Oculus, Morpheus and the future of virtual reality gaming

Project Morpheus

Backers of Oculus fear ruin following Facebook purchase but are they wrong to? And isn't this just helping Sony?

Of course a PS4 VR headset is never going to attract an exodus of PC gamers. but it seems no coincidence that Oculus end up getting bought by Facebook shortly after Sony unveil Project Morpheus,

Sony have the clout to get affordable tech out on a scale that Oculus couldn’t have competed with Getting bonus Facebook money gives Oculus a chance not to be pipped to the post by Sony, although founder Palmer Luckey has told gameinformer that Facebook are not looking to accelerate the project.

Word from within Oculus remains optimistic against the uproar from Kickstarter backers who’ve witnessed the hardcore gaming VR headset sell its soul. Oculus are vehement that Facebook won’t be messing with their product and as Oculus exec Nate Mitchell points out, ‘“If we can sell hardware at almost no cost, that allows you to pack more quality and components into it,” adding. “The Oculus Rift just became the ‘zero compromises’ product. It’s the best possible thing that can happen.”

For Sony who ultimately want to ride the buzz for VR to sell more PS4s the current backlash against Oculus serves into their hands. By buddying up with Facebook Oculus are seen to be no longer just about gaming and with Indie Devs, conspicuous amongst them Minecraft’s Notch abandoning ship, Sony have a chance to scoop up migrant VR interest.

Sony will also  be pleased that Microsoft, who have been secretly beavering away on their own brand VR tech, haven’t yet thrown down their gauntlet. Seeing two rival players does make VR look more viable and gamers are keen to properly experience it. With this in mind there’s bound to be more entrants to VR gaming as a result, let’s not forget that superiority of Kinect 2.0 over PS4’s camera and the fact that Valve Steam Boxes are planned to support Oculus VR. 

Whatever your stance on Facebook’s involvement they have just backed the VR prototype with the better specs and given Oculus better odds of success. The counter to disfranchised Oculus absconders is that Facebook has shown with Instagram for instance that they can support and develop a company without Making it overtly Facebook.

What happens next? Oculus Rift is going to come out as is Morpheus, how badly the intervention of Facebook impacts the former is yet to be seen. Both now have the potential to draw in top tier titles with mass appeal and hardware competitors will seek to have their own VR tech or to support Oculus. Despite Oculus losing their street cred there remain masses of gamers who’ve been waiting years for viable, affordable home VR and that at least finally looks guaranteed.

What are your thoughts? Is Oculus doomed? 

Register for HITC Gaming Digest