Facebook Anticipates A Bright Future With Virtual Reality


Acquisition Of Oculus Means Better Opportunity To Move Social Media, Gaming To Virtual Reality Platforms

Facebook and Oculus VR have been under fire following the news that the virtual reality startup had been snatched up by the social media giant.

Top comments read out “RIP Oculus” and “Why does everything have to be social?” The designer of the sandbox game Minecraft has also allegedly cancelled a deal with Oculus to bring the game to Rift, stating that “Facebook creeps me out.”

While most of the consumer hating is resulting from the little startup hitting it big on Kickstarter and then “selling out,” Facebook has positive visions for their future with Oculus.

SEE ALSO: Facebook Acquires Oculus VR

“Facebook has roots in the gaming industry and acquiring Oculus will bolster our gaming efforts,” a Facebook spokesperson said in an interview with Firmology yesterday afternoon. “When you transition platforms, things look different, which looks threatening to some users. Facebook’s credentials in the gaming industry will draw back support.”

Forbes writes that Zuckerberg is “out to build the Metaverse,” an extension of the virtual reality from Snowcrash, with the recent Oculus acquisition. Forbes goes on to remind the complainers that not too long ago virtual reality was widely thought of as Facebook’s next logical step, a reality that’s now coming to light.

“Virtual reality is the next mobile platform,” said Facebook’s spokesperson. “Virtual reality is a revolutionary market. Mobile technology is still viable, but virtual reality is the next step.”

The criticism surrounding Oculus is that the sudden buyout makes the Kickstarter campaign look like a backdoor venture captial campaign instead of a funding avenue to support a fledgling project, such as Rift.

However, Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus doesn’t mean certain doom, but rather continued opportunities for the brand to grow and expand research and innovation in the virtual reality and gaming industry.

“Immersive gaming will be the first, and Oculus already has big plans here that won’t be changing and we hope to accelerate. The Rift is highly anticipated by the gaming community, and there’s a lot of interest from developers in building for this platform. We’re going to focus on helping Oculus build out their product and develop partnerships to support more games. Oculus will continue operating independently within Facebook to achieve this,” stated Zuckerberg in a public announcement via Facebook Monday evening.

By allowing Oculus to maintain a certain independence from Facebook with the Rift project, Facebook could be championing this decision as a cause to positively remarket Oculus to the now-pissed off consumers.

SEE ALSO: Who’s the Glasshole Now?

According to Facebook’s spokesperson, however, the company isn’t too worried about losing support or customer base.

The supporters who backed the project might view purchase of Oculus as a loss of their investment into a startup, but the reality is far from that. Facebook has made several statements regarding their intention to maintain the Rift project as it was originally intended: a gaming platform that relies on independent developers.

The other half of the coin is that Facebook now has an opportunity to branch into the gaming and technology markets, bringing their team of innovative developers to an expanding market.

“Immersive virtual reality is a highly promising platform. Facebook isn’t looking at developing wearable tech, specifically, but instead is looking at virtual reality as a broader platform. [Facebook] wants to shift from PC to mobile, and Oculus provides the opportunity to do this for the consumer,” said the spokespeson.

Facebook’s support of Rift as a gaming platform means that not only will the social media giant hopefully retain Oculus’s original fanbase, but Facebook is also primed to gain more users as this deal goes through.

According to Facebook’s spokesperson, the company does not plan to use their acquisition of Oculus to develop a competitive product with Google Glass, but Facebook does plan on becoming more relevant in the gaming and tech industry.

Oculus VR declined to comment on the acquisition at this time.

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Image: iStockphoto

About The Author

Laura Whitener is the managing editor of Firmology, technology focused news and insight for small business owners and online entrepreneurs. Laura graduated from DePaul’s notable Master of Writing and Publishing program in Chicago. She survives on coffee, apples, and Pandora. When she isn't editing or writing, Laura enjoys knitting, adding to her massive book collection, and culinary adventures. You can find Laura on Twitter and LinkedIn.