Oculus VR could have changed business reality, but they let Facebook stop them

Sony are making their own VR head set for the PS4, so this news is pretty great for them. Everyone who wants to get involved can still do so without having to strap FB to their heads, although the newly released current gen machines do have all that integrated “share” functionality.

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Because it’s Facebook.

I really don’t have a problem with VC funding - this isn’t about the money. My objection is specifically to Facebook taking control of something else with which they can commodify personal information.


well this pretty much seals the deal. I will never buy this product regardless of how cool it is. Anything related to Facebook is a privacy concern. You can bet they will have all kinds of tracking built into this thing so they can see what users are doing. Well at least the creator is now rich as fuck.

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Regardless of any disappointment over kumbayatic dreams of what Oculus could have been. Facebook as a buyer is death to any 3rd party interest in the platform. Anyone who wasted years of their lives going down the rabbit hole of moving targets and broken promises that is Facebook App development wouldn’t BEGIN to invest time and effort on a platform owned by Facebook a second time. Seriously.


How, exactly, do you imagine them doing that? It’s a piece of hardware. Do you think they’re going to force you to sign into Facebook if you want to use your Oculus to play Call of Duty? How would them tracking what games you are currently playing be any different from Steam seeing what game you’re currently playing? Or XBox Live?


Sure. It’s not like Faceplug would use the package of patents that came with the deal to wholesale slaughter any VR startups who try to replace Oculus, right?

There’s a Zucker born every minute.


They are still a bad actor, but they are appearing in better films these days.


Someone mentioned earlier in the thread that Oculus doesn’t really have much in the way of amazing patents. Whether or not that’s actually true? I have no idea.

A lot of people who are reading your post are probably lefties. I lean left and love lefties, but modern lefties are flakey as hell when it comes to solidarity.

It’s like trying to herd cats which in the meantime are being hounded, distracted and scattered by rabid, corporatist dogs hellbent on keeping the cats focused on anything but mutual cooperation.

The same critical thought, non-conformity and individuality that defines many lefties is also their downfall when it comes to putting aside nitpicking and joining together as a group to tackle mutual problems.

I hope that changes, but I’m not counting on it.


Just wait 'til the porn companies get involved.

I still wanna believe, so someone humor me. Which is the more likely scenario: Facebook supporting the Rift, or the Rift supporting Facebook?

I mean, it is easy to joke about 3D Zynga ads, Facebook integration, and user tracking, but that really doesn’t seem like the parsimonious prediction. The Rift is first and foremost a piece of hardware, it doesn’t intrinsically do anything beyond render stereoscopic footage while tracking a user’s head position.

People aren’t going to buy it to surf Facebook, they are going to buy it to play games. Any idiot with a shred of business acumen knows that if they are going to make money off this, they need to make it the best damn VR experience they can.

My personal theory is that (much like me and many others), Mark Zuckerberg really wants the Rift to finally be released. Schlubs like me have to wait it out, but Mark probably figured, “fuck it, I’ll just buy 'em out and get this party started.”

If I had $2Billion burning a hole in my pocket, I would probably do the same thing.

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If the alternative is the Right’s fanatically “on-message”, dictatorial approach to hammering home the “one true way”, to be part of the hive or an enemy of it, then I’ll happily wallow in my disorganised, inefficient anarchy, thanks all the same.

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Well, there’s always CastAR – and that has Jeri frickin Ellsworth behind it, so…


Check out Daemon and Freedom ™ by Daniel Suarez. It’s about the head of a gaming community sticking it the jerks ruining the country. Excellent books.


Based on everything I have seen (and the current Facebook employees that are likely pushing this) Facebook’s play in this is creating something like SecondLife/Playstation Home/AlphaWorlds. Will this work? I have no idea - I’m not interested, but I am also not interested in Facebook, SecondLife, Playstation Home or Alphaworlds.

