Tuesday's surprise announcement that Facebook will be buying the Oculus VR company for $2 billion in cash and stock continues to generate online debate over the reasons why a social networking company is buying a PC gaming hardware business. Now a new report from no less than the New York Times claims Facebook has plans to put its own stamp on the Oculus Rift helmet, literally.
Could we see a VR helmet with the Facebook logo in the future?
The story cites an unnamed source which claims Facebook eventually will redesign the Oculus Rift and put its own logo on the hardware, along with its custom user interface. In Tuesday's conference call with Facebook execs after the buyout announcement, it was strongly hinted that the company thinks the hardware could be used for social networking by interacting with full 3D avatars while wearing the Oculus Rift helmet.
Facebook has had a rather poor track record so far in terms of incorporating its brand and features in hardware products. In 2011, the HTC Status smartphone, which had a physical button that could automatically update a person's Facebook account, was a critical and sales failure. More recently, the HTC First, which incorporated the Facebook Home UI out of the box, was also a sales disappointment when it was released in 2013.
However, both Facebook and Oculus VR feel this collaboration will be different and will help to accelerate virtual reality to be accepted and used by the general public. Oculus VR co-founder Palmer Luckey is quoted in the NYT article as saying, ""This is the best shot virtual reality has ever had and probably will ever have."
Update: According to a statement sent to Re/code by Facebook, the company now says it has no such plans to put its logo on the Oculus Rift device, nor does it plan to put in its own design or UI changes.
Source: New York Times | Image via Oculus VR