Oculus, the pioneers in bringing back Virtual Reality to gaming, are finally ready to release their consumer version of the Rift. It is, however, still a product that has yet to be shown publicly for the first time - something many would've expected to take place at E3 next month. That's still sort of happening, if not just a few days before.
The Oculus Rift has been in development for years now. The highly successful crowd-funded-project-turned-massive-Facebook-investment, the poster child of VR has existed long enough without word of a consumer release date. Last week it was confirmed that 2015 wouldn't be the year for the Rift, but today brought about a little better news.
Virtual Reality is the next big thing, according to just about everybody in the industry other than Microsoft. Valve has bet big on the tech, adding a VR SDK to Steam, and throwing its name behind the HTC-developed Vive headset. It’s set for release later this year. Sony’s got its Project Morpheus coming, which we’ll probably see early next year. But what about the guys who kick-started the new VR craze, Oculus? When will we see them actually release a consumer device? Probably not this year.
Oculus VR got a lot of grief when they decided to financially partner up with Facebook earlier this year. Some backers felt it was a sell out, and that the company's vision would now be influenced by the social media giant. That hasn't happened yet, but could you imagine what would've happened if Oculus partnered up with the likes of Sony or Microsoft?
Facebook wants to believe in a future where Virtual Reality goes hand in hand with your gaming experiences. That's why they've invested so heavily into the Oculus Rift, the most promising device on its way to the market right now. Thing is, it's going to take a couple of million sales to make the device actually mean something in the industry
$2 billion. Two freakin’ billion dollars. That’s just how much VR company Oculus Rift was worth to Facebook. That’s what success and fame can do for a start-up company, as the virtually real hardware developer found out when the house of Zuckerberg bought them out. One other industry success story that won’t be up for sale though? Chris Roberts and Imperium Games, who are staying independent.
Ever since the announcement of Facebook acquiring Oculus Rift for a cool $2 billion arrived, everyone has had something to say. Now, former id Software genius and current chief technological officer at Oculus Rift John Carmack is throwing his hat into the ring, commenting on his position following the sale of the VR firm.
Only two years ago, a little company took to Kickstarter asking for $250k to make "the first truly immersive virtual reality headset for video games". The Kickstarter raised almost $2.5 million for Oculus, and now they are exceeding funding expectations again. But not all developers are keen on their new owners.
Ah, Facebook games. They are evil yet also insanely addictive. I confess that I'm hooked on Candy Crush Saga, and I used to play that weird Assassin's Creed Facebook game, too. This year, Facebook gave out a Game of the Year award, and it may surprise you.
So, we knew that you could capture five minutes of gameplay with the Xbox One. Five minutes of fame, here we come! However, you will only be able to share those clips to Facebook and YouTube next year - fine for us seeing as we're only getting the console next year anyway.
The social gaming bubble may well be on its way to bursting. The deluge of Facebook invites to games you really just couldn’t care to play, thanks to the likes of Zynga’s ubiquitous Farmville and EA’s Sims Social are set to recede, as EA shuts down a number of its Facebook games.
For the past few years now, platform owners and software developers have been trying to get a slice of the casual gaming market. Nintendo certainly captured that market with their DS and Wii, and Facebook has been inundated with addictive, spammy junk from the likes of Zynga and similar companies. Has that cash-filled bubble burst?
Hitman Absolution is a great game, as some of you may be aware of. Still, it hasn’t had the most public of advertising campaigns and with Christmas around the corner, Square Enix needs to make some money. The solution? A Hitman Absolution promotion that allows you to place hits out on your buddies through Facebook, contracts with parameters such as their eyes, hair and whether or not they have small tits. Wait, what?