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posted by LaminatorX on Wednesday March 26 2014, @03:20AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the 0.1053-What's-Apps-worth-of-stock dept.

Several community members have commented on Facebook's purchase of Oculus VR...

Techwolf writes, "There is news spreading all over the net about Facebook buying up Occulus Rift. Some cheer, some are jeering as kickstarters backers felt betrayed along with open source folks."

Ethanol-fueled writes:

Some of you may have already heard of the Oculus Rift, the kickstarted VR headset platform associated with John Carmack. Earlier today, social networking giant Facebook purchased Oculus VR for $2 billion in cash and stock (chump change compared to the $19 billion it paid for WhatsApp) with plans not so much for VR-gaming, but for VR-real-life...

"Facebook sees VR as a way to join a virtual community from the comfort of your own home and feel like you're really there. Whether you're taking a class, seeing a concert, or checking out the sights in an unfamiliar city..."

And from this article:

"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." Sounds interesting, but all are not thrilled. Minecraft creator Notch broke off a previous engagement with Oculus after he found out, saying that Facebook "creeped him out."

Perhaps the most surprising bit of news itself buried in those articles is that John Carmack now works for Facebook. Who knew?

Jaruzel writes, "From PR Newswire, 'Mobile is the platform of today, and now we're also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow. Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate,' said Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. Is this the end of Oculus? Will the Rift be forever consigned to Farmville style web games? Does this news help or hinder Sony and their Project Morpheus VR headset?"

Shub writes, "The company is expected to continue to develop technology aimed at the games industry, although Facebook plans to bring it to new markets. Irish Time's Link"

Lagg writes, "I'm personally fuming, but could the inevitable backlash lead to better things in the long term? Perhaps encouraging competition in this emerging market?"

Related Stories

Facebook/Oculus Ordered to pay $500 Million to ZeniMax 6 comments

Mark Zuckerberg's first courtroom testimony hasn't gone over so well. A jury has awarded ZeniMax Media Inc. $500 million in damages in the Oculus Rift case:

The virtual reality headset maker that Facebook Inc. bought in 2014 for $2 billion used stolen technology, a jury said in awarding $500 million damages to ZeniMax Media Inc.

Jurors in Dallas federal court on Wednesday sided with ZeniMax in its trade-secrets case over the Oculus Rift, the device that has put the social media giant at the forefront of the virtual reality boom. The verdict is a rebuke of Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg, who isn't a defendant but who told jurors in his first-ever courtroom testimony that it was important for him to be there because the claims by ZeniMax Media Inc. were "false."

The case is ZeniMax Media Inc. v. Oculus VR Inc., 3:14-cv-01849, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas (Dallas). Not to be confused with the Eastern District of Texas. From a 2013 article in Dallas News:

Judges in the Northern District, which includes Dallas and Fort Worth, saw an 18 percent increase in patent cases filed. And legal experts expect that number will significantly increase in 2013 now that three judges in Dallas have committed to focusing more of their time and expertise on intellectual property disputes.

Also at The Verge.

Previously:
Facebook to Buy Rift Maker Oculus VR for $2bn
Mark Zuckerberg Will Testify in Oculus VR Trade Secrets Trial


Original Submission

Oculus to Begin Requiring Facebook Accounts to Use VR Headsets 40 comments

Mandatory Socialization: Facebook Accounts To be Required for Oculus Headsets

Signaling the end to any remaining degrees of separation between Facebook and its VR headset division, Oculus, today the social media company announced that it will be further integrating the two services. Coming this fall, the company will begin sunsetting stand-alone Oculus accounts as part of an effort to transition the entire Oculus ecosystem over to Facebook. This will start in October, when all new Oculus accounts and devices will have to sign up for a Facebook account, while support for existing stand-alone accounts will be retired entirely at the start of 2023.

Previously: Facebook to Buy Rift Maker Oculus VR for $2bn
Facebook/Oculus Ordered to pay $500 Million to ZeniMax
Founder of Oculus VR, Palmer Luckey, Departs Facebook
Facebook Announces Oculus Go for $200
Facebook's Zuckerberg Wants to Get One Billion People in VR
Facebook Launches Oculus Go, a $200 Standalone VR Headset
Oculus Co-Founder Says there is No Market for VR Gaming
John Carmack Steps Down at Oculus to Pursue AI Passion Project
Facebook is Developing its Own OS to Reduce Dependence on Android


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 26 2014, @03:35AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 26 2014, @03:35AM (#21308)

    They've gone from genuinely useful work, advancing the state of the art of VR, to another arm of a datamining company. Even if the basic research & development continues and the product works well, it will be tainted by association; buying a headset (or a headset by a company that licenses their technology) will mean sending hard money to facebook. Not a pleasant idea.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by G-forze on Wednesday March 26 2014, @07:08AM

      by G-forze (1276) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @07:08AM (#21379)

      This seems to be the reaction of every nerd that hears the news, including me. Everyone's little hero, Oculus, bought by the common enemy of all that is open, right and good about the internet. I mean, just take a look at the comments [arstechnica.com] in the Ars Technica article. Nothing but crushed dreams as far as the eye can see.

