Is the Oculus Rift doomed?

Granitehead

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But the one reason I liked Occulus Rift more than the Sony thing was that it was supposed to be open while Sony would probably produce some annoying closed piece of shit. But now I fear the Occulus Rift might become even more annoying in the future. Is the SDK licensed under a true open source license at the moment? That is, can they keep people from forking the last version before they add crazy stuff and further develop that version?
 

comradekingu

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Doomed is not the questionmark that follows, but it sure raises the question as to what came before it in the sentence.

Hope for the best for both the creators and their project, while i cant really say the same about its new owner.
 
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sertyrion

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Interesting blogpost.

I agree that the VR hardware (i.e. experience) needs a lot of money to perfect, and it needs to be perfect to work at all. Right now developing the sense of presence is almost impossible to do with current hardware. Valve was reportedly able to do it at steam dev days, but only in a room full of qrcode-like labels to track orientation.

It'd be my wish that Valve would develop an open hardware VR device which has a sense of presence... but it seems a lot of valve guys have moved to Occulus. This can be bad or good. I don't think Occulus will dev open hardware (read: open drivers) now that facebook is in the house.
 
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levi

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The Rift needs the coding community more than ever now, so I'd be surprised if they close it all down and give indie devs another reason to sack off doing anything for it.  Or are they aiming for Farmville VR and nothing else?
 

WizardStan

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That's what I've been saying. Facebook isn't stupid, people won't buy the Rift just for Facebook type games (some will, majority won't) so if they want acceptance they need to keep the exact same track as it was on.
 

Asmo

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"Oculus VR employees are getting death threats following the $2 Billion Facebook deal"

http://www.businessinsider.com/oculus-facebook-response-2014-3#ixzz2xSL6jlSr

http://www.gameinformer.com/themes/blogs/generic/post.aspx?WeblogApp=news&y=2014&m=03&d=26&WeblogPostName=oculus-overnight-acquisition-and-becoming-a-zero-compromises-product&GroupKeys=

Iribe, founder Palmer Luckey, and vice president of product Nate Mitchell didn’t foresee the magnitude of the negative reaction to the announcement. “We assumed that the reaction would be negative, especially from our core community,” Mitchell told us. “Beyond our core community, we expected it would be positive. I don’t think we expected it to be so negative. As people begin to digest it a bit and think about it, you can see that Twitter and Reddit is swinging back the opposite direction.
 

Askarus

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If you don't talk to the community before you do such a step then you have a lot more to talk afterwards.
 

SNESFAN

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Publicaly talking about a merger right before it happens with a publicly traded company sounds all sorts of illegal.

Edit: not actually considered insider trading, as long as an NDA was not issued it would be legal. Just sounds like it would be illegal.
 
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Rockthesmurf

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From scanning this thread, the main points I am seeing are:

Facebook will use targeted adverts based on users interaction inside virtual world

Well, maybe, but the same would probably happen without Facebook. It isn't like Facebook invented or have control over performing this. It has been going on for ages, and will be going on for a long time to come. Also, if we are living in a world that adverts are being bombarded upon us (sad as it is) surely it is better to have them somewhat targeted? I know Facebook adverts are probably something that no one on this board ever clicks on, but people somewhere are clicking on them, because they are interested in them, and presumably are happy to be told about said product/service rather than completely random adverts of no interest to them?

 

Facebook may sell submitted user data

Same as above; sure Facebook could do this, but so could anyone else? This is just a classic case of devil you know versus the devil you don't.

 

The OR team might have to change direction or decisions to meet Facebook demands

It seems unlikely to me that a deal would be signed that causes major problems, however if it really does break it completely, so what? It will be doomed, someone else will make a better one with out all the broken stuff? Ultimately Facebook want to back a success product, I believe the OR team feel that working with Facebook will help make the best product possible. This is just my opinion, there is always the chance the share holders have voted to just grab the cash ;)

 

Games will be interrupted to display random junk/adverts/spam

At this point it is just supply and demand, if Facebook were to enforce this, developers of high profile titles will probably say "we do not want to ruin our IP that we have spent 10's of millions developing by inserting this crap every checkpoint, we don't make a OR version of our game, instead we will target product X/Y/Z which has since been developed to overcome the crazy policies that has been enforced on the OR". This doesn't bode well for anyone. The worst type of user a company can have is a de-active one...

 


At the end of day Facebook offers service for free, people sign up, it is pretty well publicised that they track users data, target adverts, sell certain information. They have dealt with security problems, privacy problems, been around long enough to be expected not to make rookie mistakes (like happen constantly with so many other companies who are attempting to store user data securely and failing). If you need a Facebook account and don't like Facebook, then create a fake account? Who cares about the T&C's? I appreciate this is a somewhat niche forum, but I suspect if there was an honest poll on here, the majority of people would have Facebook accounts.

 

My overall opinion is 'meh', Facebook might screw thing up, if they do Sony have already announced their ambitions, and I'm confident there are other players in the market still to show their hand. OR has a few key players in the team that give them a lot of credibility in my opinion. We don't know the exact terms, but if OR started going in a weird direction, I imagine we may see a bunch of resignations followed by a new venture being started.

 

So, overall, is OR doomed? Maybe. 


Would OR be doomed without Facebook? Maybe.

Would OR be doomed with Facebook? Maybe.

