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posted by martyb on Monday May 03, @01:52AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the the-price-of-oculus-freedom dept.

Oculus will sell you a Quest 2 headset that doesn't need Facebook for an extra $500:

The Oculus Quest 2 is a hell of a lot of hardware for $299. In fact, we're convinced that Facebook is making a loss on each unit sold. Even so, that pricing is one of the main reasons it's the most popular headset on Steam and our pick as the best VR headset. Well, that and the ease of use.

The simplicity of strapping on the Quest 2 and getting straight into a game without worrying about setting up base stations, or dedicating an area of your house to the VR experience, makes it one of the best VR headsets around.

But the price is really what seals it. That $299 tag is just enough to make us treat the headset with respect, while also making it affordable enough for many to pull the trigger and see what this VR fuss is all about. It's sold pretty well too, showing that price is definitely a factor in adopting new standards—hardly a shocking revelation.

[...] There is another version of the Quest 2 that isn't as discounted as the consumer version, and that's the one aimed at businesses. The actual hardware is identical, but the difference is you don't need to login in with a Facebook account in order to use it.

The price for this model? $799. There's also an annual fee of $180 that kicks in a year after purchase, which covers Oculus' business services and support, but that just muddies the waters.

[...] If you take a look at the Supplemental Oculus Data Policy, you can find out what sort of data is actually being collected when you use the Quest 2. Such things as your physical dimension, including your hand size, how big your play area is using the Oculus Guardian system, data on any content you create using the Quest 2, as well as more obvious stuff like your device ID and IP address.


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @02:20AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @02:20AM (#1145565)

    The cheap one you have to link with a Facebook account. This new one you have to pay hundreds of dollars per year to keep using. Either way, it's a device that Facebook owns, and you don't (even though you paid for it).

    I would only buy a version that runs on 100% free open source software, so that I can actually own it, and it can't be remotely bricked by Facebook.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by mhajicek on Monday May 03, @06:41AM (2 children)

      by mhajicek (51) on Monday May 03, @06:41AM (#1145592)

      I have a Valve Index. Not free and open source, but much better than Facebook.

      • (Score: 4, Funny) by coolgopher on Monday May 03, @06:43AM (1 child)

        by coolgopher (1157) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 03, @06:43AM (#1145593)

        I suspect you also have an empty wallet after that purchase! :)

        • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @09:09AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @09:09AM (#1145620)

          oh. you mean like 799 + 180 is basically a valve index? what exactly was it you wanted to say?

  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @02:23AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @02:23AM (#1145566)

    And I thought MS tax was ridonculous.

    Listen to your mom. She told me you shouldn't buy this garbage when I was banging her ass with no lube because she liked it.

    • (Score: 2, Troll) by fakefuck39 on Monday May 03, @06:09AM

      by fakefuck39 (6620) on Monday May 03, @06:09AM (#1145589)

      So, the incel finally admits he bangs 60yo women after they've had multiple kids. What's funny is the autist is so dumb he thinks it's some kind of a flex.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @03:30PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @03:30PM (#1145686)

      The Microsoft Tax was outright criminal, and unlike this couldn't be avoided. Not to say that this is in any way good, just that you aren't required to own an Oculus Rift to use your computer.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by stormwyrm on Monday May 03, @05:52AM (3 children)

    by stormwyrm (717) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 03, @05:52AM (#1145587) Journal
    And people used to think folks were unreasonably upset about how Oculus had been hijacked by Facebook back in 2014. The original Kickstarter for the Oculus Rift used to talk about how the VR headset would be open source and mod friendly, but that all fell apart in the face of $2.3 billion from Facebook. After the acquisition, Palmer Luckey even promised that you wouldn't need to log into Facebook every time you wanted to use the headset. Of course, just like a lot of similar corporate promises they might as well be written on the wind.
    --
    Nothing in life is to be feared, only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, that we may fear less.
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Freeman on Monday May 03, @04:26PM (2 children)

      by Freeman (732) on Monday May 03, @04:26PM (#1145709) Journal

      I can't blame him. It was $2.3 Billion dollars. When someone comes asking to buy your business for more money than you could possibly think of making in your lifetime, you sell your business. At the time, it was a very risky business and passing up on that much money, just was not an option. Of course, when I saw that Facebook was acquiring them, I immediately lost interest in Oculus. Thankfully it was a 2 player game at that point and I was able to purchase an HTC Vive.

