Tag Archives: Rift

Oculus: Now part of the Facebook family


The Oculus Rift is one of the more exciting things to happen to gaming in a while. Forget 4K displays, 3D monitors and next-gen consoles – consumer-grade virtual reality headsets that aren’t rubbish are actually on the horizon. Future!

And now Facebook have bought Oculus for $2 billion in cash and stocks. That leaves me conflicted. On the one hand, Facebook are doing very clever things with hardware these days and their devotion to improving the state of technology and computing is beyond question.

It’s on the social and personal level that the misgivings begin – Facebook not exactly known for being privacy- or user oriented. The most visible fallout of the announcement so far has been Notch’s decision to end talks to bring Minecraft to Oculus because “Facebook creeps me out”. We’ll surely hear more of this sort of thing over the coming weeks, as well as the secondary fallout among fans.

Honestly, I think this is a good thing for Oculus – facebook will bring them a level of hardware expertise and resources that should open up whole new vistas of potential, and hopefully with John Carmack as CTO Oculus will be able to avoid wandering too far down the Facebook rabbit hole. The move is obviously going to cost Oculus goodwill among it’s early supporters – the set of people who mistrust Facebook overlaps pretty heavily with the sort of tech enthusiast who gets excited about new technology like the Rift. Yes, Facebook comes with it’s own marketing platform and immense user-base which will more than cancel that out, but I’m sure a lot of folks will see the deal as a betrayal.

Me, I’m cautiously optimistic that Oculus gets the “Facebook technology” treatment rather than the “Facebook social” treatment. In the meantime, no Minecraft on the Rift. Boo!