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March 31st, 2014, 06:34
Actually, there's a recording of the shareholder meeting where Facebook announces the acquisition and Zuckerburg goes on about why it's being done. He talks about stores all right but not app stores, he's talking about replacing real stores. Like Amazon but with VR. He even mentions touching the products! He thinks its going to be the next big platform for social interactions, too. I may be a big VR backer but this guy is nuts.

But that's Facebook's vision: VR is the future and they want a piece of the profits. They think (or at least they are telling shareholders they think) that Oculus is going to come out with the best product and make shiploads of money. So that's how Facebook makes money. Not by slapping advertisements all over it. Not by making everybody who uses it use Facebook. They do it just by owning the group that's making the best product out there.

Now that doesn't mean that Facebook isn't going to screw it up somehow. If Facebook makes them waste lots of cash on researching insane applications of VR, for instance, it could ruin the whole thing. Or Facebook could go down in flames for reasons having nothing at all to do with VR and bring Oculus down with them. All in all, though, I think this is most likely to be a beneficial thing.

I'm seeing a lot of wild idealism out there. Let's look at this pre-Facebook. The technology seems solid and the people trying it are really loving it. However, it's a very different way of experiencing games, it costs a few hundred dollars, and it does require some game re-design to use it really well. Some games have already announced Rift support but there was still a good chance of running into the classic "devs won't develop until consumers buy and consumers won't buy until there are games to play" situation.

Now Facebook shows up with 2 billion to acquire and who-knows-how-much after they pull Oculus in. Not only do they have plenty of cash to make the product really great but they've got enough money to either make their own games or pay current game makers to put in Rift support, do an advertising campaign, and have a strong support team for people to call when they have problems!
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