I had hoped they jump in bed with valve.
Yes, I just really dislike facebook, so I hate to see them aquiring something i was really excited about.
Also from the article:
> After games, we're going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face -- just by putting on goggles in your home.
Nah, I'd rather not, thank you. I prefer to actually visit my doctor where facebook doesn't get all the data about it.
And now this happens. I'm horrified and speechless.
This is the day I stop cheering for Oculus VR and get behind Sony's Morpheus: http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/19/tech/gaming-gadgets/sony-morph...
Notch on this deal: "We were in talks about maybe bringing a version of Minecraft to Oculus. I just cancelled that deal. Facebook creeps me out." (https://twitter.com/notch/status/448586381565390848).
Oh God why did this have to happen
Oh come on -- this is just ridiculous. They (Oculus) now have many many more times the resources at their disposal than before to make countless imaginative projects.
I know i'll get down votes for saying this, but if Google was the buyer, there would be much more positive comments here. Use some rational analysis here, folks.
Honest question, do you have anything to base this idea that of "many many more times the resources" on? Have any companies been acquired by FB and immediately gone about pushing the envelope in ways that don't strictly line up the existing business of FB?
I think the concern here is entirely justified.
The Rift is a breakthrough product made possible by people who believed enough to back it via Kickstarter. Once delivered the community set about creating a whole range of wild stuff and general made those creations freely available.
Nobody wants to see their creativity hindered by some new corporate developer standards or restricted to distribution through something that sits behind a Facebook login.
Personally, I want the Rift to let me walk on the surface of the sun not allow me the privilege of paying a Facbook/NBA partnership for artificially scarce virtual "courtside" seats to a game.
Facebook is an engineering company; in the way it's run and with what it pushes out to consumers. It's a flat organization essentially run by engineers I mean shit, the CEO built the original product. The Rift under Facebook, I guarantee you, will be the best VR product in the market in five years; which would be much faster than the decade and half it would've taken on their own. Speculation I know, but again with the way Facebook is run, it seems that this acquisition will only expedite the awesomeness-that-is-to-come.
Exactly. This is what diversification is all about.
At it's core, Facebook is now a public technology company, which means that creating value for its shareholders is it's primary focus.
Buying something that looks like it might be a big deal before it becomes a big deal is doing that. Killing it before it has a chance to become big, especially since it has no "relation to any Facebook-held product" (thus it's not competing) is definitely not in their best interest.
Seriously? Are you really saying that it's FB's evil plan to stuff cat pictures in your pictures? And not the fualt of those with whom you connect on FB?
It's rather sad how so many people just think of FB as a "website" and not realize the truly innovative efforts they must go through to keep it running as such a massive scale. Not to mention, they built their own servers and pushed initiatives to help the whole industry set up proper infrastructures to achieve massive scale
Is this happening only here in Germany? I was definitely surprised to be back in "the mainstream".
1) People hate Facebook in the same way I hate cheesecake: Facebook does such a good job at hooking me in and spending so much time reading content that it's a delicious evil. I hate how cheesecake makes it so irresistible and would like to eat less of it, but that doesn't make cheesecake bad per se. =)
2) Not everyone does hate Facebook, it's just the Yelp effect: you're more likely to hear about how someone hating on something MUCH MORE than you are likely to hear about someone loving (hell, even just _liking_) a product/service/etc. My buddies and I connect on FB messenger all the time and find it convenient, but we're not going to rave about it on all comment boards, Reddit, etc.
(Sidebar: I find that it's more of the exception, rather than the rule, when the Yelp effect is broken. For example, Evernote made a killing off primarily word of mouth in its early development, and people rave about it everywhere.)
This is complete and utter nonsense.
People would not be using the site if they did.
My dad hates facebook, but he uses it because there's some family and friends on there that make him feel obligated to stick around.
Breaking away is easier than it seems at first, but there are plenty of people who dislike facebook who still use it.
No, FB's needy plan is to act as middleman for stuff people are doing already. If Zuckerberg had his way, checking Facebook would be the first and the last thing everybody on the planet does after waking up and before going to bed. Why and what for they're checking does not even enter the picture, it's irrelevant, mere details. Facebook shares that disease with Google, Apple and Microsoft, and probably others as well.
> Not to mention, they built their own servers and pushed initiatives to help the whole industry set up proper infrastructures to achieve massive scale
AKA disrupting what's good about the web and replacing it with centralized silos. Who needs little shops in inner cities, not to mention public parks and wilderness... let's all just go to the mall, and stay there forever. Again, Facebook didn't start that particular fire, but it certainly loves to help keep it going.
I'm sure what Jack the Ripper did was technically challenging, too. And no, I'm not comparing Facebook with a murderer, at least not first and foremost: I'm saying that something is complicated doesn't automatically make it worthwhile or laudable. What someone is doing, and why they're doing it, matters as well.
They are just websites. Are they the pinnacle of human achievement?
I don't think this move makes obvious sense, but Facebook The Company (as opposed to Facebook The Product) is more than just an RSS feed of lolcats.
Conglomerates have some of the thinnest margins across many industries.
Jumping into the electronic devices industry with a product that hasn't even hit market yet is a bad gamble, especially since a dedicated electronics manufacturer (Sony) is going to release the same product but with an already dedicated market (Playstation).
It would have been better to wait until OR released, because then early adopters would have demonstrated if it is a viable product.
The way things look, this is largely a win for Oculus for finding a big backer, and a risky gamble for facebook.
I think it's good that FB's putting some faith in a great team and product all the same
There are some exceptions around market inefficiency, for example in the case of emerging markets where companies are difficult to manage and finance, but those are becoming less common, not more. I think there may be an argument that the market inefficiency caused by the extra reporting requirements imposed by SOX is causing more companies to go public by way of acquisition instead of IPO, but I haven't really seen clear data on that point.
My point is that its unfair to compare the acquisitions listed above to Oculus simply because it of sticker-price or being so high profile. Oculus is a consumer device, a market that Facebook has tried numerous times and ran screaming from numerous times. Can they do it right? I'm sure they can. Is Oculus the right choice to start? Not my call. But is Oculus a web service? No. Does Oculus, company or product, relate at all to Facebook's product line? Not really. Did Instagram and Parse? Yes. Full stop.
As far as I'm concerned Facebook is the only competitor to Google at this point. Facebook is just trying to keep pace. I assume they're going to do many awesome things in the near future that aren't necessarily aligned with their current business model in order to keep up that pace.
Contracts can be broken. I really doubt John Carmack has to do anything he doesn't want to do. It will be the canary in the coalmine as far as whether I purchase an Oculus HMD when they release.
I do hate this "winner-take-all" situation where a few tech companies in the US acquire every single cutting edge company.
I fail to see how a social media company buying a headset manufacturer would even hint at anti-trust.
... beyond what's required by contract
I wouldn't discount some of the recent moves my Microsoft and its new CEO -- they seem like they're moving fast and trying to become the old MSFT we used to love (or at least I used to.)
Never count Bing out of the fight =)
Keep telling yourself that. They've released some interesting tech, yes, but an engineering company? No. Neither is google.
Perhaps Google and Facebook should be software companies with an advertising edge?
I'm not sure how many examples are out there, but I continually have to remind myself that Facebook owns Instagram. The product hasn't really suffered, at least for no reasons I would directly associate with them being bought out by FB.
I say this as someone who is also really disappointed that Oculus is now owned by FB. But I'll give it a chance. If they still produce something awesome that isn't tainted by FB crap, I'll use it.
While it's possible we'll be pleasantly surprised, the history of small, innovative companies being acquired by much bigger companies does not /generally/ bode well for the smaller companies & their products.
If the Oculus product(s) is successful in any way, it would only be natural for FB to want some kind of hooks/integration, as just another surface area to push their brand/strategy/etc. Just like Google pushed "Plus" into everything regardless of whether it was really a good fit, because the parent corp is the owner/master and the subsidiary (or internal group) has to serve the strategies of its owner. It's not necessarily bad, it's just expected.
Maybe if FB weren't a public company we might expect them to be able to have a bit more of a hands-off approach, but since going public I'd say it's "unlikely".
Of course, I'm afraid they're going to tie the hardware to their awful, invasive Web platform. I'd be upset if it were Google, but Facebook is about as bottom-of-the-ethical-barrel as it gets.
It's just that their (creativity, intelligence, innovation, drivers of progress) / (cash they own) ratio is mindblowingly low. And this is due to both the denominator and the numerator sides.
Facebook is the new Microsoft, basically. Low on creativity and innovation, high on cash, riding to success a huge wave of demand that would have carried anybody else who just happened to be there at the right time.
Again, this is silly sensationalist thinking -- companies aren't people capable of "good" or "evil" choices. If they were, I'd note that Facebook was one of the only companies NOT conspiring to deflate the wages of half of the people that visit this site.
(Note: I don't work for FB -- I just rail against silly hyperbolic thinking.)
Their directors certainly are. A friend's mother works in a high-level consultancy that is known for turning down lucrative-but-unethical projects. I've worked in a company where the CEO would always try to find a win-win, even if it cost the company financially. I've also worked in a company where the CEO/majority owner vociferously abused the directors when he wasn't allowed a vote when they were voting on his own payrise (the directors saying that it was illegal to do so). That company also played a lot of three-card monte with FDA auditors.
Companies can behave ethically; just because they're not an organism doesn't mean that they're not under the control of something that can make those decisions. A car is just a lump of matter. Can't do anything by itself. But stick a human into it, and it can do all sorts of things, from the mundane (collecting groceries) to the charitable (distributing meals) to the unethical (hit-and-run). A company is the same.
Add into this that Facebook has been shown to be openly selling fraudulent products, and it doesn't make it sound like Facebook is the innocent you're implying. Crack open youtube and search for 'veritasium facebook', there are a couple of videos - Facebook is essentially selling advertising with fake impressions.
I'd argue that Facebook has made a lot of decisions that exploit users in pursuit of making more money and acquiring more personal data -- and that we don't have to be happy a technology platform with a lot of promise is now tied to a company with a record of making such decisions.
I won't welcome a Facebook platform in to my life the same way I would a standalone piece of technology, precisely because of the kind of decisions made by Facebook.
IT ethics means that you use your expertise to actively protect sensitive information. They don't do that, and there can be / will be / are consequences. If anybody could have pushed an effective self-hosting platform, it's them, but they haven't.
They are at the bottom of the ethical barrel.
But they are also made of some less formal structures. Groups of people that believe privacy is important will be predisposed to assume that disrespecting that tenet will affect profit and the companies operating environment later.
Even if this is not the case perhaps a company gains additional political capital in some area for it's behaviour and no single product is likely to be worth the loss of that clout.
If you take factors like these into account you can judge whether a company is predisposed to create outcomes you'd say are good or bad based on it's previous actions.