      I have a really hard time imagining what Facebook can bring to the table here, that would be good for anyone but Facebook themselves. The only thing I can see is an infusion of capital to speed up R&D, but honestly, Oculus did not seem to have any problem raising capital on their own either. With the general interest in VR awakened by Oculus, all sorts of applications would still have been in the making. If anything, this announcement will cause many developers to lose interest. It apparently already happened with Notch and Minecraft [notch.net].

      But I don't want to work with social, I want to work with games.

      Just think about it... John Carmack works for Facebook now.

      --
      If I run into the term "SJW", I stop reading.
      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Drake_Edgewater on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:32AM

        by Drake_Edgewater (780) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:32AM (#21439) Journal

        Just think about it... John Carmack works for Facebook now.

        Please mod parent (+5, Depressing) while I cry in the floor a little.

      • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Wednesday March 26 2014, @03:16PM

        by Grishnakh (2831) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @03:16PM (#21546)

        Just think about it... John Carmack works for Facebook now.

        I wonder if he approved of his company being acquired by FB.

      • (Score: 1) by rochrist on Wednesday March 26 2014, @07:39PM

        by rochrist (3737) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @07:39PM (#21704)

        Like our Metaverse on Facebook!

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by mvar on Wednesday March 26 2014, @04:46PM

      by mvar (2539) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @04:46PM (#21591)

      This. Very sad news. will definitely not give any money to FB. OTOH this is great news for the occulus rift competitors

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by edIII on Wednesday March 26 2014, @03:52AM

    by edIII (791) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @03:52AM (#21310)

    A company that has nothing to do with gaming, no experience with gaming, no experience with open source, and really only has experience in purchasing companies that do.

    While Facefuck has yet to totally trash a company yet, this does not bode well for state of the art VR gaming.

    VR-Life?

    Yeah. We all know what Facefuck wants. For us to be running around with something akin to Google Glass and they can get all those juicy data points.

    Seriously. I bet they even said it in the meetings, "We will be able to sell targeted ads and display them directly on people's eyeballs without them having the ability to turn it off!"

    --
    Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
    • (Score: 5, Funny) by The Archon V2.0 on Wednesday March 26 2014, @04:06AM

      by The Archon V2.0 (3887) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @04:06AM (#21313)

      Don't worry. When Zynga gets their hands on this, you are going to be AMAZED at the realism of your cows in OculusVille.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 26 2014, @08:59AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 26 2014, @08:59AM (#21403)

        Hmmm... was about to mod this '+1 Funny', but realized that I'm crying inside...

        Sincerely,
        Mod

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Lunix Nutcase on Wednesday March 26 2014, @04:08AM

      by Lunix Nutcase (3913) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @04:08AM (#21315)

      Facebook has no experience with open source? Then how do you explain: https://github.com/facebook?tab=repositories [github.com]

      There is lots to complain about Facebook but they've released and contributed lots of OSS.

    • (Score: 2) by Tork on Wednesday March 26 2014, @04:27AM

      by Tork (3914) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @04:27AM (#21328)

      "...this does not bode well for state of the art VR gaming."

      Well there's a phrase I didn't expect would ever upset anybody.

      --
      Slashdolt Logic: "24 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
  • (Score: 4, Informative) by c0lo on Wednesday March 26 2014, @03:56AM

    by c0lo (156) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @03:56AM (#21311) Journal

    I was just curious how many would embark in building a VR 3D headset.
    Seems the kickstarter don't list any others (but Oculus Rift)

    However, I found on indiegogo something that is amazingly simple [indiegogo.com] and is already for sale cheap [google.com] (google translation of the german original [refugio3d.net]): in essence, it seems to be using the screen of your smartphone set in front of two sets of lens, mounted in a thick cardboard frame.
    I can say nothing about the quality, durability or the fitness for other purposes, but I raise my hat for the engineering ingenuity.

