Facebook, Please Get Your Face Out of the Oculus Rift

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Soap Box Rants

A Weekly Column to CopyLine Magazine

By Pamela Bratcher-McMillan
President, Chair & CEO, of PETAL et al.

I tried to suck it in. But I cannot hold it any longer. Facebook, please get  your face out of the Oculus Rift. While the deed is done, what are our options? Developers like me are still crying in our spilled milk. Will Sony and others save the day with reasonably priced development kits? No wonder Kickstarter is pissed off. Once again, the big kids have come to the party to kick sand in our faces and take the toys from the rest, in an effort to suck in a demographic, “the missing geeks”.

Further, since online gaming is becoming more and more accessible and the community is growing larger, does Facebook have a fear of losing their audience to higher end and 3D social gaming as their users grow older and inevitably detached (remember MySpace, Right)? And younger folks are turning to Twitter, Instagram and message apps, not to mention they are going to be running video ads/ commercials on the site. Wait…Isn’t that why we left television? Do I hear an echo?

It’s cool and now it’s mine said the big kid! Talk about a party crasher. We were all so excited here about the Rift, and others in the game development community were keeping a close eye out and offering feedback for Oculus to further perfect and develop the technology; all the while thinking they were helping out the little guy. So the trick is not to invest in the Kickstarter, but kick back and see how it does and what the interest is, and then strike with a $2 billion dollar check! The Kickstarter investors never saw it coming, because it never should have!

Question is, as the game development grows sour on the acquisition, will they look to other technologies from experienced manufacturers in the VR arena or will they allow Facebook to redeem themselves by offering worlds they never imagined at a cost that is accessible to struggling developers as well? Only time will tell if Facebook can recover from this one or did they just purchase a purple elephant?

The Sony VR headset revealed at GDC last month is looking pretty good. Maybe they will make some new friends. Anyway, when we all come back to reality of what just happened, keep in mind, there are many alternatives to the Oculus Rift. I’ll have no parts of that one that keeps my cell phone strapped to my head. No thanks! Don’t need the headache. Cell phone to the head is not an option for me.

In retrospect, I have to ask myself am I disappointed that Facebook bought it or more disgusted that Oculus sold it like they did? They should have just gone to Facebook to begin with.

Anyway, back to reality.

Pamela Bratcher-McMillan is a technology Expert and President, Chair & CEO, of PETAL et al. She is also a weekly columnist for CopyLine Magazine

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