As to FB and the wages I do not give them the benefit of the doubt and assumed that it wasn't them acting on some outpouring of principal but purely needing the engineers as they grow more than they needed depressed wages. This may be unfair to them but their past actions do not align well with a more generous interpretation, though give it a few years with similar incidents and I'd reevaluate in their favour(I'd love to see it but I wouldn't hold my breath).
Facebook is run by a man who got rich on selling private data to advertisers, and then used his billions to buy all the mansions surrounding his own mansion so that he could protect his privacy.
Zuckerberg is scum and this is a sad day for any fan of the Oculus.
the last thing I would want is for my house to be surrounded by people who won bidding wars just to own property near me.
it's not like he bought all the surrounding lots and kicked the residents out; iirc he actually went out of his way to essentially set up a pseudo reverse mortgage for one older couple.
That's hypocrisy. He's repeatedly gone on record stating that he believes peoples' lives should be fully open and shared.
But he doesn't want his own life to be open and shared?
If you're referring to the fact that it was reported yesterday that Facebook refused to participate in the "no poaching" agreement between Apple, Google, and other companies, it is worth noting that Facebook's CEO is involved in a totally different, and probably much more permanent and far-reaching strategy for suppressing engineer salaries:
You could argue whether Facebook is ethical by allowing Zynga and similar to use the platform the way they do, but that's a different story.
Will developers really let Facebook own the VR platform? We all know that as soon as they're unlodgable Facebook will update the EULA and start sucking in every scrap of user data they possibly can. I bet they're salivating over the eye tracking data that will eventually come. Already Oculus includes a camera that is always looking at you.
That might be OK for free apps, but it's not OK for a paid product that was until now allied with Valve who sell quality, paid content.
The community is now going to fracture, half going with the momentum, half going back to the drawing board.
An acquisition into a company like Facebook is not quite carte blanche to chase "countless imaginative projects". There are VPs and PMs, budgets and headcount, inter-departmental politics and of course final approval from Sheryl Sandberg, David Ebersman and Zuck. No matter what the press releases say, autonomy will be lost to a degree, progress will be slower and more considered, and your imagination will have limits.
Would you care to back that up with anything (not the part in parentheses)?
Claiming that the C-level executives of a company don't have final say in or control of projects and budgets falls into the second category.
I don't get it.
Just one example for "what needs writing".
However, they are still dealing with damn impressive numbers :)
Also, there's a bazillion requests coming in from every website which has FB Share/Recommend buttons or FB Login active...
The HN reaction to Google's acquisition of Nest makes me think the comments would be equally negative.
I'd be hard-pressed to think of a buyer that WOULDN'T lead to negative reactions on HN...
Apple: they'll make it iDevice-only, and also it will disappear for a year if not longer until Apple feels it's good and ready
Microsoft: they'll screw it up
Listening to Palmer Luckey talk about how the headset won't come out before its ready makes you think they have a very specific vision they want to execute, as does reading technical stuff about their technology. God knows what will happen now with Facebook. I was unbelievably excited about what Oculus could do for the state of the art in gaming, executing their vision independently. Who knows what having a corporate owner with unclear ambitions will do. I hope Carmack and the other technical guys jump ship and execute the original vision if Facebook meddles too much.
Google acquiring Nest has obvious plan. Make Android based devices with highly usable GUI.
Google acquiring Nest has a plan: collect data on electricity usage, presence in house and have a basis for inferring what people are doing generally all day.
If nothing else they could follow the original plan and sell a standalone rift for a profit.
"You look really good today!"
"Thanks! Nice goggles!"
At least if Google bought them, they would have had Google Goggles. The mind boggles at the goggles, it gives me the giggles.
OK I'll bite. What does google do with this data? I don't see anyway this helps their ad business.
Sure, it's one of the larger objectives of the company simply because it's their big money maker, but I think it would be phenomenally short-sighted of the decision makers at google to focus and rely on ads long-term.
I don't think the decision makers in the company spend their time thinking up ways to sell ads. Considering the massive amount of information and power they have, there must be more to it.
In the end I think it's really still what they said in their mission statement: "Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful."
Sure, their own survival is an 'automatic' goal, and ads serve that purpose. And sure, it seems that ideologically google doesn't care about privacy too much (which makes sense if you want to organize the world's information). And those are all reasons to be critical of google's operations.
Acquiring Nest seems to have no benefit at all in the context of ads; I can't think of any way to shoehorn ads into a thermostat in any effective way.
Rather, they are now getting useful information on people's behavior in their house, not to mention a team that has made a successful real product. That acquisition does not make sense in light of ads, but it does in light of google's goals, just as their mapping, street view, and glass serve this same purpose: more information to use in a myriad of (profitable) ways.
There's very little personal info that's not valuable to someone, somewhere.
Not from me. Google has a history of acquiring stuff just for the talent and then shutting it down or (worse) letting it rot away. FB seems to have better luck with its high profile acquisitions (though not so much the smaller ones) staying alive: Instagram, Whatsapp (so far), Parse, Friendfeed.
I'm withholding judgement until someone respectable like Carmack comes forward with a rationale for why this is ultimately a good thing.
Yes, there are checks and balances -- however I am hard to believe that essentially working as their own team with some layers below Zuck offsets the significant resource investment that oculus didn't have before.
"We're clearly not a hardware company. We're not gonna try to make a profit off of the devices long term. We view this as a software and services thing, where if we can make it so that this becomes a network where people can be communicating and buying things and virtual goods, and there might be advertising in the world, but we need to figure that out down the line."
That's fine and all, that's what FB does, I just don't want them to do it to Rift.
Zuck also talked about VR being a piece of a new computing paradigm, and threw out that quote in response to whether the business model was selling units of hardware.
Oh, you mean the guy who just cashed out is doing some damage control? No way! What would you expect him to say exactly?
You'd have to be utterly naive to think that Rift will be doing anything which doesn't directly contribute to FB's bottom line. FB is an add company. FB has a board to report to. They have investors to satisfy.
Of course there's nothing inherently wrong with this, but if you are under the impression that these facts will not steer the direction of Rift in the future then I don't think I'll be able to convince you otherwise as you have already swallowed the Kool-Aid.
Give it a chance, the overreactions in this thread and in general are ridiculous.
And I suppose that's subjective, but claiming it is the absolute end of the world for Oculus seems just a tad premature.
This is really a branding failure. Facebook's brand conflicts with Oculus' brand. I'm surprised they didn't see that coming. Reality is complex, but perception is usually stunted. Facebook = evil corporation who only cares about selling personal data. Oculus = good guy, cares about us, cares about VR. This is a load of bullshit, but that's the branding perception. Try to change that, and you get chaos.
But whatever their goal was, it is now in the hands of Facebook. Sure they now have resources, but they also have a new master who has his own agenda which may be in line with Oculus' goals now but what about tomorrow? If Facebook hits hard times do you think Facebook will continue to have a hands-off approach with Oculus?
Also to address this specific point:
> Facebook is in every home. Being bought by them obviously helps Oculus to be in every home.
Facebook software is in every home. The Oculus Rift is not software, Facebook lacks the manufacturing/distribution/RMA/support infrastructure for consumer hardware products so that has to be built up anyways - all Facebook brings to the table (that I can see) is money and HR capacity. In many ways this makes less sense than an IBM/Microsoft merger back in the day because IBM was already selling computers with operating system and Microsoft could have naturally piggy-backed on that.
I don't see a fundamental difference between the two. Both have the same model of scraping your data in order to further monetize their ad space.
The bummer for me here is the business model of the purchasing company. It isn't that it's Facebook per se, but it's how Facebook makes its money. It simply has a large chance of taking the product to a place I'd rather it didn't go.
Right. Probably because Google is a technology driven company with some amazing technical products and research. Facebook has great backend skills but the product is meh.
The fact that you admit deep deep use of Google and trust them with all your data tells me that there's a bit of naïveté in terms of Google & privacy (as if you're getting more privacy in one vs. the other.)
Their new owner has more resources available (minus the payout to the old owners). Whether those resources will be allocated to those working on Oculus projects is another mater, as is whether any of the goals/priorities of Oculus projects will remain the same.
Although the "more resources" statement is true, the vision, the underdog, no longer is. They will always be under FB, not the visionary entrepreneurs and team that made Oculus possible.
I'm truly saddened by this news. Oculus was THE most exciting piece of consumer tech in many many years.
I can't honestly believe that I'm now pinning my hopes on Sony for VR :(
I was looking forward to all the social aspects that Oculus would bring about, but now seemingly having it shackled to Facebook really makes me lose interest.
You might be a bit premature with that comment. Mark Zuckerberg is not an idiot. He's probably smart enough to realise that Oculus need to truly remain independent for real innovation to continue.
This is probably a long-term bet on VR tech by Facebook, that they know would be too expensive to do in another 3-5 years. My bet: this is not going to kill Oculus, rather the opposite.
Guess I'm not going to be getting any first-gen VR headset, unfortunately.
I doubt someone smart enough to build a company like Oculus VR would've forgotten to plan how to run inside Facebook and continue delivering the vision of VR.
After all, aren't we all here to support the vision of mainstream VR, and not just one company?
Now we know what we want and that its completely possible. If facebook is unwilling to to give us immersive 3d minecraft, someone else will step up. Because they know that they can.
A kneejerk reaction to something you cannot possibly see the end results of.
And to even support Sonys dumbed down version of VR that has to run on this mid spec'ed PC they call the PS4 is downright stupid.
When it becomes clear that Oculus does not work independently under the FB roof, then you can start your whining. Not now. Not just based on the fact you don't like the company that is now housing Oculus.
Tell me, do you also not like Nestle? I bet you do. Do you also stop doing business with every company that sits under the Nestle roof? No? huh. Must be Facebook exclusive, then. Great hypocrisy was had by all.
To the rest of us, we will wait and see how Oculus will continue to operate until we throw a fit.
In closing, you said you wanted Oculus to get big. Every thought that they want that as well and the best way to get big is to be partnered up with a big company that has reach and contacts and funds? I know, right? Weird thought. Why did I never thought of that, you ask yourself.
I quite simply dont want hardware owned by Facebook in my home. I liked the OR, probably would have bought one. But consider the data they scrape from you on their website, compiled with data from the hardware they now have in your home, and you become the new innovative advertising product that Facebook needed to stay alive in the advertising world after _just_the_website_ didn't give their clients what they wanted anymore.
However...I am reserving judgement on this, but I am not overly happy initially. Will wait to see the next few months before reaching my final conclusion
Perhaps I will go outside and enjoy the sunshine.
I wonder how this affects the viability of VR going forward. Especially as everyone starts to associate it with FB.
While he says this on Twitter - many of whom are ex-FB employees doing essentially the same things.
My initial reaction is to hate this. After thinking it over briefly I still hate it.
I think I'm going to look to Carmack as my proxy. If he jumps ship, the whole thing is surely tainted.
