On February 19, 2014, Facebook Inc. announced that it would be acquiring WhatsApp Inc. for 19 billion dollars (USD). We are all so familiar with Whatsapp, the tiny, miracle app for texting & staying in touch via cell phones. Now, Facebook has decided to buy Oculus Rift for $2 Billion. Oculus Rift is an ambitious gaming project involving virtual reality experience via a head-mounted display. What’s the pattern that Facebook is going for with all these acquisitions seems rather vague; people think it’s because VR might seem like the newest trend in social media. We feel it’s because Oculus rift is the coolest device around! From Zuckerberg’s own mouth: “You feel like you’re actually present in another place with other people. It’s completely different than anything I’ve experienced in my entire life.” We can now safely declare Zuckerberg to be a fan.
Oculus Rift might be a VR headset but it is primarily focus is on gaming. This has left most of the gamers totally surprised and freaked out. Most of them believe Facebook would be the ruin of what would have been the epitome of gaming. Snarky comments are coming in one after another and just within two days, the net is chock full of backlashes. After all, Virtual reality is gaining such momentum that Sony announced its very own VR headset ‘Project Morpheus’ recently.
Before we join in the backlash bandwagon, or declare this deal to be made in heavens, why don’t we look at the pros & cons?
1. Money Grows on Walls & Faces!
Ok, maybe money doesn’t grow there for everyone, but at least for Facebook it does. And this is going to end up being a huge source of cash for the Oculus Rift; it’s time for developers to finally forget about kickstarter campaigns and start chasing the headset of its dreams with full dedication & concentration.
2. More reach & coverage:
What might have seemed impossible for the Oculus Rift team might be just within their grasp now, thanks to the reach of the tech giant Facebook.
3. Partnership & Dealers Support:
Of course, this deal brings in new partners and investors who might be interested in this amazing technology and would love to support it.
4. New ideas:
A whole new environment would definitely lead to nurturing new ideas which would hopefully take the VR to a whole new level of goodness.
5. Consumer Targeted:
Hopefully with all the money of Facebook, we might see a consumer launch of Oculus Rift sooner than expected at cheaper prices and with even better specs.
And now, it is time for the cons.
Seriously, what can a company only interested in connecting people do for the gaming community? Or what plans can it have for the amazing VR headset; the future looks so murky.
Facebook is so famous for its privacy issue and data sharing violation; let’s just hope they don’t come up with some ‘virtual reality’ violations too.
3. Ads, ads & ads:
Whatsapp developer asked Mark to not make their precious app ad-ridden; but will the same apply to Oculus Rift & its technologies? No one would want to see a VR ad come up every now & then in their games.
4. Loss of Support:
The consumers and developers of Oculus Rift have already entered the rebellious sate post listening to this news. They are just short of blowing a fuse, and with such negativity, it would be hard for Oculus Rift to go on alone.
5. Pushed Aside:
Facebook has its plate filled with so much stuff, what if they push Oculus Reality to the side and forget all about it? Already everyone is declaring VR to be ‘the thing for the future’; let’s hope that future is way near.
Woah, the pros & cons cancel each other out! Unless Zuckerberg does something great & drastic to soothe the revolting community, it might seem that Facebook would end up ripping Oculus Rift from its base of dedicated developers & supporting consumers which is not really a good business plan for short term, let alone long term.