Oh dear god. I had a whole post on the OR and Facebook's acquisition...and then my computer bugged out as I was submitting it and poof. So here is a much condensed and not as eloquent version.
I come to you as other forums I have seen are proclaiming that the Facebook acquisition of OR is the end of times and everything is terrible! Not really that bad, but they aren't the best places for an actual discussion. Here are my thoughts on the OR, coming from someone who never planned to purchase on in the first place. Facebook made a mistake.
The OR has numerous hurdles to overcome in order to succeed, in fact I think that it is not going to be a success in terms of revolutionizing gaming, I think it will end up like the HOTAS, useful occasionally, but not widely adopted. This is a result of four major problems the OR faces:
1) The price. I don't think there are a large number of people out there who will purchase an OR for even $100+. The device relies on multiple things that are going to limit sales: the graphics card has to be good enough to run the game at consistent FPS, the game has to be designed to use the OR, and people have to be willing to purchase it. Luckily, if people have a good enough graphics card, they are probably going to be more likely to spring for an OR set as they are more likely to have disposable income. People have to have a reason to purchase the OR, and that means having games.
2) Devs/publishers have to design the game to use the OR. Everything I have seen/read seems to say that the OR is awesome, but games that are not designed to use it are extremely easy to spot. The scale of the game is completely off (the bread is way too large and the chair looks way too small) or the camera makes the player motion sick (this can be problems with motion blur, DOF, FOV, etc). Unfortunately, designing a game for use with the OR is going to add time and money to game development, something that publishers particularly are unlikely to do; after all, the OR will most likely be a peripheral for a small part of a small part of their market (as PC gamers are outnumbered by console gamers and people who own the OR are a subset of PC gamers).
3) Facebook's acquisition of OR is going to hinder the growth of the OR in multiple ways. First, players who were considering preordering/buying it early are going to hold off to see what happens with the OR. If there is anything tying the OR to a facebook account, a large number of sales are already gone. If fewer people adopt the OR, fewer devs/publishers are going to put effort into OR support, if any support is offered at all. Low numbers of games that have OR support, combined with even lower numbers of quality OR games means that fewer people will choose to buy the OR, because it rarely has any benefit. On top of all that, you have people like Notch who have already dropped support for the OR.
4) Finally, though it will improve the social act of gaming in some ways, it seriously hinders social interaction in others. Maybe there's only a few people out there like me, but I like to be able to see the world around me as I game, with the ability to interact with people in the same room as me without trouble. If I have the full headset on, that interaction is gone. I stop interacting with my fiancee as much and I could see myself losing track of time without too much trouble. I also think that this "increased social aspect" of the OR is not the right direction to take "social gaming." I find I have more fun playing couch coop than I do online coop. The OR just seems to take us one step closer to playing with friends while sitting in an empty room by ourselves...though now it just seems like I am saying I hate all of you. I still have fun hanging out online with everyone! Honest!
Also, can you imagine watching people streaming when they have the OR on? A stream like Wes' (and really all of the Romantics streamers) would fall apart completely. The interaction between him and people in chat is what makes the stream something I come back to. With the OR, it would be like talking to this guy. Although...hehhehe yes!...but only if the streamer dresses like that!
Anyway, what do you think?