No, I definitely have to reconsider if that idealistic picture of Carmack in my brain is correct. Not that I ever knew him, anyway…
He posted on twitter:
"I suppose I will get a FB account now, so that may lead to some writing a little longer than tweet length..."
Never signing up for FB account indicates to me that he's got as much disdain for Facebook as many people here.
He also tweeted:
"I have a deep respect for the technical scale that FB operates at. The cyberspace we want for VR will be at this scale."
Which hints to me that he's at least intrigued by the possibilities that partnering with Facebook will offer, and he sees some potential in this partnership.
Carmack has earned enough of my respect over the last few decades that if it turns out he's ok with the acquisition and stays with the company, then as much as I dislike Facebook, I'm going to trust his judgement and be confident that he's hard at work on something 'game-changing'.
Corporate title & organizition wise, they are different. Though I doubt Kurzweil worries too much about the current Ads, Search, Email, & Android platform. I would expect his role to be more forward thinking. I get the impression Carmack has a forward thinking role as well.
This is very, very different from what Kurzweil is doing at Google.
Though, we will see what a $2B valuation does to a "clearly defined" mission. The VR market has to be grown, after all.
Google is expanding it's efforts in new markets that require substantial technical vision. Same with Oculus.
Kurzweil is the "Director of Engineering" at a company without a CTO. Surely, there's some similarities in their roles.
Not a 100% match, but some interesting similarities.
Money is a real thing, no matter how awesome Carmack is (he's an idol of mine as well), it certainly can play a role in decisions.
All in all, a fair deal for Oculus, I think. Now the question is, will Facebook be able to get a ROI? To me, this looks like a lucky day for Sony, but maybe that's my geek-glasses fooling me.
Although they announced Carmack joining Oculus in August last year. Any idea how long the negotiations for this acquisition would likely take?
I too am disappointed the tech has gone into Facebook, I wonder what those game developers that currently support it are thinking, and how much integration there will be with Facebook login etc.
The tech-sector is slowly growing into an oligopoly or at least that's my impression. I expect it to be diversified but deals like this leave me questioning and yes, they make me a bit sad. Perhaps the Oculus guys can use the resources Facebook will flow into them but...I have a bad feeling about this. Really.
The waves of patent and copyright attacks unleashed on Google are basically the giants who were born in the 70s and early 80s (Microsoft, Apple, and Oracle) trying their damndest to make sure no-one will ever grow in the shadows they cast.
Now there are quite a few big players. Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, etc.
I'm not on Facebook, and I don't want to develop for their platform. Although, one of the ideas was to replicate DFW's "samizdat" as an art project. Something tells me Facebook wouldn't look kindly on it pulling all your friend data to entertain you to death.
But that's the only reason I have a Facebook account.
If it turns out to be good I'll get one. Not bothering to preorder though. No need to risk money supporting the company now.
Is it on the same level as food and poverty and peace?
A change as massive as VR - we simply don't know how big a deal it is.
For example, as one of the smaller potential side-effects, imagine VR became good enough that there was no practical reason to have people travel for face-to-face meetings. That would have a significant knock-on effect (closing on single-digit percentile worldwide) on carbon emissions, global warming, and potentially catastrophic climate change.
Depending on your scholarly beliefs, it's either just a metaphor for addiction, or in addition, a critique on media and media consumption. I chose to believe the latter, in that it could stand to be a critique on how our pastimes are intentionally becoming more engaging and addicting.
I'm not sure on the visual representation, but the thing would have been a Rauchenberg-ian collage of video, text and audio, layered together and becoming more "recommended" for the user, based on physical cues from the physical input devices, as well as choices. The actual recommendation algorithm would have been relatively primitive, most likely a decision tree, or if I could figure it out, an ensemble algorithm that would have created better media recommendations in real time to show to the viewer from trending topics, imgur, youtube, that type of junk.
(Also, IJ is a great novel.)
I wonder how John Carmack will like his new freedom under Zuck's reign.
If he leaves shortly after this acquisition, then we know something is amiss. If he stays, then it should be for a very valid reason - i.e. that they can probably do much more inside of FB than outside.
Keep in mind he was independently wealthy before, so it's likely that he wasn't as tempted by money as say the founders were (assuming that they weren't independently wealthy - which I don't know if they are).
Although I guess this is how most other businesses operate too. Finding a hit product allows you to become a multi-millionaire, but if you want to become a billionaire you have to have conviction as well. (Which has considerable risk as you might be killed. I can certainly imagine myself selling out when a billion-dollar deal is on the table, so I'm not saying it's a bad move to sell out, it's just sort of sad)
On the other hand, would you rather Google had bought them and siphoned off their team and energy into the Googleplex as they have done with other startups?
Or - could Oculus have joined the Xbox team as a foil to Morpheus (http://techwatching.com/tag/morpheus)?
On the flip side, competing like that might have been difficult --- but not impossible. The world needs more organizations willing to stand on their own two feet and try
Yep, it's farked for good now. I'm heartbroken beyond words right now. I was so excited for the future of VR by an indie, open company. But no... I suppose we'll have to settle with Morpheus.
I am, in one word: upset.
What about Oculus VR ? They could have said no.
Regardless of their situation, one can always say no.
It is a matter of convictions and being able to live with the consequences.
Apparently, getting money was more important.
Facebook has one of the largest user bases on the planet. Facebook has vast amounts of capital. Facebook has just demonstrated how important they believe VR to be.
With Facebook's users, money, and engineering talent, VR is about to arrive earlier, faster, and better than anyone could imagine.
I plan on buying Facebook stock immediately.
The patient is a mother experiencing pregnancy complications, stuck a remote area of Alaska, in an Oculus conference with a doctor in Seattle. Her doctor diagnoses her and uses the network to find a specialist in the specific condition. Turns out there's one in Portugal, and at an appropriate time the Portuguese doctor joins the Oculus conference. The two doctors work together to make a recommendation for the patient. Like a videoconference that actually feels like a meeting (a holy grail for decades)
This is the kind of application that would be best pursued by an independent company, but is certainly more likely from Facebook than from Valve.
Fortunately, other professions hold privacy in high enough regard not to sell their clients' information to the highest bidder. And this is precisely why this announcement is so disappointin; this scenario explicitly will not happen via the Oculus product. It will require yet another round of innovation in the VR space because no doctor worth their salt would use a facebook product with their patients' privacy at stake.
I too am wary of Facebook handling all of this data, but they also have an nearly unparalleled ability to make it happen.
Opening the hardware up to PC development would be one of the best moves Sony could make. Besides Portal 2 not much seemed to materialize from Sony's partnership with Valve last gen, this could be a game changer if functionality translates well between PC/PS4.
I'm very interested in seeing how all companies involved deal with this.
Just a thought.
"It definitely looks like your pixel has been infected with another pixel! I'll prescribe you some cream" (perhaps that's just the Android experience with Skype)
Everyone at Microsoft would enjoy snooping on horrible illnesses.
Unless of course the NHS sells it to them (http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-02/04/care-data-nhs...)
In any case, I think we should wait and see what Facebook does before crying foul.
I had such high hopes for the Oculus and now I could care less. Maybe Sony's product will be better.
There's also Avegant; their focus is different but the tech seems awesome.
After finishing Quake, (what I believe to be) the first fully 3D PC game, Carmack wanted to work on a 3D virtual world inspired by the Metaverse from Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash. The book at least makes it sound like Carmack believed that a 3D virtual world was the next big thing. Despite Carmack's wishes, the rest of id decided to stick with making first person shooters and other video games.
Carmack is now the CTO of Oculus VR. Keeping in mind Carmack's virtual reality ambitions and Zuckerberg's mission to "connect the world", this acquisition makes a lot more sense than it does thinking of Oculus VR as purely a gaming company.
Really? I actually just finished MoD, coincidentally, and it seemed to me that the rest of the team wanted to do things other than the repeated Quake/Doom re-hashing, and Carmack basically refused. He wanted to work on his engine.
This still makes sense as to why Oculus would want to get in bed with Facebook, but it sounds like the motivation is coming from Luckey and not Carmack.
I'm sure there's some subtle point I'm missing as to why Descent mysteriously doesn't count but even nearly 20 years later I'm failing to spot it.
1) Facebook could stay hands off, giving the company the company the breathing room and capital to absolutely revolutionize gaming, and then on to other fields.
2) Oculus as a "communication platform" is attempted too soon and the core team is drawn away working on pet projects resulting in a drastic lack of focus, which would kill the product (momentum is key here).
Given that Facebook is the acquirer, I'd lean much further towards #1. If it were Google, I'd bet money on #2 (see the GAE thread today).
I don't think the privacy stuff is going to be a big deal, by the time this turns from being an interface device to an integrated product like Glass, the market will have matured and there'll be plenty of competitors offering the former.
So, it'll either good or bad. You read it here first, folks.
No, they could have made a sizable investment without having a controlling stake in it. No, they Acquired it. You don't do that unless you want to change something there. My best hope is that the Zuck sees something cool going on with the Oculus and wants to try his hand at something new. My worst fear is that they will develop the 'Oculus API' as a wrapper around the original API and Facebook. Now Facebook can ad ads featuring your friend's faces in games... and free 3d games if you just watch a 15 second ad for every five minutes that you play...
It's reasonable to speculate on the extent to which Oculus can resist being assimilated into the already-existing business model. It seems less reasonable to speculate that Oculus will become Facebook's flagship product and not just some sidekick to enhance their current revenues if possible (or if that doesn't work, consigned to the dustbin of history).
Since all of this is speculation anyway, what do you think is going to happen?
I think. Or maybe I am hearing other people's thoughts and the sombrero is working as a beacon??? I'll give Dr Xavier a call.
Facebook doesn't run ads for the sake of running ads...it requires money to run a social platform that's completely free for a billion+ users. It's unlikely they'll be handing out Rifts for free so they can rely on sales of the devices to generate revenue from the Oculus division.
If there was an alternative to google search Apple would default to that search engine. They don't need the billions they make from Google search being in iOS.
But that might be fairly easy to compete with, perhaps, and so people would, if the situation you described came to be, just think "this is ridiculous" and maybe not buy an Occulus Rift. Sony's working on something similar.
That said, my interest in the project also just took a severe beating. I'm kind of done with Facebook, I don't want to be a part of it but I should keep an eye on it. Maybe Facebook will allow the product to become what its makers are intending. Or, maybe they'd require you to have, say, a Facebook account for, some reason, in which case I wouldn't really be interested in the product.
Free headset, just sign this agreement that gives Facebook all your eye tracking data that shows exactly what you are interested in looking at at millisecond resolution.
Oculus is still predominately a relatively small hardware and low-level software centric company. I wouldn't be surprised if he were trying to leverage his company's app-making experience to create a suite of new functionality for it outside the realm of video games and gimmicky proofs of concept.
Also, Facebook uses video. Facebook will need 3D integration once the first 3D video feeds start coming down for this thing. Is 2 billion worth it to have early access to the most important emerging technology in Zuck's new favorite space? Yes. Yes it is.
