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Facebook Developing Virtual Reality Apps, But There's No Timetable

Back in March 2014, Facebook announced that it agreed to purchase Oculus VR for approximately $2 billion in cash and stock. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg followed up with a blog explaining that the Oculus Rift will not just cater to gamers but will provide a whole new realm of experiences, such as face-to-face consults with a doctor residing in another state, learning a new skill in a college classroom, watching movies in a virtual theater, and so on.

"This is really a new communication platform," Zuckerberg said. "By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures."

Obviously, Facebook wants to enhance the user experience when they surf the social network's news feeds and pages. That's why it's no surprise that the company is working on its very own apps for virtual reality. This tidbit of news arrived by way of Facebook Chief Product Officer Chris Cox during a Q&A session at the Code/Media conference Tuesday night.

During the session, Cox drove home how Facebook is viewing the Oculus acquisition. Essentially, Facebook users are currently sending "bits" of experience including thoughts, videos and pictures. However, with a device like the Oculus Rift, users will be able to send a "fuller" picture of their experiences. That means users will have the ability to make virtual reality content.

"You'll do it, Beyoncé will do it," Cox said.

Unfortunately, he didn't say how Facebook users will build VR content. He also didn't specify as to when Facebook users will have the tools to create said content, but instead only admitted that it may be a while before consumers begin publishing their own 3D adventures. Re/code pointed out that Facebook users will need more than one camera to create VR content in addition to a VR headset like the Oculus Rift.

"We're probably a long way from everyone having these headsets," Cox admitted.

The last we heard, Oculus VR was believed to be releasing the Oculus Rift VR headset sometime this year. The Rift will be "competing" with the likes of Sony's Project Morpheus and Microsoft's just-announced HoloLens, both of which are expected to make a full finalized appearance at E3 2015 in June. However, the Rift will be locked to Windows PC and Android, while Morpheus and HoloLens will supposedly cater to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, respectively.

2015 should be an interesting year for gaming. In addition to the VR headsets, Microsoft is slated to release Windows 10 sometime this summer, which will include DirectX 12. This platform will (finally) support multiplayer gaming between Xbox One gamers and Windows 10 users and will also enable video streaming from an Xbox One to a Windows 10 PC.

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  • elcentral
    its all nice and good but i really hope that this bloated software thing he is building has a check box in the installer so i can uncheck it and newer in my life install it.
    Reply
  • cats_Paw
    Dude, the guy who invented the whole occulus sold it.
    Its rather obvious that he did not think it would be that amazing.
    Mr. Zuckerberg also sold a lot of facebook, so he probably dosent have high expectations for facebook either.
    Reply
  • cscott_it
    @cats_Paw

    OR he wanted to focus on development of rift - rather than constantly deal with securing venture funding, investor relations, etc. Maybe he would rather focus less on that and more on finishing the product. Maybe he wanted to sell when the price was high.

    Several people sell their companies to bigger fish. Especially when in total, occulus didn't even have $100M in total funding vs the 1.6B offered by FB.
    Reply
  • Styromaniac
    As stated on Google+, I will never buy a Rift if they lock any app to it. Facebook privacy is a flat out joke. It was proven to me by Facebook itself that there is no exclusion of strangers being able to read what you share to "Friends Except Acquaintances." The Like I saw on such a post was seen by someone in my friends list. As benign as gifting Steam games in return is, knowing how much of a failure their so-called privacy is, I deleted my account in a heartbeat and never looked back.
    Reply
  • Styromaniac
    *The Like I saw on such a post was by someone not on my friends list

    I can't even proofread talking about hatred that a website earned from me, apparently.
    Reply