Will some cool VR stuff really kick off in the next years (regardless of the player behind it)? It seems very like the answer is yes, which is exciting.
 

bzar

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The OR team might have to change direction or decisions to meet Facebook demands

It seems unlikely to me that a deal would be signed that causes major problems, however if it really does break it completely, so what? It will be doomed, someone else will make a better one with out all the broken stuff? Ultimately Facebook want to back a success product, I believe the OR team feel that working with Facebook will help make the best product possible. This is just my opinion, there is always the chance the share holders have voted to just grab the cash ;)
Pretty much my biggest concern. Previously Occulus has been pretty forthcoming with all the software and support needed to make stuff for rift, but a big company may choose to just do exclusive deals with the big game houses. Worse yet, competition may not be an option with Occulus patents and Facebook's lawyer army and coffins behind them. The biggest cash may not actually be in letting everyone do stuff on it, but in exclusive deals.
As long as the hardware is free to hack on stuff like facebook data collection can be worked around.
 

Foxgod

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I just pre ordered the devkit two :) , its gonna be a long four months of waiting.

I think the Oculus will still be a succes, even with FB behind it.

Who knows what kind of stuff the final version can have, that otherwise would be too expensive.
 
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Klumpen

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Facebook may sell submitted user data

Same as above; sure Facebook could do this, but so could anyone else? This is just a classic case of devil you know versus the devil you don't.
It's about giving the power over this VR-set to someone everyone knows to be the ultimate immoral devil for years.
 
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Rockthesmurf

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It's about giving the power over this VR-set to someone everyone knows to be the ultimate immoral devil for years.
I'm not like particular pro Facebook, but come on, ultimately immoral devil? Zuckerberg has pledged to give 50% of his fortune to charity (as have many others such as Bill Gates, who at one time was also very much cast as the ultimate bad guy of the ultimately bad company). I'm pretty sure everyone on this board could find a company with less morals than Facebook. Hey, I wonder if anyone can name a company that took money for hobbyist, handheld computers, didn't deliver, took premium money, then GHz money, then more money, and still didn't deliver, then started selling random products on eBay and still didn't deliver, and then attempted to disappear without ever giving lots of customers anything for their money ;) would you rather OR was brought by this person/company instead?

Besides, Facebook are under heavy scrutiny these days, there is actually some argument that Facebook handling peoples data is far better than the next cowboy who is less experienced, more like to make blunders, having less people watching their every move etc.
 
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Klumpen

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Those are not even software companies (except Electronic Arts).

It doesn't matter who is worse (very subjectively btw), if you base your view on the worse, you'll end up losing the understanding of what would be good.
 
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Granitehead

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Hey, I don't like or trust Facebook at all - but I think some people here are overdoing it with their bashing and end of the world scenarios. If they keep their free SDK it's absolutely no problem. You can remove any part related to Facebook.

Which leads to a question I've already asked once: Is their current SDK free and open source as in free beer, or is it actually free? Because if it is completely free, they would need to rebuild the entire thing from scratch if they wanted to close it.
 

WizardStan

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It's not "free" free, but it is very free-ish. It's got some restrictions, but nothing too onerous. Mostly things like "if you use this, you gotta provide our license file" and "no using our names to explicitly promote your project", and most importantly "we're not responsible if someone dies while using your game written with our SDK". It lets you modify and redistribute the SDK source but only if you keep the copyright and license and you have to sub-license everything, you can't just cut out some sections and redistribute those. Oh, that only applies to one specific part, the libOVR. No cutting libOVR to pieces, everything else can be sub-licensed in whole or in part.

The only potential source of trouble is section 8, reserving the right to modify the agreement, but that can only apply if you start using the license, old versions wouldn't be bound to the changes. The current release is 0.2.3, if amend the agreement with "you must sacrifice to us your first born son" that only takes affect when you upgrade, either by foolishly downloading and then including the upgraded license in your package or when you upgrade to 0.2.4. Just keep using 0.2.3 and you'll be fine.

https://developer.oculusvr.com/license

edit: apparently they're also up to 0.2.5 as well, at least a release candidate.
 
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comradekingu

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Information wants to be free-ish too... Thats the product facebook sells. They are not in the business of giving by the doors. It is _not_ ok. The only thing possibly good about it in being ok is that if so, facebook might have wasted its money.

Why do you think its worth anything, why do you think they laid money on the table for whatsapp. The fire is looming for facebook, I hope they die in it.

Interesting blogpost.

I agree that the VR hardware (i.e. experience) needs a lot of money to perfect, and it needs to be perfect to work at all. Right now developing the sense of presence is almost impossible to do with current hardware. Valve was reportedly able to do it at steam dev days, but only in a room full of qrcode-like labels to track orientation.

It'd be my wish that Valve would develop an open hardware VR device which has a sense of presence... but it seems a lot of valve guys have moved to Occulus. This can be bad or good. I don't think Occulus will dev open hardware (read: open drivers) now that facebook is in the house.
Motion blur is possible in software now (no pun intended) Was quite convincing in nvidias live presentation the other day, wonder if it isnt gimmick in practice though. Feel free to link to valve pres.
"Oculus VR employees are getting death threats following the $2 Billion Facebook deal"

http://www.businessinsider.com/oculus-facebook-response-2014-3#ixzz2xSL6jlSr

http://www.gameinformer.com/themes/blogs/generic/post.aspx?WeblogApp=news&y=2014&m=03&d=26&WeblogPostName=oculus-overnight-acquisition-and-becoming-a-zero-compromises-product&GroupKeys=

Iribe, founder Palmer Luckey, and vice president of product Nate Mitchell didn’t foresee the magnitude of the negative reaction to the announcement. “We assumed that the reaction would be negative, especially from our core community,” Mitchell told us. “Beyond our core community, we expected it would be positive. I don’t think we expected it to be so negative. As people begin to digest it a bit and think about it, you can see that Twitter and Reddit is swinging back the opposite direction.
I predicted the backlash, but not quite to death threats... Similarly the reaction was predictable too, but twitter and reddit, thats rough.

Edit: I just read, "worth $2 billion in cash and stock". That latter part was the part that i didnt like.
 
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