That said, I have no idea how 3D video chat will work with a giant screen strapped on top of my face.
Three cheers for the ambivalent future of Facereality and Oculusbook!
As far as Oculus goes, this probably takes a whole heap of pressure off of them. Now they can act like one of the units of Bell, and just work on the thing, rather than worrying about pleasing investors or turning a profit anytime soon. Assuming FB doesn't do anything crazy, this will only help them and the tech.
Edit: the thing that should be worrying both companies is the potential developer backlash. Not everyone loves FB, as the comments here attest. Perhaps an investment rather than an acquisition would have stirred up less vitriol.
I suspect this in Facebook-OVR. FB might ruin it, a la Yahoo-Flickr, or leave them alone, but Facebook isn't really making headlines these days, and OVR is, so now every OVR story will now have to mention Facebook. It may not turn out this way, but there's no reason why the pairing has to be tightly coupled.
Tightly-coupled Facebook-OVR would shock me, definitely.
> This is really a new communication platform. By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures.
This seems like the money quote. Basically they want to have everyone share virtual experiences together within your network.
Over proprietary facebook-only protocols, on their proprietary software, using proprietary device drivers, with systemic data collection, and virtual reality advertising.
Yeah, no thanks. Occulus was poised to be revolutionary because it was going to be bigger than one headset, it was going to be an open platform for an entire generation of VR tech. Now, it is only facebook tech, and that is a shame.
If it wasn't facebook it would have been Google/Msft/etc...
The vitriol to this announcement is really staggering given the whole hacker ethos around here. Both of these two CEOs are by this community's standards the most hacker of the hacker.
Hackers HATED MSFT only a decade ago - and many still do - and they do just as much shady crap as facebook does.
The whole hate here is irrational in my opinion.
For the other company that I wouldn't have minded buying them, I'd say Valve getting back their CTO, Sony ready to provide the only VR platform of the market and using Oculus as a test bed, or even Samsung or Intel.
Oculus was and is a hardware company, with plans to expand their content marketplace (share.oculusvr.com). I do not see how Oculus was an open platform for VR tech, that's giving them too much credit.
Don't get me wrong, I'm just as upset about this news as most people here seem to be, I'm just trying to see different perspectives, as I'm not quite cynical enough to think that Oculus VR only did this for the money...
Probably Facebook patent trolling. That is the problem with modern innovation - if you are late to the party you get shut out and crushed by the legal bullshit. Any new player would somehow have to navigate around any patent Oculus / Sony / Valve / etc has on similar technologies.
Would there be a chance that Oculus included in the deal some stipulations about this?
I bet rules that limited other social games from promoting themselves on Facebook won't be as stringent as for Oculus games.
1. Despite similarity in the fundamental form factor, Glass and the Oculus Rift are trying to solve pretty different engineering problems. Rift is all about trying to be low latency, capture motion accurately, and be sufficiently high resolution to make an experience feel immersive. Glass is about battery life, hardware miniaturization, and a display that you can see in daylight without it obscuring your vision. While, if both products were successful, they might eventually start to converge towards each other, owning one does not really help you solve the challenges of the other.
2. Facebook is threatened by Google Glass now? Glass has really, really failed to take off and become a big thing. It's hard for me to imagine that Facebook felt the need to do a multi-billion dollar acquisition to position themselves defensively against a product whose main accomplishment is coining the term "glassholes." Facebook manufactures its own opprobrium in house, very successfully. They don't need to acquire it.
In effect, Facebook is asking for the second mover position. There's an old saw about how the first mover in a new market actually fails because he runs into all the problems, but the second mover succeeds because he learns from the first mover's mistakes. That could easily be happening here.
hardware is such a different skill and mindset than software, it's not even funny.
For a software-oriented company such as Facebook and a fairly new one and not the greatest on the balance sheet, its undoubtedly much harder for them to enter the hardware space than Google.
Forget why Facebook is interested, I don't get why Oculus would even consider selling for 10% of a WhatsApp. Their star was rising if anyone's ever was.
WhatsApp was already a star. It had millions of users and was the "go to" app for communication in many countries. We forget that here in NA. Oculus, as cool as it is, still doesn't have a huge customer/user database.
But, you get a couple hundred million users that make next to no revenue and will be incredibly difficult to monetize and your star has risen. Pretty hard to compete with that rock solid proven model I guess.
On the other hand you have a hardware startup with no customers and an unproven product. Sure they have sold a bunch of dev kit's, but those are far from being ready for the consumer market.
In addition to not having a customers, they have Sony building a similar product and remember that Sony already has hardware in millions of homes and therefore roll out would be much easier. Occulus might build a great product, but competition is going to be much harder given Sony's pursuit. I would argue that Occulus has proven to be an innovative and smart company, but in no means have they proven to be a successful business and therefore their "star has not risen" just yet. Speculation on future value is much harder with Occulus and has too many "ifs" and therefore, currently, Occulus is not worth anything close to the $19B paid for WhatsApp.
In not so sure. I don't doubt that Oculus Rift will dominate the first wave of rich, western virtual reality headsets. But there's no guarantee they will continue to do, and its going to be a long time before virtual reality is accessible to a vast number of people around the world.
WhatsApp was as valuable as it was because it runs everywhere, including cheap feature phones you find in Africa and India.
I cannot think of a more colossal mistake to make as a founder. Palmer Luckey has shown he has absolutely no faith in his ability nor that of his team. Occulus had nothing but success in their future. They had investors beating down their doors with money, developers begging for their latest and greatest, and consumers itching to grab hold of their product.
Facebook is the antithesis to Occulus. They have never created any technology, they add zero value to the the real world, and have no future potential in the long run. Occulus selling to Facebook would have been like Tesla selling to Proctor and Gamble after they released the Roadster. A company with a technology so radical it can change the industry, succumbing to weakness and cashing out to an old money company that has no expertise in the field, in exchange for killing their product.
I am filled with sadness and disappointment. I believe Palmer Luckey will regret this decision.
Do you really think that? I use it every day and maintain connections with people in geographically diverse places on every continent that otherwise I would not share my life with. I am watching the children of friends grow up. I feel more connected to more people than ever in my life. My childhood friends I thought were in my past are now with me every day. Facebook brings me enormous real world value. I'd probably even pay a monthly fee to use it, if it was so.
Maybe they wanted the certainty (from almost anyone) that they could ramp things up and make sure they were strong and first out there?
- Would have had access to unlimited VC money by being one of Kickstarter's hardware darlings, having John Carmack, and putting out an series of critically acclaimed products in the form of dev-kits
- Would have been able to grow their open platform, which allows direct access to developers from all markets, not just FB/Sony/Valve or other closed systems
- Would have the power and autonomy to guarantee developers that they were all equally important, and that their needs would be the company's top priority
- Would have the potential to create an ecosystem leading to an entirely new industry, not unlike Tesla Roadster, the iPod/iPhone/iPad, etc.
Now? They've destroyed their reputation with developers by guaranteeing they'll be second class citizens to FB's financial interests, by sacrificing all of their autonomy. They've exchanged all of the future potential of their company for $2B.
Look at it this way, Snapchat declined $4B for their trivial messaging app. Yet Occulus, which has so much potential, folded at a measly $2B?
It's just a damn shame.
Also, remember that Valve's technology is apparently excellent and they also have the ear of developers.
(Don't get me wrong, I don't like this development at all. DK1 owner, but I don't use Facebook.)
Absolutely. He has lost all credibility he had gained with such a cult following. I don't think he would be able to repeat it with the gamers and supporters again.
Which is bigger, the gamer and supporter group you speak of, or the facebook user base?
People in the /r/oculus reddit are already expressing strong feelings of betrayal - eighty comments in under ten minutes, none positive.
What a bizarre move.
My prediction: Glass will not pan out for Google, and Oculus Rift with languish with Facebook as a result. Facebook may put out some half-hearted "Use a Rift to view your friends 3d panoramas of their vacation" nonsense that nobody will care about, and the industry will be put off VR for another half-decade at least.
I'm less worried about folks being turned off of VR - That Oculus has such great traction means that other big tech manufacturers won't be too far behind emulating their display technology and coming out with competing products at lower pricing than the VR. At least one of them will actually be decent enough to sell well.
They are two very different products but I maintain that they represent two different approaches to the same problem, pushing us past our current understanding of what I/O devices are. Google Glass is a push into the unknown, Facebook may not agree that it is in the right approach, but you are kidding yourself if they aren't looking at Google and wondering why they are not pushing I/O bounds as well. They're both looking for "the next smartphone", trying to determine what that will be.
The industry has been turned off of VR in the past by botched executions, and I am afraid it can happen again.
Oculus has will be the thing that teenagers use to hang out online in the future. Something like Second Life will replace Instagram which replaced Facebook which replaced tying up the landline talking for hours each evening with the BFF.
Facebook also doesn't have their own GAE or self-driving car program, but those aren't particularly relevant to Facebook's core business.
But completely logical from Oculus' perspective -- if someone offers you $2B to cash out before you've even launched, you'd be silly to say no.
But even if you think their motives behind the charity are selfish, don't discount the effects.
How many Einsteins, von Neumans, Ramanujans, or Musks (pick your genius of choice, really) are stillborn in the developing world because of malaria or HIV? How many never achieve their potential because of malnutrition or polio?
If the Gates Foundation eradicates malaria and polio, and we get a few more world-changing geniuses out of it, they'll have done much more to push the technological envelope than any other endeavor.
So Paul Graham selling Viaweb to Yahoo and starting Y Combinator is an example of "killing companies"?
I mean, some folks stand by their principles. But, seriously, it's not easy.
Google has a long-term, sustainable business that continually makes huge strides in new markets - from revolutionising search, to speeding up the evolution of the internet through projects like Chrome, smashing up the smartphone market with Android, and so on. Facebook on the other hand is a pretty good social network that seems to have hit its peak and is difficult to monetise, where the only strides that are taken appear to be buying companies with overlapping userbases in order to cling on to relevance.
Okay, that's definitely my personal bias showing.
Expect more acquisitions like this. It only makes sense to diversify.
yeah, what's next? zuck buying spacex so you can visit friends on the moon?
I would imagine Facebook feels under pressure to build up a core hardware engineering team. It's pretty clear that embedded and wearable computing is going to be a huge industry at some point in the future, and Facebook is going to need to get into that industry unless it wants to be indebted to and reliant upon hardware manufacturers.
So really, this acquisition makes sense for the same kind of reasons Google acquiring Nest makes sense - neither company has strong expertise or experience in consumer electronics hardware, and they need it going forward.
I think this may for the best for the future of VR. We know the gaming industry will use VR at some point and we know how they'll use it for the most part. It's a discussion well established in our popular culture. The potential innovation of VR as a medium would more likely happen with a company like Facebook rather than one like Valve.