      I mean, it's sort of like the whole Minecraft thing. Sure, you can blame him for selling, but from the sound of it he was kind of burned out. Then, someone wagged absurdly large amounts of money in his face and he took the money. It's hard to blame someone for something like that.

      --
      "I said in my haste, All men are liars." Psalm 116:11
      • (Score: 2) by stormwyrm on Tuesday May 04, @04:28AM (1 child)

        by stormwyrm (717) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 04, @04:28AM (#1145981) Journal
        Yep, no blame on him. But Luckey could have at the very least refunded the money of any Kickstarter backers who wanted refunds when this happened, because he had to know that they would no longer be getting anything close to what they were promised they would get when they were induced to contribute. After all, it would be less than a tenth of a percent of the funding Facebook had provided even if everyone who contributed wanted a refund.
        --
        Nothing in life is to be feared, only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, that we may fear less.
        • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Tuesday May 04, @02:16PM

          by Freeman (732) on Tuesday May 04, @02:16PM (#1146140) Journal

          Yeah, I'm not seeing anything that said they gave people refunds. It did really ticked off a number of people who didn't like Facebook, but liked Oculus.

          --
          "I said in my haste, All men are liars." Psalm 116:11
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by maxwell demon on Monday May 03, @06:49AM (4 children)

    by maxwell demon (1608) on Monday May 03, @06:49AM (#1145597) Journal

    So now we know what the collected data is worth to Facebook: $500.

    --
    The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @07:36AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @07:36AM (#1145609)

      If I were facebook, I'd track you anyway (they know who you are even if you don't login on *that* device, it's pretty easy). Ask 500$ so people feel safe.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by nitehawk214 on Monday May 03, @02:07PM

        by nitehawk214 (1304) on Monday May 03, @02:07PM (#1145666)

        They create "virtual profiles" for anyone not using their platform. Tracked through ad impressions, and information your friends put into facebook. Ever got an invite via email? Now they can track you that way too.

        --
        "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @08:27AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @08:27AM (#1145616)

      Not really. The extra $500 and recurring $180 fee is for business services and support. It has nothing to do with user data.

      The consumer Oculus Quest 2 BOM is probably less than $300. Oculus Rift CV1 had a BOM of $200 and sold for $600. They can make money just by selling the headset, and even more from selling games and apps. The data they collect might only be useful to Facebook or worth a small amount to other companies. Facebook user data has been estimated at $100 to $150 per user. That's everything done on Facebook and all the web activity tracked, which is a lot more useful to advertisers than how you swing your arms around in your living room with a facehugger on.

      It's easy to say $500 is the price of privacy, but it falls completely flat. The price is actually $0... just don't buy it.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Immerman on Tuesday May 04, @03:23PM

        by Immerman (3985) on Tuesday May 04, @03:23PM (#1146170)

        >which is a lot more useful to advertisers than how you swing your arms around in your living room with a facehugger on.

        VR is positioned to capture far more than that. Probably most significantly it can capture what you look at and for how long, which can be enormously psychologically revealing. Mouse-tracking is currently done extensively online since many/most people follow along with the cursor as they look around, and that lets information brokers build a better profile of what you're interested and how your attention can be captured.

        Analyzing your gaze in a 3D immersive world can be far more revealing. Big obvious example - exactly how long did you linger on the upskirt view of the dancer on the balcony you're walking past, versus on the oiled up bodybuilder you pass slightly later. They now have a good idea of which way your sexual interests lean. Throw in several dozen more such set pieces and they can likely build up a pretty decent picture(s) of what your "ideal" mate would look like. Then they use variations on those themes to personalize sexualized ads so they're far more compelling.

        More generally, you can glean an enormous amount of information about somebody by what they choose to look at and how long - it's done in psychology experiments sometimes, but is generally very limited since it's difficult to track what exactly someone is looking at in an open environment. In VR they always know exactly what's in the center of your view at all times - and once foveated rendering becomes routine they'll also be able to stitch together a much more detailed information stream of *exactly* how your brain is scanning the environment. What attracts your attention? What do you quickly dismiss? What do your eyes linger on? What do you never actually look at at all. All immensely valuable information for advertising purposes. As well as a lot of far darker applications.

        It'll obviously still only be able to build a partial picture of your psychological profile - but in many ways it may end up knowing you better than you know yourself. And that knowledge can be leveraged to manipulate your feelings, interests, and beliefs toward political ends far more lucrative than selling highly targetted advertising. I doubt that's their current goal, but given the rewards it's a pretty much inevitable abuse of knowledge once the information is readily available.

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