Saturday, March 29, 2014

Acquisitions: Oculus, Facebook, and the future

Facebook delving into the hardware industry.

Checking his Facebook page and playing a game will soon look the same

I've read a lot of comments and memes lately about the acquisition of Oculus by Facebook. Many of those things bad, since there were so many companies and people that personally invested in the Oculus Kickstarter campaign. I understand the position that the community is in, however I can also see that this can be a good thing in the bigger picture.

First off, I want to make it clear that I understand the bad blood between some of the community and Oculus. The idea of Kickstarter was to give good ideas a chance to shine in a world where mega-corporations have so much control, and so many patents that they stifle independent developers. It is supposed to be a way for those developers to get started and provide a well made product for the public that isn't tainted by the profit driven corporate structure of public companies.

Unfortunately, new technology takes quite a long time to develop and perfect. Not to mention mistakes, and dead-ends in that development that cost money without profits. Trying to fund a research and development with production through a single Kickstarter campaign is practically impossible. Especially when you consider that this technology is going to take possibly decades to perfect and make affordable.

That's where Facebook comes in. Most people don't understand that these mega-corporations acquire smaller companies like this to expand and push resources at the technology so they can develop it faster and better. Yes, they're going to release it for profits later on, but it's still in the best interests of the average consumer for the technology to be developed by a larger company with more resources.

This also marks the first major step by Facebook into the hardware scene. So far they've been mostly software driven, and there haven't been any recent developments in hardware from the company. As a mega-corporation venturing into the hardware scene for the first time, they will try to make this work as hard as possible. Everyone may see this as a scheme to push Candy Crush closer to your face, but Facebook is going to work it's hardest to make sure that Oculus is perfected and successful.

In the end isn't that what we want? A successful VR product that we can use for at out leisure? We've all seen Bad science fiction movies, we know where VR will go eventually. We're all going to have social experiences across the globe through audio-visual simulation eventually, it's only natural that a social company acquires them now. It won't restrict it to Facebook, or social media I'm sure. Oculus will become a multi-faceted and capable platform for many different types of developers to create content for.

So maybe instead of raging about something that seems illogical and greedy, we can recognize that eventually this will create an opportunity for Oculus to develop into a new and better technology. It will definitely lead to the Oculus coming to market fruition faster. Maybe.

(If you had a different opinion or a new video game to suggest, leave a comment below! If you want to recieve regular updates, follow me on Twitter @SimonGolden)

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