I assume by now everyone has heard that Facebook has purchased Oculus and that a lot of people are unhappy about it. I didn't give Oculus any money and so perhaps my feelings are different. I like many people was excited about the possibilities of the Oculus Rift and I suspect that may change, but I'm not entirly certain that is a bad thing.
One of the reasons I think this may be a good thing is that most important thing I wanted to see the rift do has already been done. It forced everyone else to reconsider virtual reality and Sony has already announced that they will be making a virtual reality system and it seems likely microsoft won't be far behind. These are likely to be more gated experiances but that isn't always a bad thing and I am certain that if any of them are successful there will be a computer version of a VR device and that will be as open, or more open than the oculus rift, whether the people who make it want it to be or not. Hackers will make it open.
The other thing that is interesting is what Facebook might want to do with the oculus. When I think of Facebook I think of really bad games, but if they are smart Facebook is looking both to improve its current buesness and to expand it into areas that are more stable than the one they are in.
Expanding their buisness would best be done by keeping the current oculus rift on its same trajectory and hopefully speeding it up a bit. There isn't a huge reason for them to make major changes. But there is another interesting possibility. Facebook is in the leader in social at the moment and virtual reality has some really interesting possibilities in that area. Imagine instead of chatting with your old friends if you could put on an oculus rift and sit down to have a real conversation. Sure at first they would likely be avatars you were talking to, and even if they scanned themselves in it would look less than real, but it would be them in the ways that really matter. This is something that facebook does well and the ability to visit people and places virtually is a huge area that would be awesome. I for one would love to go to visit the great works of art around the world, but it would be even more fun with my friends. This is something that almost certainly never going to happen in reality even if we all had the money, but virtually it would be far easier and because we're already all connected on facebook it's going to be far easier for them to do that than anyone else.
So, perhaps in the long run having facebook in the vr wars along with sony and microsoft might acutally give us a wider variety of possibilities because while VR gaming is interesting the things that excite me the most about this technology is when it stops being a game and starts to allow mo to do real things virtually.