Oculus VR gets bought by Facebook for $2bil:
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.
I never would have seen my hero John Carmack working for Mark Zuckerburg. In “Masters of Doom,” he expressed interest in creating a metaverse as portrayed in Neal Stephenson’s “Snow Crash” after completing Quake. But we kind of already had that - it was called Second Life. And it wasn’t very good. Or useful. I don’t see VR making the “virtual social space” any more engaging. The problem with 3D gaming-based social spaces is that they don’t provide any real benefits beyond something like Google Hangouts besides better avatar customization, and narcissistic self-expression doesn’t have a huge business case.
That’s about the only thing I can think of that Facebook could do with this technology, besides maybe viewing 3D videos or photos from Instagram. Maybe they’re just looking for a competitor to Google Glass, but that’s definitely not the direction Oculus was going, and I think they would do better to stay focused as a gaming company for the next 10 years or so.
This could go well. Facebook bought Parse, and they still operate as a mostly independent entity doing great work. But I was more excited about Oculus when they were an independent company, and I’d have been happy for them had Valve bought them out.
Update Palmer Luckey answers some of the hate via Reddit. Seems like they definitely intend to go the Parse route, and the main driver was using Facebook’s money to lower hardware costs, build their own components, do publishing deals with indies, and hire more people. Seems pretty reasonable. We’ll see how it plays out; I just hope they don’t stray from gaming. No one outside game devs have the 3D chops to do VR right now.