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Facebook buys Oculus VR for $2 Billion. Wait, what?

Massive outrage from its backers on Kickstarter

The news came as a shock when the social media giant announced yesterday that it’s buying Oculus Rift for over $2 Billion. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg commented on the purchase with "mobile is the platform of today, and now we're also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow".


Facebook-buys-Oculus

Oculus Rift is an award winning virtual reality platform which gained global exposure through its successful Kickstarter campaign. More specifically the project was funded in August 2012 and within 30 days it was supported by more than 9,500 backers who pledged around $2,500,000, way more than the original $250,000 goal.

In June 2013, a more user friendly and high definition version of the Rift was shown at the E3 annual gaming expo and a few months later at the Consumer Electronics Show, an updated prototype codenamed "Crystal Cove" was unveiled which included a new motion tracking system that uses an external camera which tracks infrared dots located on the headset. The new motion tracking system would allow the system to detect actions such as leaning or crouching, which should help alleviate sickness experienced by users when the software did not respond to these actions.

With all these amazing prospects regarding the virtual reality scene - a scene that was revived again from its unsuccessful appearance back in the 90’s – it's not surprising that Facebook moved quickly into acquiring this technology.


In fact Mark Zuckerberg views the technology as more than a peripheral for video games. "Immersive virtual and augmented reality will become a part of people’s everyday life," the Facebook founder and CEO said. "History suggests there will be more platforms to come, and whoever builds and defines these,” he said, "will shape the future and reap the benefits."

However the problems start emerging from the people who backed the Oculus Rift project on Kickstarter as the nature of the famous crowdfunding platform is to praise innovation, creativity and according to its founder, not to become “a sales site”.

Among the thousands of angry people who opposed this move was also Marcus Person, the creator of the multi-award winning video game "Minecraft". After the news that Facebook acquired Oculus VR he tweeted “we were in talks about maybe bringing a version of Minecraft to Oculus. I just cancelled that deal. Facebook creeps me out.” So that's it, folks; no Minecraft on the Oculus system!

But apart from all this fuss, what do you believe? Will virtual reality gaming benefit or suffer from Facebook’s involvement?

Avraam Kokkinis

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Facebook buys Oculus VR for $2 Billion. Wait, what? Reviewed by Αvraam Κ. on Thursday, March 27, 2014 Rating: 5
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