Jimquisition: So, That Facebook And Oculus Rift Thing...

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So, That Facebook And Oculus Rift Thing...

Jimquisition tackles the whirlwind of confusion surrounding Oculus' purchase by Facebook, and suggests that, even IF it means bad things, it could have been WAY worse.

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Thank god for you Jim. Finally, someone who actually took the emotion out of this whole deal and is using logic to talk about the issue!

Hit this one right on the head.

My God Jim is staying topical. It's only been about 24 hours, bravo sir. nice again you cut through the hyperbole and get to the heart of the issue.

RE: A cute little niche thing:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_games_with_Oculus_Rift_support

RE: Facebook hardware success:

http://www.cnet.com/news/heres-why-the-facebook-phone-flopped/

Facebook has had NO success with hardware, even when selling them as a loss-leader so they can sell services and advertisements, as they've already announced doing so with the Oculus Rift:

http://www.shareholder.com/visitors/event/build3/stage/stage.cfm?mediaid=63723&mediauserid=0

MinionJoe:
RE: A cute little niche thing:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_games_with_Oculus_Rift_support

I have seen that list. That says nothing about audience adoption, only games coming out. The Wii U had plenty of launch support, and the Nvidia Shield has a pretty damn big library. Still niche products for specific audiences.

RE: Facebook hardware success:

http://www.cnet.com/news/heres-why-the-facebook-phone-flopped/

Facebook has had NO success with hardware, even when selling them as a loss-leader so they call sell services and advertisements as they've already announced doing so with the Oculus Rift:

http://www.shareholder.com/visitors/event/build3/stage/stage.cfm?mediaid=63723&mediauserid=0

Yeah, sure, they were late on the phone thing, nobody's disputed that. But them owning the work someone else is doing and has traction on isn't the same as them trying to put a phone out.

The point about the game industry completely fucking it up if they bought it I didn't previously consider, and is a very valid one. But Facebook is the company that pushed 'social gaming' to the forefront. It's basically where the terrible F2P and 'harass your friend' practices we see on the mobile market today started. It represents everything Jim was decrying on Monday.

Why in the fuckitty Christ would we want them anywhere near what was widely considered a haven for enterprising, enthusiastic PC gamers?

(All said as someone who didn't Kickstart it and will probably never buy/use the thing. If I'd been following it or cared about it, I'd be absolutely livid. As it is it's just a bit sad).

We really need a soundclip of "Thank god for me" without any background music.

OT: Am I a bad person for not really caring? I've never cared about the oculus rift as something other than a neat piece of technology. I wasn't ever going to use it for gaming, so I really don't care that facebook got their hands on it.

MinionJoe:
RE: A cute little niche thing:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_games_with_Oculus_Rift_support

RE: Facebook hardware success:

http://www.cnet.com/news/heres-why-the-facebook-phone-flopped/

Facebook has had NO success with hardware, even when selling them as a loss-leader so they can sell services and advertisements, as they've already announced doing so with the Oculus Rift:

http://www.shareholder.com/visitors/event/build3/stage/stage.cfm?mediaid=63723&mediauserid=0

Yep because Microsoft's Kin phone or Sony's Xperia Play were such huge successes.

Facebook's open compute project of designing open source servers is doing really good things so they can do hardware.

Given that you've given a few notable examples, what do you think Nintendo would do if it acquired the Oculus Rift?

Anyway, this episode is amazingly topical given the short time frame. Bravo, Jim Sterling, and thank God for you.

MinionJoe:
RE: A cute little niche thing:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_games_with_Oculus_Rift_support

RE: Facebook hardware success:

http://www.cnet.com/news/heres-why-the-facebook-phone-flopped/

Facebook has had NO success with hardware, even when selling them as a loss-leader so they can sell services and advertisements, as they've already announced doing so with the Oculus Rift:

http://www.shareholder.com/visitors/event/build3/stage/stage.cfm?mediaid=63723&mediauserid=0

Yeah. That's a pretty small list of games considering the tech thats currently out. The Rift is pretty good tech, but you're not going to be able to sell the Rift to most gamers. A few hundred dollars for a peripheral your monitor already handles for you doesn't have a punch out success people hope for. Look at what happened to the Ouya - a heavily hyped console, backed with Kickstarter, set to start a revolution of consumer friendliness. It was dead on arrival.

As for your smartphone bit - assuming the HTC First died because of Facebook is a gross understatement. The smartphone market is highly based on iterative designs and stronger tech. Not only does Apple hold a huge steak in the smart phone market, as well as a huge retention cycle, but the First was outclassed by nearly every other new Droid out on the market. Not to mention, it had lousy advertising - I've seen plenty of HTC One commercials. I've seen no HTC First commercials.

