Recent Facebook acquisition could bring virtual reality to living rooms soon

A little over two years ago the Oculus Rift, a promising virtual reality headset geared towards video games, announced it would be raising funds through Kickstarter, Inc.

The response from the online community was massively positive. The device shattered records on Kickstarter raising over $2,437,000, almost ten times its original goal. Those who helped fund it garnered great pride as the headset became the most sought after item in every electronics showcase.

About six months ago Facebook bought Oculus in its entirety, including the Rift, for $2 billion.

This time, the online community responded with overwhelming disgust. Every gaming blog, electronic news site and message board was filled to the brim with anger about their beloved product being bought out by a non-gaming related company.

Several game developers voiced their concerns. Markus “Notch” Persson, developer of the mega-hit game “Minecraft,” tweeted: “We were in talks about maybe bringing a version of Minecraft to Oculus. I just cancelled that deal. Facebook creeps me out.”

The future of the Oculus Rift was in jeopardy for many as the technology seemed to be headed in the direction of social media. Though many continue to watch the headset grow, its time as the golden child has passed.

Flash forward to today, and it seems the prodigal son has returned in full force. Earlier this month, it was announced that the Rift would be released next year for somewhere between $200 to $400, much sooner and cheaper than most people were expecting.

Though the headset will primarily be for video games, it is also branching out as a communications device which should help cement its place as a household technology.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has expressed a high level of faith. “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.”

Even developer “Notch” Persson has reversed his negative position tweeting, “And about now I’m officially over being upset about Facebook buying Oculus,” and has opted to develop Rift compatibility version of “Minecraft.”

Though the online community has been slower to mend their broken hearts, the prospect of innovation has many eager to test it for themselves. Although similar virtual reality devices have traditionally failed, such as the virtual boy, none have had a fraction of the financial and consumer support of the Rift, which still has a year to build enthusiasm.

It appears that the acquisition of Oculus by Facebook has the potential to bring virtual reality out of our imaginations and into our living rooms, and for that, we should all be very excited.