gamers where really rooting for, nothing really that exciting came along in a long, long time. (3DFX come to mind)
    Now their is nothing left to root for…
    Each of those guys have now hundreds of millions after 24month of R&D and answer to facebook agenda.

    David just became Goliath…

    And for Minecraft, its about integrity of belief.
    So far he decided to stay independent and have the freedom to make personal decisions…
    But Minecraft clones are now a dime a dozen, so I’m sure the free market will offer you a Oculus rift enabled voxel world to play in.

    • Entroper
    • 9 years ago

    The part about rebranding the headset has been officially denied by Facebook: [url<]http://techcrunch.com/2014/03/26/facebook-oculus/[/url<]

    • Welch
    • 9 years ago

    Let me get this right? Your suggesting that OR was failing and that in order to save himself from going bankrupt and being sued by venture capitalists that he had to take the Facebook deal…..

    Uhhh, wtf? Where exactly do you get the idea that OR was in trouble? They were on the edge of releasing its newest version as a dev kit and attached itself to development for large upcoming titles like Star Citizen. It might not have been a $2B company yet but given another year or so it would have easily surpassed that.

    OR didn’t NEED this Facebook deal, Luckey WANTED the money.

    • southrncomfortjm
    • 9 years ago

    Do not want.

    • WaltC
    • 9 years ago

    Something is really odd about all of this…for instance, suddenly mention of Carmack and his role has vanished in all of these reports (almost as if he was never an OR employee.)

    (1) It wasn’t long ago that I read in the media that Carmack quit id to work as an employee in the OR company–and Camack himself said that his contract with id didn’t allow for moonlighting–so he left id to go to OR.

    (2) Carmack’s reputation from long ago allowed OR to secure $75M in financing from a vc firm, if I correctly recall the source of the 75M.

    (3) I read yesterday on another site that *now* Carmack is a *Face Book* employee, and of course that OR is getting $400M in cash and another $1.6B in Face Book stock.

    All of this for a product that so far has yet to see the light of day on the market! A non-shipping, unproven product that literally as of this second isn’t worth a plugged nickel. I’m sure that FB stockholders have to be overjoyed about Zuckerberg’s newest multi-billion-$ purchase, with their money, from which he envisions *no profit* will be made for said stockholders, of uh…course.

    If Carmack put this together…jeepers, what a heck of a conflict of interest story this would make! I wonder what his commision, if any, just happens to be. I find it more than passing strange that his name is now absent from the publicity surrounding this deal.

    • NeronetFi
    • 9 years ago

    Does this mean that people will be presented with Ads while they are gaming on the Rift?

    • UnfriendlyFire
    • 9 years ago

    *Cringes*

    • smilingcrow
    • 9 years ago

    You jackass. 😉

    • Billstevens
    • 9 years ago

    Thats thing about taking money from investors when your a fledgling company. They are in it for the money, you are beholden to them if a major opportunity to profit comes about. Facebook made an offer they couldn’t refuse. No one else is going to pay 2 billion for a start-up that hasn’t even made a product, even if it was mostly stock.

    • Cyco-Dude
    • 9 years ago

    “We were in talks about maybe bringing a version of Minecraft to Oculus. I just cancelled that deal. Facebook creeps me out.”

    awesome, thanks a lot. what a pussy…fortunately there are a lot of modders for minecraft that will likely implement some form of oculus for the game, in spite of markus.

    i like how everyone is throwing oculus under the bus over this. at least let them get a product out, and judge that. it’s still cool tech.

    • Ninjitsu
    • 9 years ago

    Palmer Luckey gave an interview to Rock, Paper, Shotgun a few days ago, went live today:
    [url<]http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014/03/26/interview-oculus-luckey-promises-big-pre-facebook-playstation-4-morpheus[/url<]

    • puppetworx
    • 9 years ago

    Ha! This guy has a big influence amongst youngsters too who are already moving off of facebook onto more interactive, more private and less permanent pastures (Snapchat, Twitter, Secret, etc). This diversification of facebook is probably to find growth elsewhere and be less vulnerable to a seemingly inevitable future exodus a la myspace. I’m probably reading too much into this but to me all signs point to the traditional facebook going away.

    • Concupiscence
    • 9 years ago

    This is going to be a sad footnote in business history and nothing more. What a waste.

    • Irascible
    • 9 years ago

    Great post. Even FB locks it down, there are and will be competitors. The competitors may not be as good at first, but they’ll catch up. Android caught up with IOS. This will be no different.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 9 years ago

    Man, a lot of Facebook haters on this site. It’s just Facebook, guys. Even Techreport is on Facebook! I like Techreport on Facebook.