As far as officially announced things, there has been no mention of integration of ads into the Rift. I'm sure if you're running the Facebook application, it'll probably have ads. I seriously doubt you'll get ad's when loading up a game, or that interupt gameplay.

Facebook bought it because they think VR is the next big thing. They want to be in on the ground floor. Facebook has given us no reason to believe they're going to fundamentally change the rift - merely, they're going to add additional things into the mix (which, as of yet, have seemed 100% optional).

Calm. Your. Tits.

Steve2911:
The point about the game industry completely fucking it up if they bought it I didn't previously consider, and is a very valid one. But Facebook is the company that pushed 'social gaming' to the forefront. It's basically where the terrible F2P and 'harass your friend' practices we see on the mobile market today started. It represents everything Jim was decrying on Monday.

Why in the fuckitty Christ would we want them anywhere near what was widely considered a haven for enterprising, enthusiastic PC gamers?

(All said as someone who didn't Kickstart it and will probably never buy/use the thing. If I'd been following it or cared about it, I'd be absolutely livid. As it is it's just a bit sad).

I guess the easiest answer to that question is "because them doing their thing with the hardware won't get in the way of me doing my thing with the hardware." While it is entirely possible that Facebook will happily sponsor F2P social gaming shit stains on the Rift, that in no way prevents me from using it for using it for the kind of games I was planning on using it for already(except, apparently, Minecraft). On the flip side, Microsoft could have made it an XBone exclusive(much like Sony is apparently doing with the Morpheus).

As I said in an earlier thread, so long as the thing still does what it was going to do, I don't really care who puts their logo on the front of it.

Jimothy Sterling:
Still niche products for specific audiences.

So all products and services should be homogenized or the greatest possible audience?

A lot of German simulator fans are going to be mighty pissed...

Oculus had that niche market locked up. They had customers and developers lined up even before releasing a final product. This shift to a larger audience just smacks of EA-esque tactics. Especially since Zuckerburg has stated they won't be making money on the hardware but will be monetizing it in other ways.

But them owning the work someone else is doing and has traction on isn't the same as them trying to put a phone out.

True... But I've been an employee of two different companies that made "niche" software. One billing software for home healthcare agencies and another employee background check software for retail companies. Both were bought out by larger companies. Both times, within 6 months, none of the original management remained. Heck, in one instance, we weren't even using the same e-mail software after being assured "you know what you're doing, nothing will change."

Having an existing product purchased as a "market solution" by a larger company is, in my experience, never beneficial for the bought-out company.

But I still love you, Jim. :)

I'll have to disagree with your assessment that Facebook is the lesser of (most) evils. So what if EA or Activision got it? Sure, they'd break our balls and be massive dicks, but at least eventually they'd help make a good game for it, because they actually make videogames. That's what they do. Facebook really doesn't. They have no idea what gaming is, to them it's a means to spam people and fish personal info. Seriously, even someone completely random like, I dunno, PG&E, would be better for it, because they just know nothing and would have to educate themselves on the matter. Facebook have a grim and distorted view of what videogames are, and I dare say a way more grim and distorted view than EA or Activision. As for Sony, at least the hardware would be good. Yes, maybe they wouldn't be able to push it correctly and it would be a niche peripheral, but at least it would be a good start and potentially worth buying.

MinionJoe:

Jimothy Sterling:
Still niche products for specific audiences.

So all products and services should be homogenized or the greatest possible audience?

What? No. Niche products are GOOD. I was not insulting OR. Just saying it was not "The Future" Zuckerbergs hopes it'll be.

At least doesn't seem interested in undermining everything the Rift tried to be.

Is that why they're already talking about trying to make it "the most social platform ever" and using it as a marketing tool for the sale of "virtual goods"? Because to me it seems like Zuckerberg doesn't care much for its applications in gaming at all.

Jimothy Sterling:
What? No. Niche products are GOOD. I was not insulting OR. Just saying it was not "The Future" Zuckerbergs hopes it'll be.

Which is very true, it really isn't (unless the technology changes dramatically before it's released).

What is the future is Miniature Fantasy Jim Sterling IMO. No real idea why, but 300,000:1 odds it will take the world by storm.

Very good episode Jim, good points raised about the lesser of evils.
But I think given the rise of much more conventional and easy to use tech like 2560 and 4k monitors, and the looming Gsync on the horizon, I just can't see a place for Oculus in my gaming closet. I too could be wrong, maybe the influx of cash will sort out the motion sickness and weight issues, but compared to a 4k Gsync monitor being used traditionally, I just don't see it... ha, 'see it', oh lord...

