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News Facebook buys Oculus VR for $2bn

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Meanmotion, 26 Mar 2014.

  1. Stanley Tweedle

    Stanley Tweedle NO VR NO PLAY

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    Palmer has stated that the deal means "custom everything". "No longer having to rely on scraps". Complete custom design from start to finish. He's also dismissed rumours of a single facebook controlled portal for Oculus as BS. He isn't going to let anything bad happen to his vision. I've been thinking about why it is people have reacted this way. It's down to how we perceive Zuckerberg versus Luckey. I don't think the Facebook movie helped Zuckerberg's image either. It's the polar opposite of the way Palmer is perceived. With Palmer we see someone with a genuine openness and passion to make his vision succeed. Someone who started from nothing but has achieved a lot in a short space of time. The view we have of Mark is very different. Kind of the arrogant nerd who can't be trusted with our privacy. However unfair this view is, it seems to have stuck and I guess the rapid expansion and world domination of Facebook further serves to alienate people. Yet here I am posting on facebook and interacting with friends there every day. So from my perspective there is some degree of hypocrisy in my negativity towards it.

    After hearing from Palmer on Facebook I believe he is still just as committed to making Oculus succeed for the right reasons. Oculus will remain an open VR platform but with unlimited resources to optimise and deliver perhaps something even better than he could have hoped for. So despite my initial negative reaction I'm going to say that I still trust Palmer's vision for Oculus and I still intend to buy.
     
  2. SexyHyde

    SexyHyde Member

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    Microsoft own ~1.5% of Facebook so i'm guessing this will give them access / preference to Oculus.

    Refunds to kickstarters is stupid, unless your donation was for stock.

    I like everyone reacting like this, shows a lot of people don't like Facebook. but maybe its just me being biased as I deleted my account 2 years ago. I don't like the fact that it is a closed system that data mines, and the fact that it changed so much. What I liked when it first came out had been removed or significantly altered by the time i had left.

    Anyone contemplating leaving, I would say do it. All the people I used to talk to are still available by phone/ text/ email (as you need a phone number or email address to create a FB login) twitter/ snapchat/ voxer/ telegram (not whatsapp oviously) etc. are also available. Plus it feels way more personal when you do get these direct contacts, Facebook always seemed like peering over the neighbours fence or messages attached to junk mail.

    Loved the irony of the guy calling for a boycott, via his Facebook profile.
     
  3. SimoomiZ

    SimoomiZ Member

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    Yes, they would have had the same problem. But the intended market may now shift away from gamers - which may in- turn, drive down specs. Oculus was being marketed, and indeed had built up its cred as cutting edge gaming tech. In that sense if Valve had purchased Oculus I think the gaming community would have been far happier. Not that I blame them . I mean, $2bn isn't something you can sensibly turn down.

    The idea of moving on to much higher resolutions looks unlikely though now. Everything about FB suggests casual & mass market and for that it'll need to be relatively inexpensive. This may be completely misreading things , but if it ends up a cheaper generic device with lower resolution and lower spec would you be surprised?
     
    Last edited: 27 Mar 2014
  4. Pliqu3011

    Pliqu3011 all flowers in time bend towards the sun

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    Why? Smartphones seem to get higher and higher resolution displays, so apparently there is a lot of interest for it in the "casual & mass market".
     
  5. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    Considering what Facebook paid for WhatsApp, $2 billion seems almost cheap by today's corporate tech buyout standards. For that price, I'm a bit surprised Google didn't buy them, if for no other reason than to absorb some of the core technology elements and eliminate a possible future competitor.
     
  6. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    Nailed it.

    All this internet crycrycry is by people who only see companies for how they interact with them. Not the bigger picture. OR needs a ton of cash to have serious buying power in the display world, and getting a real product to market. Higher resolution is more viable than ever because instead of buying off the shelf they can now make a custom order from someone like Japan Display or Samsung. When you put a new product - a technically cutting edge one - to market you need to aim for the premium segment. It's where you are more free to spec higher, charge a higher price and sell less quantity but still recoup your development costs. You sell to the alpha-techies and if you can convince them they become your brand ambassadors: so demand grows. Then gen-2 has $600, $300, $60 kits with varying capability and application. So, maybe a $60 kit is a shitty low-res, but that's for mass market, whereas we're the kind of people who will be buying the $600 pimped out sexytime one.
    I just hope they create a standard API and want to work with 3rd parties so we can make an ROG one. :rock: Then you'll get exponential choice and innovation.

    Also KickStarter is not Equity. Welcome to the real world. Just because you supported a company during their growth phase doesn't mean you're a part of it. :p
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 27 Mar 2014
  7. Yadda

    Yadda Well-Known Member

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    A very interesting pitch, Mr Asus, thank you for your time. :)
     
  8. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    I WANT TO PLAY SKYRIM VR GIVE IT TOOO MEEEE
     
  9. Yadda

    Yadda Well-Known Member

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    :D Haha. Well I can't argue with that now, can I?
     
  10. SAimNE

    SAimNE New Member

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    i'm just going to wait it out. if upon release facebook kept their promise of letting them operate independently then i'll be happy, otherwise goodbye oculus.
     
  11. SimoomiZ

    SimoomiZ Member

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    If they're given room to develop like that , then yes, it'd be a positive thing. It's certainly passing the PR test; more news coverage yesterday than all the time it's been around combined.