I don't know how I feel about it, from a personal standpoint, and I don't understand it from a business perspective. Oculus don't really have an idea of how big/small the market is for the product yet, even.
Bah. I still want a DK2, and I still love what Oculus have done for VR.
> "We were in talks about maybe bringing a version of Minecraft to Oculus. I just cancelled that deal. Facebook creeps me out."
The guy literally just visited Carmack (whom he admits is his idol) and the Oculus team less than a couple weeks ago, and kept mentioning how excited he was to start working on new VR games. I think this says a mouthful.
And his space game has apparently been on hold for months.
Even with that aside, he's a massive figure in the game development community. A lot of people respect him and look up to him for making out huge in the Indie game in industry pretty much of his own accord. His opinion is pivotal.
But I believe that Notch and his partners still make all the calls for the company at large. While his declaration seems a bit brusque, I think the Mojang guys have quite a bit of pride in being an independent company that has done well and may wish to clearly make their corporate philosophy known.
> Facebook today announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Oculus VR, Inc., the leader in immersive virtual reality technology, for a total of approximately $2 billion. This includes $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook common stock (valued at $1.6 billion based on the average closing price of the 20 trading days preceding March 21, 2014 of $69.35 per share). The agreement also provides for an additional $300 million earn-out in cash and stock based on the achievement of certain milestones.
Imagine a 10 year high school reunion that exists not in the old gymnasium, but in a virtual space where you can catch up with them.
Imagine sitting in the front row of the next presidential debate, where you can see the sweat forming on the candidate's brow under the lights. You can look over and talk to your friend sitting next to you without disturbing the action.
Imagine being able to tour a facebook friend's new apartment without leaving your chair.
This is super duper exciting, but I hope that Facebook doesn't kill it.
Why do people keep saying stuff like this? It doesn't sound good or exciting at all. It sounds about as exciting as video calls, QR codes, and NFC payments. Which is to say, utterly lacking in creative vision and not of benefit to humanity.
VR has a real shot at transforming part of the gaming landscape. That's where the exciting stuff will happen — and it won't even change all of gaming, just a small and focused subset.
I think the reason people were excited was that this could have be something transformative - a new sensory conduit into our brains. And I think the disappointment is to have that be replaced by something so mired in the same-old same-old. A stereoscopic rendering of the world as it already is, by a player that's practially a figurehead of lack of innovation (other than in ops management and revenue models).
And you offer one of them a hug and then pause and realize, "Oh yeah. I'm just sitting at home by myself again. Just like high school."
> Imagine sitting in the front row of the next presidential debate, where you can see the sweat forming on the candidate's brow under the lights. You can look over and talk to your friend sitting next to you without disturbing the action.
And now I have no hope for American democracy. It is dead.
I know HN has a natural tendency towards wailing and gnashing of teeth, but I don't understand this reaction at all. Why would watching a debate from a virtual auditorium be any worse for democracy than watching it on TV?
Sometimes it feels like comment threads on here are secret competitions to see who can have the most extreme negative reaction.
That's fair. I didn't bother explaining it since the details of implementing a democracy is a hobby horse of mine and dropping a couple paragraphs seemed... beside the point. But,
> Why would watching a debate from a virtual auditorium be any worse for democracy than watching it on TV?
It's not the act of watching that I'm criticizing here.
It's the fact that it's being venerated as remotely important. The mere suggestion that seeing a sweat drop on a presidential candidate's forehead is even passingly relevant to anyone is profoundly disturbing to me.
Almost nobody watches the debates, and if they do, it really doesn't matter, because they're constructed to be a mere smokescreen designed to sound good while committing to less than a gust of wind in the autumn.
Remember the last however many SOTU addresses where we were promised change and reform to our ever-crumbling empire?
Remember all the things that have changed for the better?
Imagine jumping out of the Stratos like Felix Baumgartner, from your desk.
I wonder whether GoPro is working on a stereo vision headset (with microphones) so extreme athletes can capture what desk jockeys will play back on their Rifts, Walter Mitty style.
Edit: Imagine what playing Madden 2016 could be like.
This isn't to say that a recording like that would have no value, but it would only be a small step above watching a ski movie. And wheelchair users aren't excluded: paraplegics can use sit-skis to experience the real thing.
I've certainly been amazed by the paraplegics I've seen on the slopes. I still think that more people will be able to afford the VR gear than will be able to afford traveling to slopes, buying lift tickets, real gear, $10 sandwiches and $3 apples.
They will make billions :(
That game entertained and inspired (arguably) an entire generation of future geeks like most of us.
Ok so that is the dystopian view :-(. I really don't get this move yet, much to process. I suppose 'hang out with your friends in a virtual bar'? concepts?
I sincerely hope this is a good thing for Oculus, but it could definitely go badly too...
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What a waste. I hate Facebook for doing this. And I'm not too happy with Oculus for accepting this either.
There's a lot of infrastructure that a gaming company needs in 2014 that doesn't have that much to do with Oculus's core gaming focus and that Facebook has very direct experience with. Look at how long it took Sony to get remotely competitive with the Xbox's interface; look at powerhouses like EA and Nintendo embarrass themselves year after year. System UX, payments, network scaling, "social", building a customer friendly game marketplace. I don't think these are the areas Luckey, Carmack and company can't wait to work on in the morning, but they're perfectly suited to Facebook.
In a better case scenario, I can see Facebook (or Apple or Google, to be fair) helping Oculus build another Steam competitor years sooner than otherwise imaginable. Imagine if there were two brilliant companies competing to push the envelope on Linux gaming.
> For the record, I am coding right now, just like I was last week.I expect the FB deal will avoid several embarrassing scaling crisis for VR.
> I can't follow the volume of tweets today, so if you want a real answer to something, try in a couple days after things die down.
> I have a deep respect for the technical scale that FB operates at. The cyberspace we want for VR will be at this scale.
> I suppose I will get a FB account now, so that may lead to some writing a little longer than tweet length...
Microsoft's shopping spree included companies like WebTV, Hotmail, Softimage and Bungie. Maybe Facebook will also splurge on a game studio soon.
Can the megacorps please stop eating our young? Microsoft has a terrible history of buying up companies and then killing the project for some reason. Posterous got bought (I don't recall by whom) and killed. These big companies tend to not develop this stuff. They just eat it.
However, if FB screws this up, it leaves an even more wide open market for other new start-ups to dive in and make a big dent in virtual reality. The technology is ready, there's absolutely nothing that can stop what's coming, whether FB screws them up or not VR is here and it's primed.
It's stuff like this that makes me not want to work for a startup. These guys had a great business. Everyone loved their product. Even the people who got physically sick from using it still thought it was cool and wanted them to succeed. They had a perfectly viable company that could have been very profitable on its own. But hey who wants all the responsibility and work of having your own profitable company when you can just sell out...
Let's not even get into how unethical it is to use something like KickStarter to get you started and then turn around and sell out for billions a couple years later before you even ship a consumer product.
Not justifying it. Just saying if you are David, Goliath can be awfully hard to stand up to, psychologically, especially if Goliath is offering you money rather than looking to kill you (even though, long term, the result may be the death of your company).
They have no magic and they know it. Sony will trounce them technologically. Not getting to market before Sony is a fatal shortfall. I think they knew all along that they'd fall short going toe to toe with the big guns. There is something about Luckey that has always said huckster to me.
On the other hand, games are but the miniscule tip of the tip of the VR iceberg and the new placement with respect to the larger market could benefit grownups like me why could give a rat's a about games and social but see endless passive entertainment possibilities. Of course, Sony is there to beat in those domains as well.
Do you have any reputable links to support this?
Which may not be a bad idea on its own, but I don't think people would be that interested in it for a long time... (quicker/better/easier mobile integration is what people would appreciate imho) I may be completely wrong though, maybe it's the new thing.
Everyone expecting an instant turn to the dark side are naive. This is going only one way:
1. Facebook will say "We're hands off".
2. They'll persuade Carmack to stay and they'll burn cash to make it dominant and in no way corrupted by FB or data capture.
3. Once dominant they'll slowly remove privacy from it and other things geeks and people who care hold important. Carmack will quietly move on to something interesting, and few will notice.
4. The rest of the population will stay with it as they don't know/care, and geeks and everyone else will need to use it even though they really would prefer not to.
Classic frog boiling situation.
EDIT: for some laughs have a read of the Kotaku thread on facebook : https://www.facebook.com/kotaku/posts/10102759696153589 people are not happy
"I’ve always loved games. They’re windows into worlds that let us travel somewhere fantastic. My foray into virtual reality was driven by a desire to enhance my gaming experience; to make my rig more than just a window to these worlds, to actually let me step inside them. As time went on, I realized that VR technology wasn’t just possible, it was almost ready to move into the mainstream. All it needed was the right push.
We started Oculus VR with the vision of making virtual reality affordable and accessible, to allow everyone to experience the impossible. With the help of an incredible community, we’ve received orders for over 75,000 development kits from game developers, content creators, and artists around the world. 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.
Facebook is run in an open way that’s aligned with Oculus’ culture. Over the last decade, Mark and Facebook have been champions of open software and hardware, pushing the envelope of innovation for the entire tech industry. As Facebook has grown, they’ve continued to invest in efforts like with the Open Compute Project, their initiative that aims to drive innovation and reduce the cost of computing infrastructure across the industry. This is a team that’s used to making bold bets on the future.
In the end, I kept coming back to a question we always ask ourselves every day at Oculus: what’s best for the future of virtual reality? Partnering with Mark and the Facebook team is a unique and powerful opportunity. The partnership accelerates our vision, allows us to execute on some of our most creative ideas and take risks that were otherwise impossible. Most importantly, it means a better Oculus Rift with fewer compromises even faster than we anticipated.
Very little changes day-to-day at Oculus, although we’ll have substantially more resources to build the right team. If you want to come work on these hard problems in computer vision, graphics, input, and audio, please apply!
This is a special moment for the gaming industry — Oculus’ somewhat unpredictable future just became crystal clear: virtual reality is coming, and it’s going to change the way we play games forever.
I’m obsessed with VR. I spend every day pushing further, and every night dreaming of where we are going. Even in my wildest dreams, I never imagined we’d come so far so fast.
I’m proud to be a member of this community — thank you all for carrying virtual reality and gaming forward and trusting in us to deliver. We won’t let you down."
'allows us to execute on some of our most creative ideas and take risks that were otherwise impossible. Most importantly, it means a better Oculus Rift with fewer compromises even faster than we anticipated'
and that for me sums up why Oculus took the offer.
By the way, I just remembered this: http://i.imgur.com/NnXPRks.jpg (video: http://goo.gl/AMgjsC)
The older I grow, the more I feel that people need "internet cards" that can be forcibly revoked until they at least develop a base amount of empathy.
No, they don't get empathy for getting acquired for $2Billion.