Actually looking at the most recent news it looks like the whole "Re-brand, re-model, integrate Facebook UI" story was false. We can but hope Facebook won't push its services too much into the rift. And i guess slim hope and uncertainty is kind of all we have.

Still, i think Facebook's core philosophies, lack of regard for users and business practices are wholly abhorrent.

Jimothy Sterling:

What? No. Niche products are GOOD. I was not insulting OR. Just saying it was not "The Future" Zuckerbergs hopes it'll be.

Er... well... yes, of course that's entirely true. But how's Facebook getting ownership of Oculus VR hardware the lesser of all evils?

I agree that a game company getting a hold of it would have been far, far worse. Same with Microsoft/Sony. They're not interested in catering to niche markets. But neither is Facebook.

So a product that is designed from the ground-up for a niche market that is then bought out and converted for a wider audience isn't going to be good for that niche market. No matter who buys it.

Sure, maybe there's still some hope for the OR under Facebook that doesn't exist with other companies. I mean, the PS4 has root-level Facebook integration, and people can still play games without having to link a Facebook account. I just hope that remains true for the Rift. And it's possible the hardware will remain unlocked enough to work with third-party programs. Personally, I was really looking forward to trying it out with Euro Truck Simulator 2 (about as niche as one can get).

But as a specialized, niche-market product, the Oculus system is very likely dead. Especially if other on-board developers pull out as Mojang has already done.

Evonisia:
Given that you've given a few notable examples, what do you think Nintendo would do if it acquired the Oculus Rift?

I can tell you one thing they wouldn't do: Release a Metroid game for it. It is just too obvious of a decisions for Nintendo to figure out. In the meantime, they'd probably release New Super Mario Bros. Rift.

Great video Jim, like Rabid_Meese said, leave it up to you to step back from the emotion and take a look at the facts. I despise Facebook, but after this, agree that it could be a lot worse!

Oh, and that miniature fantasy Jim Sterling is incredible!!

Jimothy Sterling:

MinionJoe:
RE: A cute little niche thing:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_games_with_Oculus_Rift_support

I have seen that list. That says nothing about audience adoption, only games coming out. The Wii U had plenty of launch support, and the Nvidia Shield has a pretty damn big library. Still niche products for specific audiences.

The shield is even getting Portal, which is pretty insane for a mobile device.

Yay! Two Jimquistions in one week, I love it when this happens.
And aww that doll was so cute. You can tell a lot of time and effort went into it.

OT:
Welp, I got plenty of feedback from the fellow Escapists as to why Facebook is so disliked, which was enlightening to say the least. I'm still going to wait and see what they do with the tech. I'll be honest and say I haven't been too interested in the Rift because it seemed kinda gimmicky, so I'm also not as passionate as others are about this.

I don't really care that Facebook bought the Oculus. I wasn't really interested in the technology anyway. You do make a good point though, as much as I hate Facebook, Oculus is still probably better off in their hands than say Sony, Microsoft, or EA.

Also miniature fantasy Jim Sterling is awesome!

I think the best part of this whole upset is the reaction of some rather more upset denizens of the internet. If you go to certain parts of 4chan, there is real upset and fear over the idea that adverts will be made mandatory, and that their Anime porn simulators will be taken away.

Think I'm kidding?

I will say that facebook DOES have a reputation of consuming its acquisitions. It has made, excluding purely domain name related purchases, 44 acquisitions to date. About three of those have been allowed to maintain their independence in the company.

Jimothy Sterling:
It could have been worse. VR was probably destined to be a niche anyway. Wait and see.

Jim, your autobiography should be titled "The Audacity of Common Sense". Those points are just too logical and obvious when stated, thank God for you.

Under_your_bed:

Think I'm kidding?

I... I'd hoped you were kidding. Gads...

I mean, yeah, I didn't Kickstart Oculus. I've never even demoed one. But I was looking forward to using it for gaming. And sure, I refuse to use Facebook for personal, financial, and spiritual reasons. But... g'damn... "no waifu => suicide now"?!? Seriously?

I was beginning to worry that I'd overreacted. ;)

Agayek:
[quote="Jimothy Sterling" post="6.845832.20846295"]What? No. Niche products are GOOD. I was not insulting OR. Just saying it was not "The Future" Zuckerbergs hopes it'll be.

Which is very true, it really isn't (unless the technology changes dramatically before it's released).

What is the future is Miniature Fantasy Jim Sterling IMO. No real idea why, but 300,000:1 odds it will take the world by storm.[

You are in no way wrong; I have moneys and I would Like a miniature Fantasy Jim Sterling Talking Plushie. Shut up and take my Moneys!

