Wow, I am stunned, totally stunned by the Facebook acquisition of Oculus announcement. It’s both amazing that VR has come this far, and a bit shocking. Right now the PR backlash on Oculus is brutal, but if it’s motivated with true ambition and a sensible future, then this could be a good thing. If it wasn’t before, Oculus Rift is now a household name. And Facebook’s open hardware logistics will be able to ramp manufacture and protect Oculus from the bumps of scaling this to global launch. Never ever has a brand new hardware company been able to pull off growth this aggressively before. This was a dazzling win for any entrepreneur.
So Conquer picked a really unusual day to make a VR announcement. We’re teaming up with VRcade for out-of-home, and intend to deploy with Oculus Rift for at-home setups. I hope that Mark Zuckerberg keeps a respectful distance and lets Oculus run at full speed. Never have I seen such strong, viscerally negative reaction before. Not even the Google Reader API debacle got this much flash press.
If everything they say is true, then the advantages will bear themselves out over time. I’m also deeply grateful for everything Palmer Lucky and the Oculus team accomplished; the enthusiasm, getting John Carmack support pre-2013 GDC, running a great kickstarter, and pulling together a heck of a dev kit. The interesting thing is the basic VR tech is already well defined with lots of prior art. VRcade is built on a lot of pre-existing tech, and done really well, and Oculus has addressed a lot of issues with the home configuration. This announcement has simply catalyzed VR as a real legitimate thing, with an insanely rabid fan base.
This will without a doubt will snap awake investor interest in all of the related VR projects and propel the greater VR industry forward.