News this week: Facebook buys Occulus Rift, Assassin’s Creed Unity announced
The Oculus Rift just went social. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Tuesday on his profile that the social networking company has acquired Oculus VR, the company behind the Oculus Rift, for US$2 billion. Zuckerberg wrote that Oculus VR will still be operating independently within Facebook.
According to Zukerbergs’s post, which can be viewed here, he has majors plans for the Oculus outside of video games. “After games, we’re going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences,” the CEO wrote. “Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face — just by putting on goggles in your home.”
Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey posted an official statement on Reddit later in the day. Luckey wrote that Facebook’s acquisition of Occulus VR will allow them to achieve “some of [their] most creative ideas and take risks that were otherwise impossible. Most importantly, it means a better Oculus Rift with fewer compromises even faster than [they] anticipated.”
The Oculus Rift was initially funded by a Kickstarter campaign in 2012 which raised over US$2 million. Several of the 9,522 backers aren’t pleased with this acquisition. Many have made negative remarks on Oculus’ Kickstarter page, demanding their money be refunded. One user writes “I supported this because it’s something that I’ve wanted to see become a reality since I read my first William Gibson novel. Now I find out that I might as well have handed my money right to Facebook and I feel a little sick.”
The Oculus Rift is a virtual reality gaming headset that is still in development. Oculus VR recently revealed a second version of the Oculus Rift development kit at GDC 2014. No release date has been scheduled for a retail version.
The next Assassin’s Creed game has come out the shadows. After an image leak on Kotaku last week, Ubisoft officially announced Assassin’s Creed: Unity on Friday via a teaser trailer on their YouTube page. Not much is known about the game at this point except that it will feature a new protagonist and is set in Paris during the French Revolution.
“We have been working on the new Assassin’s Creed for more than three years and although we weren’t quite ready to show you our full vision for a next-gen only AC, it seems Abstergo are trying to force our hand,” wrote Ubisoft. The trailer indicates that Assassin’s Creed Unity will be coming to the PC, Xbox One and Playstation 4 sometime during the holidays later this year. Ubisoft has stated that they will reveal details in the coming months.