    Related to the article; To be frank I wasn’t crazy about the name [i<]Oculus Rift[/i<] anyway. Sounds kinda dorky, in a "Razer/Mad Catz" sorta way. The name should be simpler and catchy, and if possible easy to "verbify" like [i<]Google[/i<] has turned into a verb. Like uh, I dunno... [i<]Wire Jack[/i<]. Just think it aloud to yourself: [i<]Wire Jack[/i<]... You could claim to be "Jacked in" or, if playing multiplayer online, have a dialogue like, "Hey man, I'm jacked in are you jacked in, too?" "Nah, I'm just playing on my monitor for this part." "So, you're jacked off?" "... Sure. I'm jacked off."

    • Billstevens
    • 9 years ago

    Almost no one outside the tech world knew what the Oculus was. Now it will be a household name and pressure to deliver will be high. I am guessing they wouldn’t have been bought if their concept CV1 demo didn’t impress.

    Still this is clearly going to alienate a portion of the indie market which has been so vibrant on the rift. Also I really hope they don’t re-brand it with a Facebook emblem.

    Its just still sad because Lucky and his team are no longer calling the shots. Maybe today they are letting them have freedom, hopefully that wont change but re-branding sounds like a step down the wrong path.

    • Xenolith
    • 9 years ago

    The fallout has begun…

    “We were in talks about maybe bringing a version of Minecraft to Oculus,” Persson tweeted. “I just cancelled that deal. Facebook creeps me out.”

    • drfish
    • 9 years ago

    I’ve slept on it and I don’t feel any better about this news today than I did last night. What a [i<]major[/i<] disappointment. *sigh*

    • superjawes
    • 9 years ago

    1. In the cases of Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon, all of these companies developed their own products instead of buying into them, and the final product made sense for company platforms. Android meant more access to GMail, Maps, etc., Kindle meant book sales, and iPods meant iTunes sales.

    Oculus Rift means…what? The services you’re describing don’t resemble anything Facebook is doing right now. Had they already throw their hat into those games, it would make sense. Heck, if they paired this announcement with a specific service, it would make sense.

    2. I disagree with your assessment that Facebook would have to lock the platform down. Now that they own Oculus, it is in their financial interest to sell as many units as possible, and–like the Facebook website–the product feeds off content. Facebook would not be quite as powerful as it is without groups, events, games, tagging, etc.

    There might be guidelines and a process by which Facebook can remove apps in volation of those guidelines (exactly how Facebook and Youtube operate already), but I would not call that “locked.”

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 9 years ago

    I’m sure part of the deal was AT LEAST him staying on board for a year or two to smooth the transition. In the interim, he must act like he’s going to stay long term and that he did not just sell out.

    For this, he gets some pocket change and a LOT of Facebook stocks. Since he’ll have to stay a bit to sell those stocks, he must try and make Facebook’s value go up in the interim.

    What happened to the founders of Facebook and the stocks Zuckerberg offered them? 😉

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 9 years ago

    Doesn’t worry me. As soon as Facebook attached themselves to this, I wrote the whole thing off as unimportant. No worries now.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 9 years ago

    Facebook in general is in decline. Not as rapid a decline as I’d like, but the audience that really made the thing fly have already moved on. Now you just have older people who have less to do in their lives clinging to the service because they think it’s still “hip.”

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 9 years ago

    Facebook Facehugger: “They’ll have to kill you to get it off you.”

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 9 years ago

    Facebook sees itself as a Google/Microsoft/Apple competitor. They want to use their social network to build out their content delivery systems, but have lacked a physical product to bond to that idea. Think like Microsoft using Xbox (or how they tried to use Surface/Zune/Zune HD/Windows Mobile/Windows Phone). Or how Google is using Android. How Amazon has used the entire Kindle line. Apple uses… well, everything it makes.

    Facebook has a hell of a time doing the same. Their attempt at a phone fell completely flat. They can’t make a computer and the last thing people really want is to be checking their facebook page on their HDTV, right?

    But the idea of capitalizing on their social network to get people watching ball games online together? Getting people to watch TV or movie content together in a virtual space? Getting people together digitall for long periods of time together?

    There’s money there. So I sound on board, right? Except this goes completely contrary to what Luckey and Oculus are saying about how it’s going to remain open and free and just like it was always going to be. I say that because the ONLY way Facebook can capitalize on its investment and get people going through Facebook services is if Facebook’s services are the only ones available. If they keep it freely open, Netflix could show up and steal all their users away, making it an investment by Facebook that benefits everyone else.

    So Facebook is going to lock this thing down in no time at all. Just watch. It’ll be a walled garden so fast you won’t even have time to make an online petition. It’s the only way Facebook will make their money back and the only way it’ll help them with their services aspirations.

