The $2 billion acquisition of Oculus Rift by Facebook has been unsettling for many. The future of the world's first refined virtual reality headset went from focused to unpredictable overnight. That uncertainty is for good reason, too.
An insider source has shared that Facebook plans to integrate software into the Oculus Rift UI that pushes Facebook's products, namely its social media site. A Facebook interface with in-game messaging and sharing are already being rumored.
Oculus Rift has primarily been a product targeted toward PC gamers since its Kickstarter campaign started in August 2012. That focus is expectedly broadened now that a big player like Facebook is in the mix. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has already shared some insight into his vision for the device, which positions it as a major player in the electronics market. He went as far as to call it the next big thing, pointing at how the mobile market recently exploded.
Minecraft creator Markus Persson isn't a fan of the move, going as far as to rescind his support of Oculus Rift. He has gone on record to say "Facebook creeps me out". Hardware isn't anything without software, and the loss of a 35+ million selling game like Minecraft isn't something to be taken lightly.
Oculus Rift is beginning to look more like a platform than a device at this point. While it'll need hardware to plug into, Facebook's hand in the design makes it likely that a more mainstream approach will be implemented, introducing the technology to as many people as possible.
It'll be a tough sell given the early development kits have been priced at $300 and above, but there are so many people who have always wanted to experience virtual reality that the price point might not be as much of a hurdle as it would be in other cases.
Ultimately, Facebook didn't acquire Oculus Rift for fun. It's in it for the money. Facebook needs to monetize the device to make its massive investment worth it, so the presentation of the device will undoubtedly be impacted by yesterday's move.