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Oculus co-founder defends sale of company amidst backlash, says Facebook a better home than Apple

post #1 of 104
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After word broke that virtual reality pioneer Oculus will be bought by Facebook for $2 billion, enthusiasts responded negatively, questioning the merits of the deal and future of the Rift headset. That led the co-founder of Oculus to take to the Internet to defend the sale, in which he argued Facebook is a better landing spot for the company than Apple or Microsoft.




Oculus's Palmer Luckey took to Reddit this week after it was announced that Facebook would acquire the virtual reality headset maker for $2 billion in cash and stock. The company is best known for the Oculus Rift, head-worn 3D that allows users to experience immersive virtual reality in games and other applications.
"Facebook creeps me out." - Minecraft creator "Notch"
The Reddit thread quickly filled with negative comments from users who are unhappy about the sale of Oculus to Facebook. Many of them share the same sentiment as "Notch," the developer behind the popular game Minecraft, who revealed he was previously working on a version of the title for Oculus Rift, but would no longer do so.

"I just cancelled that deal. Facebook creeps me out," he wrote on Twitter.

One user on Reddit asked Luckey to "promise" that there wouldn't be any "specific Facebook tech tie-ins" with future products --?a request that the Oculus co-founder did, in fact, pledge to keep. Luckey then went on to defend the sale by saying he believes Facebook is a better partner than other major tech companies.

"Why would we want to sell to someone like (Microsoft) or Apple?" he asked. "So they can tear the company apart and use the pieces to build out their own vision of virtual reality, one that fits whatever current strategy they have? Not a chance."

Those who supported the Oculus Rift and have purchased pre-release development kits are generally enthusiastic PC gamers, a group that saw the Rift as a potential new way to play and experience interactive content. Many of those who took to Reddit expressed concern that Facebook would take control of Oculus and use its technology to focus on social applications, which obviously are the focus for the publicly traded Facebook.

Luckey attempted to squash that line of thinking, and argued that the sale to Facebook may actually give Oculus more control of its own destiny. He said executives at Facebook have pledged to allow Oculus to operate independently from the social networking giant.


Legendary developer John Carmack is the Oculus VR CTO.


"We don't have to compromise on anything, and can afford to make decisions that are right for the future of virtual reality, not our current revenue," he said. "Keep in mind that we already have great partners who invested heavily in Oculus and got us to where we are, so we have not had full control of our destiny for some time. Facebook believes in our long term vision, and they want us to continue executing on our roadmap, not control what we do."

The Oculus co-founder also promised that "good news" stemming from the acquisition is on the way, but that the details cannot be announced immediately. However, he did tease that with the $2 billion purchase by Facebook, Oculus plans to make custom hardware, hire more personnel, and make "huge investments in content."

While Luckey mentioned Apple by name in his comments, there have not been any rumors suggesting that the iPhone maker may have been interested in buying Oculus. Console maker Sony unveiled its own virtual reality headset for the PlayStation 4 last week, dubbed "Project Morpheus," suggesting that it too was not a prospective buyer.

While Apple has not publicly shown any interest in virtual reality, ex-executive Tony Fadell, now a Google employee through the company's acquisition of smart thermostat maker Nest, revealed last year that Apple has experimented in secret with building augmented reality headgear. Fadell said Apple built prototype "visors" in its labs that made the wearer feel as though they were "sitting in a theater," but the company ultimately decided the technology wasn't worth it.
post #2 of 104
Start the "Facebook out bid Apple" and "Facebook more innovative than Apple" stories.
post #3 of 104

Facebook was better than Microsoft and Apple because they gave you 2 billion dollars

post #4 of 104

I agree with the Minecraft creator. Facebook creeps me out too, which is why I have never signed up for Facebook and will never do so in the future either.

post #5 of 104
It's important to slam Apple, even though Apple has nothing to do with the sale of Oculus. /s

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post #6 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

It's important to slam Apple, even though Apple has nothing to do with the sale of Oculus. /s
Exactly. Disgust at Facebook buying them doesn't exist just because Apple didn't buy them. It's due to… wait for it… Facebook!
post #7 of 104
"Company which wants to buy better than company that doesn't."

Well, Konfuzius and Sun Tzu became legendary with fortune cookie drivel like that... "Virtual Reality" is an apt tag at last.
post #8 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"Why would we want to sell to someone like (Microsoft) or Apple?" he asked. "So they can tear the company apart and use the pieces to build out their own vision of virtual reality, one that fits whatever current strategy they have? Not a chance."

1) Yes! Apple and MS are much better equipped to do something with the technology.

2) I would replace Apple with Sony since they make the PS4 and Apple wouldn't pay $2 billion for VR.

