Why Facebook Buying Oculus VR Makes Sense

 

Oculus Rift
Oculus Rift

Oculus VR, the darling of the PC and gaming community, is now a whole other beast. In what seems to be the most shocking news of the week, Facebook announced plans to acquire Oculus VR for roughly $2B. The news sent shockwaves through the tech industry, with an almost unanimous feeling of betrayal.

The drum beat of doom and gloom has never been louder. From Reddit, to Facebook posts, and even Oculus’ own comments page on its website, the community is quickly declaring the demise of VR and Oculus’ innovation as well as new hope for transforming PC gaming.

But is it?

There have been plenty of amazing technologies to come out in the last several years that were ahead of their time. Despite being innovative, they often failed. And these products failed not because they weren’t revolutionary, but because they weren’t adopted by the mainstream consumer. And when I mean mainstream, I am referring to the people who go to Best Buy to purchase their PC. These are the folks that make technology widespread and ubiquitous. For virtual reality to really take off, it needs to be as popular to consumers as the next new mobile phone, or the next new PlayStation. VR needs to be the next house hold name.

While many industry insiders and tech enthusiast know about the Rift, most of my very own friends never even heard of Oculus, let alone the Rift. As a matter of fact, a good portion of this group of people think that VR is something straight out of Hollywood. If things continued along this path, the Rift would have been regulated to a niche device — admittedly a very cool device.

In Zuckerberg’s own words:

“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.”

While the above quote doesn’t say much for PC gaming, it is the underlying requirement for mass adoption of VR, and is precisely the catalyst that VR, as an industry and not just a cool technical device, needs to really take off. When that happens, there will be a VR section at your local Best Buy, and there will be so much competition in VR content, the dream of being truly transported and immersed in different worlds will no longer be just virtual.

 

Source: Oculus VR

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by Michael Hoang, on March 25, 2014