Oculus Rift, the virtual reaility headset made by Oculus VR, may be about to become seriously undermined following Facebook’s acquisition of the company. The popular social media website has purchased Oculus VR for $2 billion dollars and some see this as the potential downfall of the VR gaming device, could it be now taken in a completely different direction? Many gaming fans and tech enthusiasts across the web have been critical of this outcome, believing Facebook will compromise the Oculus Rift in some way, particularly when you consider that Facebook has no experience in the gaming arena.
Some people fear that Facebook will ruin the product by turning it into some kind of social-based virtual reality device, while others have simply been turned off by any association to the Facebook brand. A considerable online community has formed around the Oculus Rift project with a loyal gaming fan base. The independent Oculus VR company have developed a product that has thus far shown enormous promise, now many gaming enthusiasts have their doubts because they are concerned about the ‘Facebook effect’. Could we see intrusive free-to-play / microtransaction mechanisms, which began with the Facebook Farmville era, being integrated within Rift? In addition, with everything Facebook-related, one has to worry about privacy issues. Many Facebook opponents won’t touch the social networking site due to its cavalier approach to online privacy.
Because the Oculus Rift project has been very much an independent / Kickstarter-led initiative, indie game developers will no doubt feel alienated also.
Responding to the announcement today, the creator of the popular block-building game, Minecraft, Markus Persson said, “We were in talks about maybe bringing a version to Oculus,” he said. “I just cancelled that deal. Facebook creeps me out.”
More paranoid, but perhaps somewhat justifiable fears about this appear to be regarding the potential for Facebook to exploit Virtual reality technology and turn it into a platform for feeding advertisements directly into the minds of Oculus Rift users, while also locking them into their social network.
“Mobile is the platform of today, and now we’re also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow,” Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg says. “Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate.”
Oculus Rift has been pioneered by legendary gaming heavyweight John Carmack of ID Software. For more Tech news, visit Computing Forever on YouTube.