Oculus Rift offers 'a new medium allowing people to connect in an entirely new way'

Zuckerberg: Immersive virtual reality gaming a big opportunity

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has said immersive gaming is a big opportunity for the company following its $2bn acquisition of virtual reality firm Oculus.

During an investor’s call, the social network’s CEO said Oculus’ current plans for games would not be changing, but that gaming is just the start for the tech.

He described various scenarios where the VR headset could be used outside of games, such as to watch a game of basketball as if you were courtside or studying in a classroom of students. The biggest opportunity Facebook is looking at however is creating a new platform for social networking.

He said virtual reality could provide a “new medium allowing people to connect in an entirely new way”.

Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe said the team was thrilled with its new partnership with Facebook, and suggested its ambitions are now broader than just gaming.

He said while the company had started with a focus on next-gen gaming, it was now teaming with Facebook to “develop the future”.

Iribe went on to say that as the team started developing the Rift VR headset, it began to see new potential for the tech outside of games. He described the feeling of seeing someone in front of you in a virtual space that seemed real gave him “goosebumps”, adding this shows "how big an impact this can have on social”.

“As we started developing virtual reality, it was going to be a lot about gaming and entertainment. But something that we didn’t expect in the beginning was how big the potential was for a social experience,” he said.

Image credit: TechCrunch

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