Facebook is standing up with VR
In its latest keynote. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg announces the goal of attaining 1 billion users in VR. This responsibility falls in the hands of Hugo Barra. The recipient of the newly created title “VP of VR”. Though it looks nice, short like VR. Though Facebook currently boasts an ever-growing base of 2 billion users. Getting that many people to VR seem like a daunting task, even for Facebook.
How Facebook plans to do it?
Facebook is making their platform more VR friendly
Facebook bought Oculus Rift for $2 billion. But since then, they haven’t done much to get even to compensate for what it costs. They are planning to bring Facebook 360 degrees to Oculus for a more immersive experience. Spaces is a social VR space which shows your cartoonish appearance in a real-like space. That got a bad reputation even before going mainstream. Because Mark in its keynote speech controversially used it to tour Puerto Rico. After multiple hurricanes destroyed most of their infrastructure. The social media platform also planned to introduced 3D posts. You can create movable 3D objects with them. Following the model of Spaces, they are also planning on a VR video calling experience, which will take some time for me to absorb.
The social media platform also planned to introduced 3D posts. You can create movable 3D objects with them. Following the model of Spaces, they are also planning on a VR video calling experience, which will take some time for me to absorb. The newly launched Oculus Go will focus on the sweet spot between high-end Oculus VR and basic Samsung Gear VR.
Letting other businesses take forward VR
Facebook’s new strategy also focuses on letting other businesses spread the usability of VR. Rather than just being the only major force behind it. Cause that didn’t seems work since the time they’ve acquired Oculus. They’ve partnered with German luxury car maker Audi for their driver seat experiences in dealerships. Cisco is also helping by creating VR awareness in their workspaces. Facebook has also allowed their enterprise users to buy the Oculus VR headsets in bulk. To promote the different application of Virtual Reality that Facebook can’t directly get involved with.
The company’s stand of taking the game to the retail front is cloudy. They don’t completely say it’s a no. But have no current plans to go brick and mortar. They’ve experimented with their temporary pop-up stores at airports. So it can be a possibility. The VP of VR Hugo Barra also points the 100 million downloads of the Oculus App and 2000+ VR related apps. With names including Pixar is a good sign.
Oculus is currently working with Titanfall makers Respawn Entertainment to create a major VR game. We don’t have any details about the game, but they say it’ll be coming out in 2019. The studios say they’re balancing two things. Getting most of the new equipment and not getting too dependent on VR at the same time. They want to immerse people directly in their work, which seems exciting. But we know what happened with 3D.
But Facebook will have to look on the other side too
Despite the 100 million downloads of the Oculus app. There were only 2 million VR headsets shipped last despite. For which Oculus accounts for only 400K of them. At this rate, it doesn’t seem they’ll be reaching a billion users anytime soon. As said by the Head of Studios at Oculus Jason Rubin. It won’t be happening at least by 2019.
Facebook is also dealing with other issues like. The co-founder of Oculus Palmer Luckey was forced out of the company. For secretly funding anti-Hillary ad campaigns on Facebook. The Head of Mobile VR left for Uber, working less than a year at Facebook. Oculus has its own troubles too. The VR company will pay $500 million in damages to ZeniMax in a lost lawsuit. Plus they are too much behind their competitors like Sony and HTC. While their competitors are buckling up for the holiday season. Oculus Go won’t be going live by then. Though developers can get their hands on the Oculus Go by December.