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 (opens in new tab), 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.