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Ok, I am over being mad at Facebook. This is huge.

Abrash has been the front facing member of Valve's efforts @ VR.

His "What VR could, should, and almost certainly will be within two years" (1) paper was mind boggling as an Oculus Dev Kit owner.

This is going to be like watching the "Dream Team" come together in one place, and I'm guessing that this ends all speculation about whether or not Carmack sticks around under FB considering the collaborative history between these two.

(1) http://media.steampowered.com/apps/abrashblog/Abrash%20Dev%2...




The biggest thing about the Facebook deal is that Oculus will have hundreds of millions of dollars to develop the hardware they dream of, not the hardware they have to settle for.

They can design custom chips and displays and get it done faster than they would if they'd waited to bootstrap themselves up to it.

FB can/will pour a ton of money into custom (vs off-the-shelf) hardware. And FB is better than most investors in that they won't be looking for an immediate payoff, so Oculus can do things right instead of too fast.

It's win/win/win, outside of the little kneejerk firestorm reaction. That will fade.


>>>"The biggest thing about the Facebook deal is that Oculus will have hundreds of millions of dollars to develop the hardware they dream of, not the hardware they have to settle for."

I didn't realize this was public knowledge, yet you certainly state it as if it was obvious. Do you have evidence of them having to settle for lame hardware that $75M of investment couldn't get them? Where did this news surface? Sounds interesting.


There have been a few mentions of this both in videos and posts. Here's a relevant bit from a post by Palmer Luckey on Reddit:

http://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/21cy9n/the_future_of...

>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.

http://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/21lu33/introducing_m...

>You are right that screens with big lenses in front of your eyes is essentially a brute force design, a design that relies on utilizing the scraps of the mobile phone industry to provide a good VR experience at the cost of performance and form factor. Doing better requires insane resources, which we now have.


> 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. - Palmer [1]

[1]- http://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/21cy9n/the_future_of...


Except that is's possible that the custom hardware that you speak of will end up costing more money as an end user wanting to buy one of these devices. The hardware that they were using was off the shelf, high volume hardware and thus not as pricey. Just a thought


There's been talk about Zuckerberg wanting to use Facebook's backing to release the Rift at lost cost[1]. That's a little scary in its own right, as it implies that Facebook may be looking to turn the Rift into something closer to a console.

[1] http://ca.ign.com/articles/2014/03/26/oculus-on-joining-face...


You should write them an email letting them know about this as soon as possible. They've probably all forgotten that keeping costs down is desirable, and you're just the person to remind them.


Facebook is not Apple. Even Google is not Apple, as we watch time and time again Google failing at hardware and customer service. Neither of which, Facebook has any experience at. Nor are Carmack and Abrash hardware guys (that is, manufacturing rather than tinkering). Let's be just a bit realistic here. They have an uphill battle. Facebook also has no game development team (which I would include 3d modelers, world designers, etc.) There are a ton of missing variables from this equation still.

Money buys people, but it doesn't create miracles. I was excited when Abrash joined Valve, but nothing came of that.


I have a great many criticisms of this deal but how many people would be better candidates for the role of a CTO managing the meeting of new 3D technology and hardware? A CTO has to cover all technology bases, not just hardware, so you can't just name some chip designer with no management experience. Carmack has been optimizing game engines with assembly since the dawn of the industry and is still hands-on having very recently been optimizing game engines on smartphones. He was also head of Armadillo aerospace where they had enormous amounts of custom machining and microcontroller work, you can deride that as "tinkering" if you like.

Google's work specifying and building the Nexus lines, the Chromebooks and their own custom motherboards for their servers, Google glass, their self-driving cars and their recent acquisition of the leading robotics companies also demonstrates how much hardware knowledge Google has. So you are wrong there too.

Facebook has been leading the open compute project and has significantly more hardware resources than people might think just using their web application. The point of buying the company is to get all the technology anyway, let's not forget in all this that they have a working prototype.

I'll agree they both have bad customer service though. But as a victim of Apple's bad hardware and customer service - they sold me an iPhone that had broken reception and didn't replace it for anyone outside of the US where there was a lawsuit - I would argue Apple doesn't really beat them there either.


> where they had enormous amounts of custom machining and microcontroller work, you can deride that as "tinkering" if you like.

I will deride it all day, because it's not manufacturing. In manufacturing consumer products you must worry about things like margins, supply chains, and regional regulations. Oculus Rift is going to be a consumer device. So why the hell are you trying to compare apples and doorknobs here? I wasn't knocking Carmack or Abrash. I was telling you factual information. They are not the same people that will turn Oculus Rift into a consumer product. At all. Facebook will have to hire more people and bring in more outsider knowledge. That is what I'm saying.

> demonstrates how much hardware knowledge Google has. So you are wrong there too.

Nexus is just rebranded Asus/LG/Samsung devices. In fact, my Asus tablet has more features and is cheaper than its Nexus sibling. Chromebook came out and was priced higher than a MacBook. Which is proof enough that Google doesn't understand the hardware market. Who wants to buy a locked-down dumb terminal laptop, when you can get the real deal for cheaper? Google Glass? Did anyone really take that seriously? Self-driving cars? Didn't know I could go to my local auto dealer and get one.

My point is, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. Wrong market predictions, wrong retail pricing, bad supply chain, terrible marketing. And you really expect that Carmack+Abrash = VR products for sale soon? Realistically, we're not going to see anything for at least 5 years. Conservatively, 10. And Carmack and Abrash are a few pieces in a giant puzzle.

> they sold me an iPhone

That's nice.


You are right that Apple is at a different level in hardware, but you can point to a bunch of big hardware success stories for google, starting with servers and data centers, google mapping cars, and most relevantly their nexus android phones.




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