3) What do you think Facebook is going to do with your VR tech? Not build their own vision of VR that suits their business model? Come on, Son!*

4) You wanted a quick payday and FB offered you enough money. No shame in that so why not just admit it, Luckey.


* Series finale of Psych is tonight.

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post #9 of 104
FB is down almost 7% today so clearly Wall Street isn't buying what Zuck is selling. Quite honestly I think we're starting to see the tech bubble burst. King's IPO was a disaster with the stock down 15% today. In the last month Netflix is down over 16%, Facebook down 13%, Google down 6%. Year to date Amazon is down 13%, Twitter almost 30%. One of the few big tech stocks up this year is Microsoft.
post #10 of 104
perhaps facebook is looking to dev a game center like capability and oculus will integrate that platform
post #11 of 104

It amazes me how polarizing technology has become.

So much mistrust of Google and Facebook.

So much frustration with Apple's heavy handed control.

So much disdain for Samsung's blatant plagerism.

 

At the same time these are mostly Love/Hate relationships.

post #12 of 104
Quote:
. . . Facebook a better home than Apple

facebook is a better home for the NSA, too.
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post #13 of 104
I actually like this deal quite a bit. Oculus was never going to make it on their own since they couldn't even source displays in sufficient quantity to build their existing devkits, let alone ever go mainstream. In one fell swoop they've solved most of their problems and make it a zillion times more likely that their product will actually happen. I'm a huge Apple fan, but the Rift does not feel like an Apple product, and I'm sure as heck glad it didn't fall down the Microsoft well. The Rift has truly innovative potential in telepresence, art, and other forms of communication and I think Facebook and Oculus will make a good team.
post #14 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

FB is down almost 7% today so clearly Wall Street isn't buying what Zuck is selling. Quite honestly I think we're starting to see the tech bubble burst. King's IPO was a disaster with the stock down 15% today. In the last month Netflix is down over 16%, Facebook down 13%, Google down 6%. Year to date Amazon is down 13%, Twitter almost 30%. One of the few big tech stocks up this year is Microsoft.


Facebook spends $16B to buy WhatsApp, which to me is money wasted, and then they blow (snort) another $2B on a company that has nothing remotely familiar with what FB does.  Maybe FB hopes to one day start some VR "FacebookWorld" and everyone can communicate via an Avatar in an alternate universe, yet no one actually meets face-to-face in the real world?

Way to go Facebook.  Wutever

post #15 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

I agree with the Minecraft creator. Facebook creeps me out too, which is why I have never signed up for Facebook and will never do so in the future either.

 

To be fair, that's what my mom says about the internet... just saying. If you are in the tech dev field, you go where your clients are. Most people on line are on Facebook. Hell, I know people who are staunch hold outs on mobile devices in their personal life, but have a Facebook account. 

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post #16 of 104

This supposed "polarity" over technology has nothing to do with polarity over technology. The real polarizing force you are witnessing is the result of Capitalism. People are tired of being screwed over by rich and naive people who hide behind legal shields to use "their" property foolishly and selfishly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post
 

It amazes me how polarizing technology has become.

So much mistrust of Google and Facebook.

So much frustration with Apple's heavy handed control.

So much disdain for Samsung's blatant plagerism.

 

At the same time these are mostly Love/Hate relationships.

post #17 of 104

I see FB buying Oculus like Microsoft getting into console gaming. It has nothing to do with their current money-makers but it's seen as a future market to expand into that the Facebook brand can benefit being apart of with out necessarily creating any synergy between them. Much like how office isn't an Xbox app. This is, to me, the first step in Facebook trying to be like google – expanding past their initial claim to fame.

It's only after you've lost everything that you're free to do anything.

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post #18 of 104
Quote:
he argued Facebook is a better landing spot for the company than Apple or Microsoft

 

I LOLed.

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post #19 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


Facebook spends $16B to buy WhatsApp, which to me is money wasted, and then they blow (snort) another $2B on a company that has nothing remotely familiar with what FB does.  Maybe FB hopes to one day start some VR "FacebookWorld" and everyone can communicate via an Avatar in an alternate universe, yet no one actually meets face-to-face in the real world?


Way to go Facebook.  Wutever
Facebook was getting ripped to shreds on CNBC this afternoon. Everyone basically saying this shows that Zuck doesn't have faith in his core business model and because it was a mostly stock transaction he knows Facebook stock is way over valued.
post #20 of 104
As long as Google was kept away, that's all I care.  
post #21 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sporlo View Post

Exactly. Disgust at Facebook buying them doesn't exist just because Apple didn't buy them. It's due to… wait for it… Facebook!