MinionJoe:

Jimothy Sterling:

What? No. Niche products are GOOD. I was not insulting OR. Just saying it was not "The Future" Zuckerbergs hopes it'll be.

Er... well... yes, of course that's entirely true. But how's Facebook getting ownership of Oculus VR hardware the lesser of all evils?

I agree that a game company getting a hold of it would have been far, far worse. Same with Microsoft/Sony. They're not interested in catering to niche markets. But neither is Facebook.

So a product that is designed from the ground-up for a niche market that is then bought out and converted for a wider audience isn't going to be good for that niche market. No matter who buys it.

Sure, maybe there's still some hope for the OR under Facebook that doesn't exist with other companies. I mean, the PS4 has root-level Facebook integration, and people can still play games without having to link a Facebook account. I just hope that remains true for the Rift. And it's possible the hardware will remain unlocked enough to work with third-party programs. Personally, I was really looking forward to trying it out with Euro Truck Simulator 2 (about as niche as one can get).

But as a specialized, niche-market product, the Oculus system is very likely dead. Especially if other on-board developers pull out as Mojang has already done.

The thing about VR catered as a specific niche market product is that eventually it is going to go away, or at least it will never go anywhere interesting. It is the very definition of a novelty luxury good. It really only exists as a cool toy for tech heads. And this isn't really a problem, if you don't think VR tech has any real potential. If it is just a cool gadget and that is all it ever can be then appealing only to the niche market that wants that gadget is perfectly fine, and is in fact a good thing. I like niche products. I own many niche products.

However, I personally think that there is great potential for VR tech in a wide variety of fields, if we can figure it out. That really isn't going to happen unless someone big foots the bill for the R&D. The crowd funded 2.5 million for the kickstarter was neat, but that was never going to be enough to revolutionize the tech.

I am not sure I am expressing myself well here. Basically, I am saying VR is an infant tech. It is a neat novelty right now but largely inferior and useless compared to other available tech. I think VR has potential to be much better and that simply was never going to happen on the chump change crowd funding could pull together. Now that a major player has put its weight behind the tech there is at least a chance that it could be made into a tech worth giving a damn about.

And I know there were other companies doing VR tech, but that felt much more like hedging their bets. I don't think they believe in the tech in any real way, they are just throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks. This buyout seems more like they intend to do something with the tech, which means serious support.

This means your niche product will probably disappear for a while, and I can understand why you are mad about that. But if VR actually catches on I guarantee that a niche specific model far superior to the current Rift will be coming your way eventually.

Scrumpmonkey:
Still, i think Facebook's core philosophies, lack of regard for users and business practices are wholly abhorrent.

Agreed. Even if things don't go crazy with FB integration, I can't find it inside myself to ever say this whole episode has been a good thing for those who put their time and money into making Oculus possible.

MinionJoe:

Jimothy Sterling:

What? No. Niche products are GOOD. I was not insulting OR. Just saying it was not "The Future" Zuckerbergs hopes it'll be.

Er... well... yes, of course that's entirely true. But how's Facebook getting ownership of Oculus VR hardware the lesser of all evils?

I agree that a game company getting a hold of it would have been far, far worse. Same with Microsoft/Sony. They're not interested in catering to niche markets. But neither is Facebook.

So a product that is designed from the ground-up for a niche market that is then bought out and converted for a wider audience isn't going to be good for that niche market. No matter who buys it.

Sure, maybe there's still some hope for the OR under Facebook that doesn't exist with other companies. I mean, the PS4 has root-level Facebook integration, and people can still play games without having to link a Facebook account. I just hope that remains true for the Rift. And it's possible the hardware will remain unlocked enough to work with third-party programs. Personally, I was really looking forward to trying it out with Euro Truck Simulator 2 (about as niche as one can get).

But as a specialized, niche-market product, the Oculus system is very likely dead. Especially if other on-board developers pull out as Mojang has already done.

I don't know if you need to worry about other developers pulling out because mojang did. Mojang is a very politically minded indie first company. Not saying they were wrong to, but I think the motivation for them pulling out won't be shared by many other companies, at least initially. I expect what's more likely to happen from most developers is a slight shift of focus away from support with a wait and see attitude.

Yeah, thats pretty much my veiw on the thing. Shocking for the sheer amount of money involved for something thats not even on the market proper, but i never cared about Oculus or its Rift to begin with, so i wont be losing any sleep over this.

Gonna post it here, because hey why not.

Jim, is there any way you can enlist (in credits) the titles of the games you are showing through the episodes? Some of them are recognizable, some are not, but seems interesting/odd/insane/worth further look. It's a small thing but clears things up and will save some time for your viewers to do other stuff, like building you a shrine or prepare some sacrifices. Probably both.

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