2. People have a right to be angry, but what kind of hubris and egotism must a person have to tell Palmer Luckey to go fuck himself and to call him scum, right to his face? Do people really think this man went from passionate inventor to greedy businessman overnight? I think the top comment in this thread as well as Notch's response demonstrate the healthy adult way to respond to this news. Personal attacks are the lowest of the low, and yet sadly they're the norm on the internet.
2. Eh, while I agree that personal attacks are bad, they should have (and probably did) seen this coming. They're smart people, who got a great jumpstart because of a community. They were most certainly aware of what this community thinks of Facebook. They entered into this anyway. If anything, this was a slap in the face of all those people who have supported them from the beginning. The people who gave their money to support their vision.
> Do people really think this man went from passionate inventor to greedy businessman overnight?
Umm, yes? It's not that hard to believe, to be honest. I don't know if I would have turned down the deal with so much money on the table either.
As someone who does run a multi million dollar business and that supported the Oculus Rift buying ten of those in a kickstarter I would tell you something:
Nobody idolized Mr Palmer, they loved the vision, not the man. The vision is way more important than the person.
Specially when they asked for your support, and you support them, and then they change their vision, you have the right to complain, like I do.
boogie2988's response is worth watching: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvSXgBmu2Pc
Nerd³ weighs in with his own experiences: http://www.reddit.com/r/bestof/comments/1xs45h/realtotalbisc...
This is it /v/. I'm killing myself. No, I'm not an attention whore, I will be killing myself now. Facebook fucking ruined everything. Everything I was looking forward to in life is now gone because of corporate greed. We will never have real VR gaming and waifu games. We will never, NEVER FUCKING HAVE IT. Our fucking DREAMS were taken away from us. There is no point in living.
This will get 404 because of mods but I'm sure one of you will see this. I hope this will make some people actually fight against Facebook. I won't be around to see if it will.
The release of Oculus will result in a halo effect around VR-quality hardware in the electronics market. This will make it much easier to create OpenVR (open hardware, no corporate control). Oculus have dropped the ball, but we can still fulfil the vision you dream of. Wouldn't it be better to turn your frustration into a creative force?
I have seen waves of VR come and go. I'm not under the impression that Oculus Rift is much better than others.
IMO, the dreams of VR were not about helmets, but about 3-d graphics. 3d is here now and it's having its effect. Helmets are a niche product.
I think Jeri Ellsworth's CastAR will be stronger product.
The dream is real, take my money! (during Kickstarter)
Shatter the dream.
Take a dump on the scattered pieces.
Why would defecating on shards of broken dream damage them further? You could just wash them and glue them together again. Imagine all the egg on Humpty Dumpty when he fell. Perhaps they couldn't glue him together again due to the egg residue.
EDIT: Somebody downvoted me. I don't know why. I felt for Humpty Dumpty.
Seriously, though. The hatred is very plain, and very understandable. The reason people loved the Oculus is because they felt they had some control over its future. They felt a part of it from the beginning, and were excited to be able to say that they were there to help. Now, though, it appears from the outside that they were used to front-fund a giant acquisition to make a very few people very, very wealthy.
So, essentially, those that I've spoken to are pissed less that it's Facebook, and more that it's any company at all. (It just happens to be Facebook, which is seen as the devil by 20-35 year olds)
Anyone whose a soccer/football fan will recognise this speech from anyone who transferred clubs for a bigger salary. All that's missing was "As a child is was my dream to one day work for Facebook"
"I am sorry that you are disappointed. To be honest, if I were you, I would probably have a similar initial impression! There are a lot of reasons why this is a good thing, many of which are not yet public. A lot of people obviously feel the same way you do, so I definitely want to address your points:
> The appeal of Oculus (as compared to Sony, for example) is because it is on a PC platform, and thus allows us, the developers, freedom over what we want to do with it.
None of that will change. Oculus continues to operate
independently! We are going to remain as indie/developer
/enthusiast friendly as we have always been, if not more
so. This deal lets us dedicate a lot of resources to developer relations, technical help, engine optimizations, and our content investment/publishing/sales platform. We are not going to track you, flash ads at you, or do anything invasive.
> The Rift is absolutely targeted towards the gaming population, which tends to be teenage to early 20s/30s, which is the exact population that Facebook is currently losing. By partnering with Facebook, you are gaining access to a massive userbase of people that the rift is not targeted towards, which people might feel is a very bad move.
Almost everyone at Oculus is a gamer, and virtual reality will certainly be led by the games industry, largely because it is the only industry that already has the talent and tools required to build awesome interactive 3D environments. In the long run, though, there are going to be a lot of other industries that use VR in huge ways, ways that are not exclusive to gamers; the current focus on gaming is a reflection of the current state of VR, not the long term potential. Education, communication, training, rehabilitation, gaming and film are all going to be major drivers for VR, and they will reach a very wide audience. We are not targeting social media users, we are targeting everyone who has a reason to use VR.
> What we fear is not that Oculus will be partnering with Facebook, but that you are selling out the company to Facebook and no longer retain control over Oculus. I can say that I, personally, support Oculus because I believed in the goals and visions that you had.
This acquisition/partnership gives us more control of our destiny, not less! We don't have to compromise on anything, and can afford to make decisions that are right for the future of virtual reality, not our current revenue. Keep in mind that we already have great partners who invested heavily in Oculus and got us to where we are, so we have not had full control of our destiny for some time. Facebook believes in our long term vision, and they want us to continue executing on our own roadmap, not control what we do. I would never have done this deal if it meant changing our direction, and Facebook has a good track record of letting companies work independently post-acquisition.
There is a lot of related good news on the way. I am swamped right now, but I do plan on addressing everyone's concerns. I think everyone will see why this is so incredible when the big picture is clear."
and also http://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/21cy9n/the_future_of...:
"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."
I've seen this movie before...
It's the first time I read a statement by Palmer, it overall seems reasonable, but this one line feels so much like BS business talk.
As I interpret it, being in a situtation where they had less controled that under Facebook means they had almost no control going forward.
Would it mean Oculus was going nowhere, they were seeing a strong competitor entering the market but no clear vision of how they could go on, so their destiny was basically a dead end, and getting into Facebook gives them at least one or two survival paths ?
Also, I'm sorry that you are disappointed...really ? Perhaps this guy at least is a really good fit in the facebook culture.
Now they don't.
Of all the criticism you can level at Facebook, one thing you can't say is that they're driven by short term need for profits.
Whether that works out for them or not is all up to Facebook now.
Note the 'was'. As in past tense. He's got his exit.
> You could get a phantoscopic system planted directly on your retinas...You could even get telaesthetics patched into your spinal column at key vertebrae. But this was said to have its drawbacks ... it was rumored that hackers for big media companies had figured out a way to get through the defenses that were built into such systems, and run junk advertisements in your peripheral vision (or even spang in the ... middle all the time - even when your eyes were closed. Bud knew a guy like that who's somehow gotten infected with a meme that ran advertisements for roach motels, in Hindi, superimposed on the bottom right-hand corner of his visual field, twenty-four hours a day, until the guy whacked himself.
$400 million in cash.
$1.6 billion in facebook stock.
Plus "$300 million earn-out in cash/stock based on the achievement of certain milestones."
And Facebook buying Oculus makes you mad to the point of blood boil.
Think it through. See what angers you. Analyze it. Then destroy it and move on.
* No one really knows how wearables will play out yet
* It is within the realm of possibility that as headsets get better (end goal: stylish), they will enter the mainstream. This means more content will be consumed there (cellphones are an obvious analogy)
* FB pays to play in this space with a world class team which has shown an ability to produce and iterate on hardware in relatively short time.
* This also gives FB more consumer h/w chops, something it will need as FB integrates with devices that are ever more personal in nature.
It shows that FB is playing offense, working to invent the future, not just resting on its laurels.
Oculus has a technology head start, but that only gives them maybe a couple years on the cheap duplicators. In order to gain a strategic foothold their real competition is in their "app store"/content portal aspirations. They're in a race to see whose virtual space you start in when you put on your VR headset.
But in that realm they are competing with Sony, Microsoft, and Valve, all of whom have large user bases already using their portals. On that battle Oculus is at a severe disadvantage. By joining Facebook they have a network of users they can plug into, and a much bigger one than their competitors at that.
Second, Oculus is run by hardware and software engineers. They have an extraordinary team in that regard, which has allowed them to hire and expand in those areas very fast and still keep the talent bar high.
In order to build a compelling portal in a totally unmapped design language, they need world class UX and social designers. Because they are so engineering heavy, I don't think they would have an easy time identifying and integrating those people as an independent company, even with Andreesen/Horowitz pulling strings for them.
Facebook already has some great, productive, battle hardened UX teams, and I suspect they have many of the best social designers in the world. By selling to Facebook, Oculus is taking that huge question mark off the table.
In exchange they've taken on the question mark of possibly fading into obscurity in an indifferent parent organization. That's a roll of the dice. But the worst care scenario for them is they quit and start over with a LOT of cash, a rockstar reputation, and a knowledge of exactly what their acquired ghost company is organzationally incapable of doing.
And lastly, I don't think Palmer cares if HE wins. He wants to pull as much resources into the VR project as he can. Full stop. He'd happily sacrifice his company to do that. If Valve wins and he quits Facebook having failed to make it work there, he'll boot into Steam VR with a huge smile on his face knowing that he won.
It's just another 3D TV technology - sounds cool, is cool, but not in a long term way. Nobody cares much about 3D TV anymore because in practice it wasn't all it cracked up to be. It was hype.
When you strap a display to your head and replace your mouse with your own neck muscles, suddenly you are more limited than before. You can't rapidly spin 90 degrees to face an opponent in a fast-paced action game for example, without hurting your neck.
When you're sitting at a normal computer screen, you can look away for a second, out the window, to think or pause. Can't do that when the monitor is strapped to your head.
When you're typing on a keyboard, sometimes it's helpful to quickly glance down to target a specific key. That too, is gone with a monitor strapped to your head. There's a bunch of other limitations that will render any VR tech, no matter how advanced from what we played with back in the 90s, as just a cool gimmick... like the steering wheel controller with pedals. After awhile you sell it on ebay because it's not a long term thing.
Fast first person shooters aren't a good match for VR.
And keyboards - yes they are not well suited for VR either.
It will be a special occasion thing for mainstream Facebookers, and people in general. People like their "secondary things" too much I think. Those things we miss if they're not within reach -
- sipping a beer
- patting your cat
- talking to someone in the room
- Seeing with your own eyes
- glancing at TV in corner of room
- people watching/ people in your house watching
- checking phone messages
- looking at different distances to give your eyes a break.
- heaps of other things we do while using normal screens. VR makes it hard to continue doing those things in parallel.
Basically, these VR toys need to be flickable with very little effort, to get them off your face real quick! 2 billion. Funny.
Trying the Oculus for the first time was one of those "this is going to be huge" moments in my life akin to seeing the first iPhone demo.