Time for Apple to step up and buy Facebook, or buy Sony. That would solve Apple's content problem in dealing with cable company. Better still, Apple should buy both Sony and Fox 21.
post #22 of 104
I don't care that much for Facebook, but I'm pleased Oculus got funded. If anything, Facebook will make it more likely for Oculus' technology to support Mac OS and/or iOS when the tech is ready for mainstream adoption. Left on their own, I doubt Oculus would give a rats ass or have the spare resources to support the Mac or iOS. So it's probably a net positive for Apple users. Facebook is generally pro-Apple.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #23 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

 I'm a huge Apple fan, but ...

Uh oh...

post #24 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlSagan View Post

This supposed "polarity" over technology has nothing to do with polarity over technology. The real polarizing force you are witnessing is the result of Capitalism. People are tired of being screwed over by rich and naive people who hide behind legal shields to use "their" property foolishly and selfishly.
You mean it's the result of greed.
post #25 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by mubaili View Post

Time for Apple to step up and buy Facebook, or buy Sony. That would solve Apple's content problem in dealing with cable company. Better still, Apple should buy both Sony and Fox 21.
I'd rather see Facebook bleed usershare.
post #26 of 104
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Originally Posted by CarlSagan View Post

Another spam comment that I am having difficulty removing. How lovely. How about making a "delete" button obvious and easily accessible..?

That would require web programming talent. 1wink.gif

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #27 of 104
That projection system mask Carmack is wearing is how come VR is still a decade away.
post #28 of 104

So, Facebook already takes people away FROM other people even when sitting next to them.  Now Virt Reality integrated into the FB ecosystem?  so add a huge mask over your face/head to use it or another 'app' ... and we all get farther and farther away from each other while possibly still being in the same room.  smh!!!

 

His unnecessary comments against Apple, whatever you believe or 'feel' about Apple, sound like the type of person that brings Politics into every discussion with no value added.

 

Remember when farmville was the future of the world..   see what I did there?  what the hell does farmville have to do with this...


Edited by bdub52MOsox - 3/26/14 at 1:54pm
post #29 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

FB is down almost 7% today so clearly Wall Street isn't buying what Zuck is selling. Quite honestly I think we're starting to see the tech bubble burst. King's IPO was a disaster with the stock down 15% today. In the last month Netflix is down over 16%, Facebook down 13%, Google down 6%. Year to date Amazon is down 13%, Twitter almost 30%. One of the few big tech stocks up this year is Microsoft.

 

To be fair, most tech is down today anyway.  

post #30 of 104
Quote:
 "Why would we want to sell to Apple... So they can tear the company apart and use the pieces to build out their own vision of virtual reality, one that fits whatever current strategy they have?

Yes, because what you have there looks stupendously dorky, at a loser level. 

Apple is as interested in buying Oculous as they were in buying OQO.

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post #31 of 104

Just look at the guy's picture. He's a perfect fit for what Facebook is trying to do.

post #32 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by thetorrey View Post

To be fair, most tech is down today anyway.  
Not 7% though.
post #33 of 104
Apple is sooooo doomed! 1wink.gif
post #34 of 104

If Facebook is a better destination for Oculus than Apple or Microsoft, then Oculus had no future anyway... and $2B is $2B! Cha-ching!!!

post #35 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sporlo View Post


You mean it's the result of greed.

The kind of system we need would be one in which diversity of input matters and community ownership is central (see Libertarian Socialism), similar to what we see within the Open Source community. But the problem is that Capitalism, which thrives, for one thing, on private ownership, would never be able to survive such a system, which is one reason why patents exist and one reason why they are abused. Humanity, on the other hand, would benefit tremendously from such a transparent and universally-available system of innovation and knowledge.

post #36 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by mubaili View Post


Time for Apple to step up and buy Facebook, or buy Sony.

 

I could seriously get behind a Sony acquisition.  Gaming, movie content, consumer electronics...what's not to like?

 

Now watch those weasels at Google buy Sony.  :(

 

Geez, at the very least snatch up Nintendo.

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post #37 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by SudoNym View Post
 

I doubt Google were even interested.

post #38 of 104

Immensely naive to believe any promise that an acquiring corporation makes.  Just say "they offered more money".  People in general won't hold that against you.  Chide you for it, maybe, but that's just hypocrisy unless they have turned down billion dollar offers to do something perfectly legal.

post #39 of 104
Now we just need Facebook to buy Sony. Then maybe in a few years we''ll see FaceStation 5 with VR.

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post #40 of 104
"...which he argued Facebook is a better landing spot for the company than Apple or Microsoft."

Real World Interpretation: Facebook actually wanted to buy us, unlike those other guys.
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