    Interesting on 3rd parties . This seems like the sort of thing ASUS could develop better themselves, considering how they've shaken up the PC display and sound markets. However, that's another aspect of this OR acquisition by FB: Their legal team will be locking down everything with patents- so if FB screws this up , half of the tech will be unavailable to some other company to pick up and run with.
     
  12. Guinevere

    Guinevere Mega Mom

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    My guess is Mark Zuckerberg was on the bottle one night... yelled at his PA a slurred indecipherable way:

    He wakes up and finds out she didn't help him order him a dev kit 2, but bought the entire company.

    In my world, Mark Zuckerberg is a happy yet sleepy drunk.
     
  13. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Why would it? Oculus VR has sold 75,000 dev kits so far, despite being in a *very* early stage of development - and the majority of 'em being a crappy low resolution with long-persistence LCD panels causing nausea-inducing blur. The vast majority of software written on and for these 75,000 dev kits is gaming-oriented. That's not going to be thrown away. Facebook may look to bring the Rift to other markets, but that's likely to be in addition to gaming, not to its exclusion. Remember that Oculus VR employs John Carmack of id Software (Wolfenstein, Doom, Quake) fame; do you think he's going to knuckle down and work on three-dimensional advertising software just 'cos he's now a Facebook employee? Don't be daft.

    (Fun fact: when Carmack first showed off the engine that would power Wolfenstein 3D, id Software started talking about patenting the technology. "Do that," he told 'em in no uncertain terms, "and I'm leaving the company." I've seen nothing of late that suggests Carmack's moral compass has been realigned in recent years.)
    They've already moved onto a higher resolution. You can go to the Oculus VR website right now and pre-order the DK2, which includes a Full HD low-persistence OLED display and better head tracking than its predecessor - and for $50 less than the original development kit.

    Let's say that Facebook *does* want a mass-market version. Let's also say that they're targeting a sub-$100 price point. Let's further conjecture that this means a 640x480 blurry LCD display and limited - or no - head-tracking. What makes you think that Facebook would produce that instead of the existing high-resolution model or an improved successor?

    Samsung makes a bunch of crappy bottom-end Android smartphones with outdated software, terrible displays, low-resolution cameras and tiny screens, and sells 'em to the under-£80 market. However, Samsung also makes flagship smartphones with eight-core processors, scads of storage, ultra-high resolution displays and the latest software, which it sells for £600 or more. If Facebook did make a low-end Rift headset to sell to the mass market, what evidence do you have that it wouldn't do exactly the same as Samsung - and any other tech company - and launch it alongside a higher quality, lower volume but higher-margin version for the enthusiast market?

    Does Intel sell nothing but Celerons and Atoms?
     
  14. Icy EyeG

    Icy EyeG Controlled by Eyebrow Powers™

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    So, if I understand correctly, I should never expect companies to be ethical and do the right thing, but I sure as hell should buy things from them. In the case of Asus, the Padphone case comes to mind, because of the lack of OS updates. So instead of getting angry about it, I have to buy a new Phonepad with a recent Android build, so that I can have an updated OS... Until next year. That's what I have to expect from a company, right?

    Well, I sure as hell won't ever participate in crowdfunding, unless the project is free and open source. That's the only way to be sure.

    That's what I'm a afraid of. If that happens, so much for innovation.
     
  15. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    I approve of this sentiment. FLOSS (and open hardware) projects often struggle for funding, 'cos there's no clear exit strategy for venture capitalists. As an added bonus, think of all the Kickstarter (and similar) projects that have run out of cash or otherwise failed part-way through without delivering on their promises: if they were free or open source, the development could have been carried out in public - and when the money runs out, anyone who wants to can pick up the ball and continue where the project left off.
     
  16. SimoomiZ

    SimoomiZ Member

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    The DK2 is indeed impressive tech wise, but it's not final. Any backsliding on specs will be pounced on by critics.

    On the broader points, many will hope you're right. If there are multiple models and no limitations placed on the OR development team's ambitions, or self defeating FB proprietary features, it'll be a fantastic product . But because it's FB, many are suspicious.

    And ...Intel are primarily, first and foremost chip makers. FB's HW experience is zilch.

    Obviously this can only be conjecture; no one knows, but much will now rest on how much freedom the original OR people have in shaping its future development direction.
     
  17. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    I cant see the spec being lowered, if anything i think it will drive for ever better specs. As Luckey said. "VR will be lead by the games industry, largely because it's the only industry that already has the tools and talent required to build awesome interactive 3D environments."

    Are non gamers going to be happy using a low spec VR system, or are they going to want the 3D environment to reflect real life as closely as possible.

    Is it not better to be taken on by a company with no experience in your field of work ? That way it's more likely you get to call the shots, without being told that isn't how we do it.
     
    Last edited: 27 Mar 2014
  18. SimoomiZ

    SimoomiZ Member

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    Well it's just conjecture, but there could be a scenario whereby the FB people and the OR want to aim it at different markets - the more casual obv. being very price sensitive.

    They may figure 'casuals' won't be fussy.

    Who knows? That could go either way.
     
  19. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Except they've already started building them. You pre-order now, you get a DK2 - with full-resolution display and everything - in April. For $350. Facebook or no Facebook.
    Isn't that why Facebook just spent $2B *buying* a hardware specialist, rather than developing its own VR tech from scratch?
     
  20. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    But going on what Luckey said that isn't going to happen. While things may change, or he maybe spewing PR bull, his word is all we have to go on ATM.

    If anything he has said the opposite will happen.
    If they wanted to make cheap VR units they would stick with using scraps from the mobile phone industry.
     
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