    It’s not a horrible idea for uses of the system, but the hope with Oculus (until now) was that they’d sell the unit for a minor profit, have lots of services that compete for your business, and build out a market that let people go with what was great. Now Facebook will be the arbiter of what is great. Facebook will be the company that says, “Yes” or “No” to what services can do or can’t do, what’s there and what’s not. Does Facebook seem like a company that really wants to let you ignore their services entirely? Does Facebook, for example, make it easy to leave their networks if you choose to? Do they give you an export service that works cleanly, easily, and make the process of deleting your account a painless, easy process?

    Or do they do everything in their power NOT to delete your account, keep all your info even afterward, and try to micromanage everything even remotely connected to their network?

    Unfortunately, the promise of what they’re saying is there. Facebook’s just not the company to do it without succumbing to the urge to lock it all down to “enhance” the profits to be earned from it all.

    This impacts its gaming usage because eventually the urge to lock this system into Facebook services to “improve the overall social experience” is going to be too strong. They’ll force you to shunt it through their services, complete with Facebook ID, to “help” you and to “make the experience better.”

    I imagine they’ll have Luckey still on board trumpeting those changes in a couple years as the next great advance in VR. That is, if they haven’t eroded his soul to dust by then.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 9 years ago

    Which is WHY he should have made do with “good enough” and the money he got from Kickstarter.

    He let himself be suckered into growing too far, too fast, and then went after capital he should not have sold his soul to get.

    This is where it leads.

    • nanoflower
    • 9 years ago

    Are they still hooked on those games? I know it used to be THE thing but hearing the news about the troubles that various companies like Zynga are having makes me wonder if that phase is not on the downswing at this point. Still very popular but not nearly like it was a couple of years ago.

    • BlondIndian
    • 9 years ago

    Let me rephrase that :
    [i<] When Facebook first approached us about partnering, I was skeptical. As I learned more about the company and its vision and spoke with Mark, the partnership made even less sense. However , when I saw the zeroes on that paycheck , it clicked into place . Now that I've sold me soul for a billion I might as well make positive sounds[/i<]

    • shaurz
    • 9 years ago

    Facehook?

    • Concupiscence
    • 9 years ago

    Let’s be clear: the venture capitalists who have raised money for Oculus would have had his balls if he didn’t acquiesce here. That doesn’t make it OK, but once Facebook made the offer he probably didn’t have a lot of choices that didn’t involve him getting sued, the company shutting its doors, and its IP getting scraped up by Facebook in bankruptcy proceedings anyway.

    • swaaye
    • 9 years ago

    Two things come to mind.

    1) FB games. Lots of people are addicted to FB partially because of the games.
    2) Google Glass a potential threat.

    I’m not really sure what to make of it. This deal could result in an even better mainstream gaming product than what was going to happen before. Who knows.

    • sirsoffrito
    • 9 years ago

    “You may have to make a metaphorical deal with the devil. By devil I mean robot devil. And by metaphorical I mean get your coat.”

    • xolf
    • 9 years ago

    I have to admit, the partnership would make a lot of sense to me, too, if it meant a share of $2bn coming my way…

    • blastdoor
    • 9 years ago

    “When Facebook first approached us about partnering, I was skeptical. Blah blah blah”

    Translation:

    “Money, money, money! I get lots of money! Woo hoo!”

    Not that I’m being critical — I’d sell out, too, if I could.

    • way2strong
    • 9 years ago

    They’re not going to sell it at a loss so you can use it exclusively for gaming. That part specifically seems to me to confirm everyone’s fears.

    • superjawes
    • 9 years ago

    I don’t see this as negative. It’s just…weird…

    Everything being said as positive spin is correct. Oculus Rift development will certainly benefit from extra cash to make custom hardware or hire more people.

    But still, [u<]why Facebook?[/u<] I just don't see a logical reason why a social networking site would buy a company that is making a phyiscal product, and one that is not directly tied to social networking, either. Maybe it makes sense if Facebook is moving into content delivery, but they don't have any of those products yet...

    • Skid
    • 9 years ago

    I don’t care if FB gives the Rift away for free… not going to use one now.

    • puppetworx
    • 9 years ago

    I was about to say how dumb a rebrand would be but if they name it facehugger I’m all in.

    • DPete27
    • 9 years ago

    Maybe it’s just brand recognition, but Facebook / Oculus don’t serve remotely the same markets IMO. This confuses me.

    1) Oculus-enabled Facebook – Now you can see all the worthless $#!% all your imaginary friends are posting in surround-vision…?
    2) [quote<]rebrand it with a Facebook interface and logo.[/quote<] No thanks. [Edit:] Typos

    • odizzido
    • 9 years ago

    That’s a lot of money. I think this could be a huge help to bringing this successfully into the market….but I must admit this worries me.

    • yogibbear
    • 9 years ago

    Facehugger – brought to you by bookface! Like us for a chance to win!

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