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The Oculus Rift and Facebook


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#1 TheWinslow

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 11:25 PM

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?


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#2 ello

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 01:54 AM

This is so crazy. Just read it on the news. I can't understand it. But hey, FarmVille in virtualreality that's something....
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#3 Meerkat

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 03:05 AM

I'm so sad right now, totally disappointed. Maybe in the end it wont be so bad and maybe the resources they gain will help the development of the rift, but I fear they lost their soul in the process, and a large number of backers.

Just a few thoughts on the points you raised. The rift might be expensive but it is not really aimed at the casual gamer right now, it is aimed at people looking for new experiences in gaming. I'm tired of all the same old games being released year after year. VR promises to change all that, and yes the games have to be specifically designed for VR, but that is exactly the point. Something different. I don't know if FB will hinder or excell VR, only time will tell.

Sheesh, don't know why I feel so saddened by the news... :unsure:


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#4 ello

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 04:32 AM

High end game developer on twitter "Does this mean I will get all baby and cat pictures in full VR within a year? The nightmare..."    *Sigh*  :wacko:

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#5 Kaldo

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 06:05 AM

I couldn't believe it when I first read it. After sleeping on it though, it might be actually a good thing. Crystal cove / DK2 is mostly finished, they probably won't change a finished functioning prototype. FB could provide the funds necessary for mass production without interfering with the actual production and development of the product.

 

Futhermore, everyone keeps saying how FB will integrate social networking in the Oculus Rift. I have to ask, is that even possible? Does the OVR have a software/OS in it or is it just a monitor with software on PC? If it's the latter, then I imagine we could use any open source programs to play with Oculus Rift, thus bypassing any Facebook imposed ads/promotions.


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You can learn all the math in the 'Verse, but you take a boat in the air that you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps her in the air when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurtin' 'fore she keens.

#6 TheWinslow

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 12:17 PM

Just a few thoughts on the points you raised. The rift might be expensive but it is not really aimed at the casual gamer right now, it is aimed at people looking for new experiences in gaming. I'm tired of all the same old games being released year after year. VR promises to change all that, and yes the games have to be specifically designed for VR, but that is exactly the point. Something different. I don't know if FB will hinder or excell VR, only time will tell.

I know that it isn't aimed at the casual gamer, and that is it's greatest challenge for actually being successful. It was relying on devs who were targeting that demographic and making games that would work well with the rift. That list was already pretty small and I am worried that Facebook buying OR is going to cause a lot of devs to drop it (just as Notch did).

 

I was excited to see what would happen with the OR, even if I never planned to buy it. Now I am waiting to see whether Facebook lets OR do it's own thing, or if they actually manage to kill the product.

 

 

Futhermore, everyone keeps saying how FB will integrate social networking in the Oculus Rift. I have to ask, is that even possible? Does the OVR have a software/OS in it or is it just a monitor with software on PC? If it's the latter, then I imagine we could use any open source programs to play with Oculus Rift, thus bypassing any Facebook imposed ads/promotions.

The problem is that we don't know. With Facebook, a lot of people are worried that they are going to tinker with how the OR is going to work and I definitely don't trust Facebook, their track record is pretty bad, both with physical devices and with letting companies they purchase remain free of Facebook integration (anyone want to buy a Facebook phone? No?). I wouldn't even put it past them to give preferential treatment to companies who agree to integrate Facebook into their game.


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