Did they have to buy a hardware manufacturer to do this? No, absolutely not and tactually seems kinda dumb, since Facebook’s goal should be to provide a great experience on anyone’s hardware. I don’t see what buying oculus get’s them. They could have instead hired a bunch of people focusing on creating great VR experiences, rather than creating great VR hardware.

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If the alternative is the Right’s fanatically “on-message”, dictatorial approach to hammering home the “one true way”, to be part of the hive or an enemy of it,

Why does the alternative have to be so extreme? How about if we shoot for something more moderate that can unite people on the left, but not emulate the right in the process? That’s another path, you know?

You’re unwittingly giving a pretty good example of what I’m talking about. Instead of finding areas of agreement or areas of productive improvement, you throw back an extreme at me. Perhaps it would be more productive to take the time to offer some constructive criticism for me instead of pulling a knee-jerk reaction out of your prideful gut?

I already said that I lean left and I love lefties. Work with me here. I just know that trying to organize the left in this day and age can be difficult. There’s a host of reasons for it, including many on the left are too busy (or think they’re too busy) to get involved in activism and involved within their own government. Some of that is for valid reasons and some of it certainly is not.

I’m not talking about DINOs, plenty of conservatives enter politics and become DINOs. I’m talking about lefties who get involved and become liberal Democrats or Independents.

There was a time when solidarity on the left wasn’t a dirty word and gave the left a lot of power to change things in this USA. Infighting has killed a lot of it.

then I’ll happily wallow in my disorganised, inefficient anarchy, thanks all the same.

If you go back and read my post, you’ll see that I literally said that I love people on the left, m’kay? You’ll also see where I mention the positives of lefties that include being critical thinkers, etc.

Try pushing aside some of the ego and let’s see if there’s perhaps an alternative to nitpicking and smarmy infighting?

Or, just keep being an example of the problem I pointed out.


Except this is more like if IOI had bought out Oasis before it even went live.

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Technically, 143 million people “like” Facebook.

Did they have to buy a hardware manufacturer to do this? No, absolutely not and tactually seems kinda dumb, since Facebook’s goal should be to provide a great experience on anyone’s hardware. I don’t see what buying oculus get’s them.

My take is that the higher-ups at Facebook are very excited about the future of VR and buying the indie-darling front-runner is the best way to ensure that they get a cut of those profits. With the trajectory Rift is on, they literally just have to stay out of the way and everything should come up Milhouse.

But! Oculus Rift’s problems are now Facebook’s problems. There is usually a lot less money to be made on hardware development. I imagine that there will eventually be development fees to license the SDK, and I also suspect Oculus holds a few patents that could be leveraged.

But in the end, sure let’s say Facebook creates the first great OASIS homage… they certainly didn’t need to buy OR to do that, and making it exclusive in any way will undercut the profitability on either software or hardware margins.

Take Apple for example. They make great hardware, reasonable software, and let pretty much anyone use their platforms for whatever they wish (especially on the PC side, less so on the App Store and iOS in general). The success of Apple is fundamentally integrative, and I could easily see Facebook going for the same model. I hope.

Even if they were able to get the VC funding but persuade them that it was a good idea not to sell, it’s not certain they could have become sufficiently profitable to do an IPO.

Yes, but we’ll never know because they sold out their Kickstarter funders and threw them under the bus before giving it a chance. And, why does everything have to be about a swift and glorious IPO, anyway?

There’s something to be said about a slower but steady approach that plants solid roots within a growing and avid community… and builds from those roots with said community.

They’ve chopped those roots now and I suppose they think that throwing vast amounts of money at the issues will mend those wounds. But, many of those wounds are severed within the community and will never mend no matter how much Facebook money they throw at the project.

Personally, I hope Oculus fails at this point. I hope it fails because most of the community abandons it for another VR project that’s started by people with a sense of true community and true ethics. People that have goals to serve society that transcend base lust for the almighty buck. People that judge success differently than how many mega-yachts they can buy. I hope Oculus ends up being a huge loss for Facebook so it helps to prevent this shit from happening again.

It’s time to start a new project that doesn’t embrace a community of people as a ploy.

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