FB's entire business went to mobile, and pre-IPO there was a lot of discussion around if they were going to figure mobile out.
Now they own arguably the best team and technology that's going to be in front of the next wave of consumption.
Palmer & the early Oculus team deserve the huge success, but man I hope they stay hungry and keep innovating given the brilliance that they gave us with the 1st Dev Kit.
What I find interesting in Oculus' blog post (http://www.oculusvr.com/blog/oculus-joins-facebook/) is that they write about an open connected world, but Facebook is everything but that.
The problem with Oculus kickstarter project was that you were buying a dev kit, not a final product. So now they sell the company and you have a dev kit for a facebook product... and the final usage of the Oculus may be now very different than the one you thought it was going to be when you purchased the dev kit...
Facebook is all about gathering ever more intimate user data. They can already put together a reasonably complete record of all the sites you are visiting anywhere on the net using their +1 button loads. Now they can go beyond clicks to see things you even thought about, actually even things that you weren't even thinking about yet.
For example, Facebook could easily detect if you were gay by looking at where your eyes went during a session. Maybe you haven't even admitted it to yourself yet, but Facebook already has that information ready for advertisers or whoever has an interest in 10 years.
I'm not sure how Facebook could benefit from Oculus VR unless they're starting a completely unrelated business (never mind what Zuckerberg says in the post).
Microsoft for example have to be kicking themselves right now. After last weeks PS4 VR headset announcement I honestly expect them to buy Oculus immediately. I'm shocked they didn't or got out bid.
I wonder if Carmack was in on the talks... he couldn't have possible left ID to cash in like this... he's got to be pissed off.
And that might well be Zuckerberg's vision. He probably read "Snowcrash" when he was about 10, after all.
Oh yeah, and i expect facebook to watch me while i game, something that makes me seriously uncomfortable. Zuckerberg babbles something about this "open and connected" i do not want to be part of.
And this is not far from reality, in a way. Carmack is a true innovator who's never thought about money, and shared his product with humanity - his writings are amazing -, Zuckerberg... well, "dumb f*cks who trust me".
Its also a very narrow sighted company that has moved into the clone or buy instead of innovate cycle that most big companies evolve into.
That sort of mindset in the upper ends of management would kill the potential of something like occulus, especially when occullus have essentially been trumped by Sony (standing vs sitting, supporting accessories, and a massive user base) in the last week and will be playing catch up... and no doubt the MS power house will be on full roll as well rolling out headsets in the same market space... so its market share is drastically shrinking before its ready for launch.
Theres no way Facebook management will be able to handle the company intelligently enough to prevent the product from faltering. IMO it's pretty much a death blow for occulus.
This could go either way, Facebook could leave it on the path it was on and just act as a parent company and the Oculus will be as awesome as we had hoped it would be.
Facebook brands itself all over the Oculus, closes it down to Facebook's proprietary software and opens it up to ads, killing what some view as the catalyst of the VR bump recently, then Sony takes over as our best hope. I love Sony but I want to see VR on more than just the Playstation Brand.
Here is to hoping that Facebook stays as uninvolved as possible with the Oculus.
Ask Ouya what happens when no one is developing for your hardware...
I've not experienced either device, but I consider this at least plausible. Maybe Sony had already figured out solutions to problems Oculus was still toying with.
Fear makes people do unexpected things.
But seriously, of all companies that Oculus could have sold to Facebook is the least innovative, and I'm skeptical that they will be able to pull of anything nearly as interesting as other companies that might have wanted to but Oculus VR, such as Google.
Back then people talked about those problems too, even with systems getting 60FPS @ 640x480. I was a test subject for a number of studies being conducted and overwhelmingly it was an unpleasant experience. It was impossible to suspend disbelief because even tiny (I don't have the figures handy) frame lags, especially during rapid head movements were extremely noticeable, and gag inducing.
Mostly, I think people shelved the systems because the technology wasn't ready, the estimates back then IIRC was it would take a 4x resolution and 4x frame rate bump before it was worthwhile.
Both are probably possible, but the latency numbers are harder than it seems because of the fact that framerate != frame latency due to pipelining in the sensor and graphics systems. The resolution numbers are probably a matter of cost. LCD's providing 1080p in a couple inches are also probably significantly more expensive than the cost target needed to make these things mainstream.
Yes, this isn't part of Facebook's core competency. They still bought it. Could it mean Facebook is attempting to diversify?
How about lets wait and see what happens before we vilify the Oculus founders.
Not saying I necessarily agree with that, but I can at least understand how it does leave one with the impression that priorities in the tech industry and wall street are completely out of whack. Instead of solving 'real' problems (energy, medicine, education, etc.) we disproportionately value some rather inane activities.
Six days ago  we got an article where the most popular comment was this:
"I'm amused by it. It's a transfer of wealth from shareholders of those companies to founders and VCs. These are also the companies with dual class shares designed to keep control in the founders' hands. They all say it's to be able to focus on the long-term, but really it has bred empire building and poor stewardship of the shareholder's capital."
Since is Andreessen is in the board of both companies , do you think we are seeing an example of this problem?
(In finance-ish words, the problem would be that Facebook is doing "empire building". Usually the board is the defense against this, but if the directors own large interests in the potential targets, that may not happen)
That said, I can't come up with a roadmap for FB and Oculus here that involves the facebook.com and doesn't make me slightly uncomfortable...
Albeit this comment is accompanied by many other similar ones in this thread, I just could not keep myself from posting it.
I don't think Facebook would necessarily "ruin" Occulus (although it likely will) but I don't really see the fit. Courtside seats at basketball games -- OK totally doable technically speaking, but the hard part would be licensing.
If VR ever takes off in the mainstream it will probably end up becoming a "FRAND" kind of deal, where a bunch of key players pool their patents. Occulus will be a player, but hardly the only player.
I could see Sony or Microsoft wanting to sew up Occulus (although I think it would be a mistake to sell to either). Facebook just doesn't make much sense. Maybe it's just Zuckerberg really likes the technology.
The idea that brands like NBA/MLB/NFL won't want to get in on selling people VIP VR Experiences is crazy. VR is going to be absolutely huge, it's the next truly disruptive technology.
I've always found Facebook's stock to be a ridiculously risky long-term investment since their entire growth plan is predicated on monetizing an already established customer base, where a single event that causes people to switch en masse to a more private/secure social network would destroy the company. After today's acquisition I no longer think this.
- Who are going to use the Oculus outside of gamers? Just selling a smartwatch is already a tough sell for anyone but technologists, I just can't imagine my dad or my mom putting on a VR headset or anyone not a hardcore geek.
- And even if they would (which is dubious) the move to mobile mean it's just impossible technical wise for a long time (considering they said VR would bring a high end PC to its knee quickly)
- On top of that Facebook brings what? Money? They could already get that with investors, having a lot of users doesn't bring that much to the table.
No really I don't understand.
As for Oculus itself, I doubt they would have been funded in kickstarter if they used any of these words in their original pitch - social, communicate, Facebook, etc. Now it feels sad to see them speak a very different language.
Imagine if the iPhone, after being sold for 600$ to early adopters, sold out to Microsoft in 2007. That's how bad this feels for some of us backers and developers.
'Hey, umm guys, I know we really like the company, but lets have things cool down a bit after spend 19 billion.'
In the Whatsapp acquisition thread someone made a comment about FB thinking their stock valuation is overpriced. I'm curious to hear what the split (cash/stock) is. If it's stock heavy, I'm almost certain that person was right.
I understand the frustration I'm seeing in a lot of the comments here, and I don't know how things will play out (I was definitely surprised when I saw this announcement just now), but let's hope that good things will come out of it because Oculus has a good team and Facebook sees the possibilities such a platform could bring to the world...eventually.
In the Matrix, I'm not quite sure if they ever showed whether or not time was 1:1 inside/out of the Matrix.
If it was, then it makes me think of all of the things that happen within our dreams and how much we seem to be able to do within those sleeping hours. Maybe in the future we'll figure out a way to go into a virtual world that fully mimics the rules in the "real" world and be able to accomplish the same amount of work in a fraction of the time because time will be slower (or our ability to process information will be faster in this virtual world, however you want to look at it) so we can spend part of the time in there and more time out in the real world :-).
Anyhow, I'll try and be positive that Facebook will be able to do the right thing here and be able to earn the trust again of those that currently "creeped" out by the acquisition (plus, I sort of have to be anyway...I still have quite a bit of IPO stock I purchased and been holding onto :-).
Then they turn around and blatantly disregard one of Stephenson's most fundamental virtues/warnings from the novel (don't want to spoil it for anyone, but yea, eerily similar to joining L. Bob Rife). Straight PR garbage. And a slap to the face for anyone who actually believed them.
I can't remember the last piece of tech news that made me so disappointed.
People need to get over whatever negative emotions they have towards Facebook. It's like they hate Facebook for reminding them of a bad breakup.
Congratulations to entire Oculus team, that's an exciting acquisition and I look forward to what this infusion of cash will do to the future of an already incredible product.
With Facebook now owning Oculus they have the resources to completely circumvent Steam and create their own game distribution platform and get a cut of the sales-- they've already started down this path with the App Center.
They have 70 employees , funding of $91 million , headset sales of 50K for DK1  (although claims sales of 75K). Unknown IP, unknown partnership deals, unknown real-estate cost, unknown inventory, molds, and hardware assets.
I suspect that the valuation isn't entirely for their assets, but I cannot arrive at the 2 billion number. Do my 'unknowns' listed above complete the 2 billion mark?
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oculus_VR, 2.5m kickstarter + 75 series B + 13.5 m unknown
By the way, there is an alternative hypothesis, that the valuation is just not there: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7471471
Do you think it makes sense?
Then they have all the stuff covered.
Their big problem is that they perceived as the cashed up bogans of the corporate world. Buying companies with tangible products or services is the only way they will shake that perception.
Additionally, this is a gaming device. Having utopian visions for a device that hasn't even hit the market for its intended use is not a good PR strategy.
And yes, you're of course right that things like this wouldn't convince X. That's not the point. The point is that 0.1% of facebook's audience is one massive group of people.
Have you noticed that the giants work relentlessly to prevent any small player of growing with golden handcuffs - thermostat guys, whatsapp, now OVR ...
Well, I think I'm gonna hold off on that for a little while and see where this story leads.
I don't really want an advertising company inserting itself as an intermediary in the data-stream an inch in front of my eyes. (Yeah yeah, Android mutter mutter mutter ... but at least that's a somewhat more open platform).
If FB make Oculus a hardware-only device, or, even better, an open platform, then I'm probably gonna be cool with it. If, on the other hand, they lock it down so that they can monitor and/or influence and/or control what appears in front of my eyes, then I'm gonna be tempted to stay away from that particular party.
With privacy being a huge issue, thanks to the NSA, and kids not wanting to belong to the same social network as their parents... it's over. I think these companies they're buying won't survive being tainted by their association with FB.
