oculus rift wide -
oculus rift wide -

It was never the intention to sell Oculus VR, but once discussions with Facebook began the deal was completed in just three days, co-founder and CEO Brendan Iribe has revealed.

"We never intended to sell the company," Iribe told VentureBeat. "We were building this thing and going along this path."

He continued: "At one point, we were introduced to Mark Zuckerberg. He was really interested in what we were doing. He was fascinated like other people in the geek community, or gaming community. He was really excited about how we were making this thing work. He wanted me to show him the demo at Facebook. I told him there was a better demo down here in Irvine. He was able to hop on a flight down. He met the team. He saw the latest demos. We talked about the vision. The whole thing was about getting more comfortable with each other and the vision and becoming friends. He and I got to be really good friends, and [co-founder Luckey] Palmer met him, too. And then he asked, "How can I help? How can Facebook help you?"

After discussing and deciding against a Facebook app, Zuckerberg suggested a partnership.

"What if we partner with you?" said Zuckerberg as recalled by Iribe. "You stay the same. Stay who you are. You expand that vision and focus on other things also. Gaming is core. But how can we help and invest significantly into the platform, the hardware, and bring down the cost of it. We could make it more optimized, do custom silicon, make this even better. What if we also invest in the parts so you can sell the virtual reality platform at cost?"

Iribe said that everything Zuckerberg was saying made absolute sense, and the deal with Facebook was done in a matter of days.

"We got the deal done with Facebook in three days," said Iribe. "That's how accelerated it was. We locked ourselves up in the Facebook HQ and did the deal. I have been through a few of these deals now and they usually take months. This was done in three days. That's incredible. That’s their commitment to moving fast. We are moving fast and getting together to make the next computing platform."

Source: VentureBeat

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BarryK's Avatar

BarryK@ Endless

Yeah at the minute the Dev Kits use HDMI or DVI to connect the screen and USB for head tracking/ input and the PC sees the device as a fairly dumb piece of kit (no really special drivers or complicated setup) so support is straight forward, but as the consumer version doesn't exist yet there's nothing stopping Oculus updating the SDK license before support for it is added. People trusted Oculus to not do that because they've been very vocal about their headset being an open hackable device where they'd profit from hardware sales and not a subsidised VR market share land grab. Lots of people don't really trust Zuckerberg and Co as much, particularly because a VR market share land grab is the reason they bought Oculus in the first place:

"We think the rationale is if Facebook can own the pipe, the platform or the operating system of the future, it will have much greater control over its destiny,"

It's why quite a few developers are wanting clarification before they commit further time to their Oculus projects. The idea of an app store/ Steam like system for distributing software is far from confirmed, but it's not exactly outside the realm of possibility either.
Posted 13:37 on 27 March 2014
Endless's Avatar

Endless@ BarryK

Surely the headset itself is just a conduit for the software? A display and control method in one. The platform being where the content is served from. In that respect the headset itself should function the same way as, for example, different game controllers work in Windows.
Posted 13:17 on 27 March 2014
BarryK's Avatar

BarryK

There's that platform word again. It's not a peripheral that enables VR any more, it's a platform for Oculus VR™

I hope I'm wrong and the consumer version launches without it's own proprietary nonsense, but at this point if they announced their own store system for distributing Oculus VR™ software it would hardly be surprising.
Posted 12:13 on 27 March 2014
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