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 4, Informative) by mrcoolbp on Wednesday March 26 2014, @04:36AM

      by mrcoolbp (68) <mrcoolbp@soylentnews.org> on Wednesday March 26 2014, @04:36AM (#21330) Homepage

      I don't think that is the first time someone thought of that. One of the things Oculus is trying to solve is display-latency issues that can cause significant motion-sickness. That, and getting the display resolution high enough that you really forget there's a screen at all. Both of those factors would be exaggerated with this method.

      --
      (Score:1^½, Radical)
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Pav on Wednesday March 26 2014, @05:27AM

      by Pav (114) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @05:27AM (#21345)

      You should check out CastAR... VERY interesting and unique approach - it doubles as both AR and VR, and looks like it will be cheap and comfortable too. It doubles as both an AR and VR system. Jeri Ellsworth [youtube.com] (known for her C64 joystick product) outlines the whole story in this video... 20 minutes, but WELL worth the time even if you just listen to the audio while doing something else. This was before their (successful) kickstarter campaign.

      • (Score: 2) by Pav on Wednesday March 26 2014, @05:33AM

        by Pav (114) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @05:33AM (#21347)

        ...oops... I meant to say "C64 in a joystick" - it was big news on Slashdot a few years ago. Jeri's so obsessed with hardware she works as a self-taught chip and hardware designer (very rare).

      • (Score: 2) by tibman on Wednesday March 26 2014, @02:26PM

        by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 26 2014, @02:26PM (#21513)

        Was hoping someone mentioned CastAR : ) I think it'll be fantastic. Not exactly filling the same role as the Occulus Rift though. I bought mine from the Kickstarter as well. If Jeri Ellsworth says she can build something, it is as good as done. Valve may ultimately regret letting her and her tech go.

        If anyone is interested, it is AR and converts to VR. The AR looks amazing, though currently sitting around 720p. It lets multiple people play the same virtual game on the same table but see different things. Link: http://technicalillusions.com/ [technicalillusions.com]

        --
        SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 26 2014, @06:44AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 26 2014, @06:44AM (#21371)

      What's so low tech? A high end Android smartphone will cost you about the same as an Oculus Rift.

      I'm wanting to make a car analogy of that, er.. Low tech alternative to buying a car! Pour gasoline in the car you already have.

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday March 26 2014, @07:22AM

        by c0lo (156) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @07:22AM (#21382) Journal

        What's so low tech? A high end Android smartphone will cost you about the same as an Oculus Rift.

        Except:

        1. you can put a low end Android smartphone. Granted, the quality may be abysmal, but it;s still a solution in theory
        2. when was the last time you could use an Oculus Rift as a pure smartphone - like put it in your pocket and walk without looking weird...
          (yeah, I know, you'd never, 'cause Oculus Rift wasn't released. But, for the sake of argumentation, suppose it was)

        I'm wanting to make a car analogy of that, er..

        The try... I don't know... a tow bar. You could put it on a 4WD and if will be really useful (heck, rumours said you can ask to fit one on a Ferrari [visordown.com]) but you can still mount it on a Smart [wikipedia.org] even if it will make you look stupid...
        In any way, if you buy a semi-trailer tractor for your towing needs, you won't be able to park it in, say, your company-provided underground parking spot

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
  • (Score: 2, Funny) by cwadge on Wednesday March 26 2014, @05:08AM

    by cwadge (3324) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @05:08AM (#21341) Homepage Journal
    Low long before Zuckerberg gets the Anshe Chung [somethingawful.com] treatment... IN GLORIOUS 3D?!
  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday March 26 2014, @05:45AM

    by c0lo (156) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @05:45AM (#21352) Journal

    Continuing my search for VR headsets, I got over this page [engadget.com], listing about 4 of them being under development, with Sony, Oculus and Valve the main contenders and GameFace Labs listed in "the rest" category.

    Maybe the future is not so bleak

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by omoc on Wednesday March 26 2014, @06:25AM

      by omoc (39) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @06:25AM (#21367)

      As for me, Oculus is now (sadly) off the table. I don't think Sony will make their product available for PC and we could only dream of something open-source from them.

      That leaves me with Valve but there has hardly been any news about specs, release dates or anything else IIRC?

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by VLM on Wednesday March 26 2014, @01:14PM

        by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 26 2014, @01:14PM (#21469)

        "That leaves me with Valve"

        They, uh, divested themselves of that whole area of research, resulting in Jeri being fired and CastAR being created as a separate company. As far as I know from legal public sources.

        • (Score: 2) by tibman on Wednesday March 26 2014, @02:28PM

          by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 26 2014, @02:28PM (#21517)

          I have read that they fired her because they went with a different VR solution internally. They didn't want competing products. AR wasn't something they were interested in. This all may have happened before she thought up the AR->VR conversion though?