I'm aware that 2 billion is a drop in the bucket, but I'm hoping Zuckerberg goes on a buying spree, pisses through enough money purchasing, and eventually trying to bail out, once decent companies, that it quickens the demise of the company.
me: okay, don't panic. facebook sees the potential in the upcoming VR industry
mind: yeah, they also see the VR marketplace wars coming and want to own it
me: marketplace wars? like apps built for VR accessible from within the headset ?
mind: yeah, so (c)blocking Steam from exploiting valve's influence with Oculus, and instead push Facebook as the marketplace for VR content
me: interesting.. mind?
me: you're just making up shit to explain why Facebook would buy Oculus VR aren't you?
mind: yeah :(
Though if I had to fathom a plan, if Facebook buys some telepresence/robotics people then I'd say they might be thinking about how you could monetize global telepresence via virtual reality. Gaming is one app for the Oculus, but it's got an unknown market dimension. Whereas something like that - you could sell it to everyone, and they would actually pay for it.
People here seem shocked that it sold to Facebook, but really I think this means that everything that was expected of it will still happen, but even more interesting things will be done with it at the same time.
> It feels to me like this is just the beginning of their story and of this technology.
That's probably the point, for any technology firm, where the "work done" to "money received" for selling out is the highest.
When it feels like the end of their story and technology, they've missed the ideal time to sell.
If all they care about it money (doubtful), they just locked down a vast amount of money in 2 years time vs the long hard fight in the marketplace against several serious competitors (Sony etc). A bird in the hand is worth more than in the bush.
If they care about the technology, and bringing their vision to reality, then they now have Facebook's resources to make their dream come true, which is important given the size of their competitors' budgets.
Device comes into market. Gets played around with by devs and early adopters creating hype. Device gets bought by a company with a proven track record of stable up-time with immense amounts of data(that is constantly being updated and replicated) about real-world objects and the cash to implement interesting use cases.
Not saying it's gonna happen but i'm cautiously optimistic. A connected social experience is the future. I'm just hoping for AR instead of VR.
"... for a total of approximately $2 billion. This includes $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook common stock (valued at $1.6 billion based on the average closing price of the 20 trading days preceding March 21, 2014 of $69.35 per share). The agreement also provides for an additional $300 million earn-out in cash and stock based on the achievement of certain milestones."
An infinite landscape, where every advert is 100% tailored to the person viewing it.
Yeah, I hate it too.
Question is: will we like the next buyer more? Does it even matter?
Every 'like' is probably someone who:
- likes Oculus Rift
- likes Sony VR
- likes Google Glass
- likes 'I hate VR'
- likes 'luddites'
- and likes 'Lawnmower man'
Their engineering team also seems to deliver some great solutions and plays well with OSS community.
As for this deal, I do not understand how they are going to integrate it into their platform or even what they are going to do with Oculus. I would like to think it is a long term diversification strategy because they feel they have great technology.
I always thought it was inevitable that a solution will eventually evolve that allows individuals to communicate directly with each other and manage their own online social networks without intermediaries like Google or Facebook. Slowing down that evolution seems like a correct strategy for companies that stand to lose from it.
Otherwise I don't see how facebook could take advantage of the device.
'Also, the plan is still to stay an independent company... not sell to a big fish like Sony, the way Iribe's former employer Gaikai did last June. "We want to stay independent and get to the consumer market, realizing VR the way we really think it needs to be done, and we don't need to take any shortcuts to get there," declares Iribe, adding that his new venture capital bosses are on board with that.'
Simply having the most upvoted comment in the short-term leads to the effect of other, possibly more relevant and current comments being lost beneath the ever upvote-collecting top comments.
It works well for up to 150 comments, but at close to 700 comments in such a system the conversation and HN user input becomes vastly less effective (and navigable).
From the statement from Oculus VR, they are not clear what experiences they really want to provide.
Right now it is very difficult to see what is this same vision that both companies claim to have.
Selling it to Facebook seems to me an indication that the leadership no longer believe that Oculus can be as successful in the gaming industry as they hoped.
So long as the device doesn't turn bright blue and Facebook doesn't hinder the forward progress of Oculus VR we might as well sit back and hope for the best.
It's hard enough trying to meet with someone who is constantly distracted by their smart phone; does this mean in order to interact with someone I need to meet with their virtual persona?
As soon as sony released information about their VR headset I was looking forward more to that one since it will be oriented around gaming.
If Facebook stays hands off and just infuses them with billions of dollars and massive resources, we could see something amazing come out of this. I'm still cheering for Oculus, and I trust the team and John Carmack to create an awesome product, regardless.
Seems like they've passed that hurdle, I wish them the best of luck!
I fear that something will go wrong and this will change the trajectory for the worse. I don't see the fit here. However there are a lot of smart people on both sides of the deal and I like to assume that they know what they are doing.
He's the only one that can't be suspected of doing that for the money at this point.
I think this is a good thing.
Well, Facebook lost their teens and they need them back. Zuck might have looked into the future were he envisioned millions of gamers using oculus rift and what he actually bought were those future (facebook) users, who will whine because the facebook account is mandatory but who will still use it because there is nothing like it.
Sony has the brand name and Valve have a pretty solid community. If either were out there with as-strong or superior technology, Oculus might've been irrelevant within 2-3 years.
Multiplayer games were one of the first faux-social online activities. In a weird way, it feels like a good fit to me if Facebook is in this to create an online gaming platform.
Could we not create a human readable social network using email as the protocol. That way everyone's email client slowly starts to integrate social features and everyone not interested in these gets summary mails that they can just bin.
But this is worse. Will we have farmvilleVR only now? Either way, they're now in position to make further drm on oculus games, such as Facebook login only.
But seeing that Sony added a share button on their controller this is probably the inevitable future anyway...
Isn't that physically impossible with current technology? To use the set you have to cover the upper part of your face with the screens, so there's no way to record your whole facial expression.
It feels like this is going to be a disappointment to all involved.
The good news for Sony is this makes their VR suddenly the best hope for gaming.
Now, I'm torn.
As a tech company, and a social platform, I like Facebook, a lot.
As a gamer, I do not want my gaming tech force integrated into my social network. Not sure that's in their roadmap, or what that would even look like, but there is that risk.
My only hope is that John Carmack is coming out of this well enough to bring Armadillo Aerospace back out of 'hibernation mode'.
Assuming that this is the reason, that's a shockingly strong and forward looking move.
I mean, in the end it's theis (Oculus) decision what to do with their company, but i don't think Facebook is a good fit.
Also I'm wondering what the investors do to FB's stock watching them throw cash away like this.
I think a world of possibilities just got thrown away.
> Imagine [..] studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world
The press release  from Oculus also mentions Education:
Mark and his team share our vision for virtual reality’s
potential to transform the way we learn, share, play, and
That was and still is the slogan of my previous employer.
I'd love to see this really take shape, I worked on the virtual education problem for a long time, and it badly needs an investment of money. If facebook invests in virtual education, I will be very pleased.
I don't buy into PR announcements.
And also makes it suddenly incredibly scary...
They stand to make lots of money getting in early and selling to Facebook.
Bit of a poisoned chalice from our perspective, but is this something the VC would have been working towards since day 1?
I sure hope that this is because I lack the information, insight, or imagination to understand what's going on here, and not because this is a terrible outcome for Oculus technology.
And I see this trend more and more with my friends (average users who just leave FB or are inactive.)
Do you share this feeling regarding FB ?
You mean like Microsoft acquiring Bungie in 2000? Gaming (at the time) wasn't one of Microsofts core competencies.
I distinctly remember sitting in a computer lab at Uni watching the dev demo for Halo on a Mac and daydreaming about buying one, specifically to play this game in 1999-ish
This is like the Google acquisition of Nest: something cool, now owned by a large company historically more interested in monetizing my activities than providing me with a quality product.
Now I wish I open HN tomorrow and see a post, maybe something like - "John Carmack quits Oculus and starts his own VR company".
So in the end we are going to have just Facebook Rift with forced social media integration and a gimmick for only PS4 games.
Anyone know if that Cory is Cory Ondrejka, previously CTO of Linden Lab (Second Life)?
Brought to you by Facebook.
Just wait till you see the new Farmville.
The kit would have gone from being a shiny cool thing on my desk to a shiny turd in my room.
I guess he wasn't a great fan of facebook either.
Valve has a strong prototype, so they're also in the game, and they will take this technology in the right direction if Oculus drops the ball.
This is likely a defensive buy. I would imagine it didn't cost too much either.
also, is all company sellers going to completely inflate their price to FB? I get what Oculus is doing, but damn, i would guess that the second highest bidder would pay 10% of that much.
It's like the moment when I was teaching a game design course and I realized that all the students already used Dropbox. I though I was the only one who knew about Dropbox.
If you want VR, then you should be happy. This just made VR real.
I think everyone are pissed off, because they were rooting for the first mover and underdog that Oculus was.
In a word, yes. Why? Because tech innovation is different from social change.
As of GDC 2013, it was obvious to early adopters that VR was closer than had been believed, and that there was a realistic road-map to getting there thanks to Oculus and Valve. However, there was no way to know whether mass market adoption would happen because the Rift DK1 still made lots of people nauseous, and non VR-o-philes could legitimately claim that it was just a bunch of dorks with ugly boxes on their heads. I mean, how pathetic is that? It could be mocked in the same way that the Segway was mocked, but that the Z-Board is not. Segway == loser dork. Z-Board == cool(ish). To be fair, I have a Rift DK1, and it's a great first step -- much better than any consumer level VR device I've seen in the last 15 years.
I didn't go to GDC 2014 last week, but this was also a huge tipping point. Two of my co-workers who had been debilitated by DK1 nausea just bought DK2's on the spot. That points to Oculus having removed a big obstacle to adoption. People aren't going to adopt something that makes them barf.
Sony has been working on headsets for over a decade, but has failed to deliver on the promise of VR until just now -- after being goaded by Oculus. So, yeah, competition's good, but these guys failed and failed in part because the world still wasn't ready for VR and they didn't want to commit the resources to this.
This move by Facebook signals that the world is or will soon be ready for VR. People who don't "get" VR will be like people who don't see the benefit in texting. Entitled to their opinion, but a diminishing fringe.
VR is poised to cross the chasm.
I see what you did there.
As a gamer, I've always had faith in Carmack when it comes to developing solid software....because that's where his strength lies. Despite that, my skepticism in id Software grew over the years because he was only one member of a team that seemed incapable of doing anything interesting with his work.
Same here. I'm confident that John Carmack wants to build a kick-ass, immersive experience.
I have no confidence that the higher powers at Facebook will let him realize that goal without weighing him down with a dozen other corporate needs, to justify the cost of acquisition.
You know what happen? EA happened.
This is really really smart. I'd guess it's a play for a talented team, and a bet that they can become a leader in an industry that will be revolutionary sooner rather than later.