          --
          SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by jamesbond on Wednesday March 26 2014, @07:00AM

    by jamesbond (2383) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @07:00AM (#21376)

    Facebook (as a company, thus its shares) has no intrinsic value. It will soon go down like many of its predecessors. Like it or not, Mark is doing the right thing (for him) by exchanging those worthless shares with something that has real value like the technology behind Oculus Rift (at the very least: the patents). If Mark plays the game right in a few years time he will shed Facebook and become the next Warren Buffet.

    I'm still amazed though that a stupid chat application is considered worth more than real technology like the Rift ... may be he's not as smart as we think he is.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 26 2014, @04:29PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 26 2014, @04:29PM (#21586)

      It wasn't the technology of WhatsApp that was worth $19B to Facefook, it was the hundreds of millions of users.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by TheB on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:28AM

    by TheB (1538) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:28AM (#21423)

    The second the crew from Gaikai joined Oculus it was only a matter of time before Oculus was sold.
    Glad Palmer is getting some cash for his hard work before the big boys push him out of the market, but selling to Facebook...
    Couldn't Valve make a decent offer.

    Maybe Facebook won't close the system, track users, force Facebook account, etc.
    Maybe this is a good thing and will give Oculus the public awareness, and cash they need to succeed.
    Maybe I'll win the lottery tomorrow.

    Will have to wait and see how this plays out.

    However if Facebook controls the Matrix, I'm moving to Zion.

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by einar on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:47AM

    by einar (494) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:47AM (#21428)
    Opinions on the Kickstarter page [kickstarter.com]

    Comments from Palmer Lucky [reddit.com]

    Comments on the EVE forum [eveonline.com] (EVE Valkyrie being a tech study/game for the rift)
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by zocalo on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:11AM

      by zocalo (302) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:11AM (#21434)
      The Star Citizen forums [robertsspa...stries.com] are not reacting well either. (SC is another test bed for the Rift, with early support already in place internally and potentially to be included in the upcoming Dog Fighting Module).
      --
      UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Daiv on Wednesday March 26 2014, @12:07PM

    by Daiv (3940) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @12:07PM (#21444)

    This is good news for anyone else looking to break into the whole VR headset movement, especially Sony. http://www.playstationlifestyle.net/2014/03/23/gdc -2014-hands-on-project-morpheus-sonys-vr-headset/ [playstationlifestyle.net]

    With Facebook distrust at an all-time high, this is the perfect storm for someone else to move in and look like the white knight.

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by AgTiger on Wednesday March 26 2014, @01:36PM

      by AgTiger (1060) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @01:36PM (#21485)
      Real Story of the Rogue Rootkit [wired.com] - "Security Matters" column by Bruce Schneier in Wired Magazine

      Just something to keep in mind...
      • (Score: 1) by Daiv on Wednesday March 26 2014, @03:22PM

        by Daiv (3940) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @03:22PM (#21551)

        I never said or implied SONY was a white knight. I specifically said "someone ELSE to move in and look like the white knight."

        Also, 1) That's Sony BMG. Sony's MUSIC division, not the gaming division. 2) Sony hasn't released any rootkits since, and seems to have learned their lesson. 3) If you hold grudges forever, you'll eventually run out of things to support.

        I'm rooting for another unknown to come out of the woodwork and not take the million$/billion$ buyout, for the record. That's what keeps the huge corporations on their toes.

  • (Score: 2) by VLM on Wednesday March 26 2014, @01:17PM

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 26 2014, @01:17PM (#21472)

    You can try to come up with weirder purchasers. Something totally far our like a shoe designer/importer would be so far out it wouldn't hit the weirdness peak. Or a video game company obviously wouldn't hit the weirdness peak. But something a little closer to home could.

    How about... Oracle? That would be as weird as FB buying them.

    • (Score: 1) by Acabatag on Wednesday March 26 2014, @07:43PM

      by Acabatag (2885) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @07:43PM (#21705)

      This is reckless, but on the weird subthread, why not?

      Oracle buys Facebook, forces Zynga to port to Java.

      Obviously just some fun speculation.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Open4D on Wednesday March 26 2014, @04:10PM

    by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 26 2014, @04:10PM (#21572) Journal
  • (Score: 1) by Techwolf on Thursday March 27 2014, @12:25AM

    by Techwolf (87) on Thursday March 27 2014, @12:25AM (#21836)

    Just after I submitted that, I got ahold of a couple good URLs. So just for completeness:

    http://www.oculusvr.com/blog/oculus-joins-facebook / [oculusvr.com]

    And the kickstarter reaction:

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1523379957/oc ulus-rift-step-into-the-game/comments [kickstarter.com]