Oculus: Zuckerberg’s power-play

Virtual Reality company Oculus launches its first public offerings after years of anticipation.

Facebook: Still here

2007. Facebook won’t last, they said.

2015. Facebook won’t last, they said.

I believed it the first time they said it, and given the saturation (and popularity) of the social app market, I believe it even more when they say it now. But what I now also firmly believe is that when Facebook does eventually pack up and take the penthouse suite in the social media retirement village (Friendster has the closet in the basement), it will not be because we don’t love it anymore.  We will always love it.

Sinister: Zuckerberg not in a futuristic film about mind control (Mark Zuckerberg / Facebook)

No, Facebook will retire when Mark Zuckerberg pats it on the head and whispers ‘well done’ in its ear.

2016. Zuckerberg is still wearing the same t-shirt. His belief in the power of intentional community and using his project internet.org to connect the globe is inspiring and rather wonderful. And, obviously, Facebook is still king.

So, it’s probably about time for his power-play.

99 Problems but the price ain't one

Facebook’s next generation virtual reality has landed, and here at Orange Punch we have two early observations about it.

It is only scratching the surface of experimental VR, and is selling itself as such

This is an early step, one of a millions that will be made over the next few years in this market, and Zuckerberg has continually reiterated this. From all the early reports Oculus Rift is very usable, playable, malleable and tangible. Facebook have launched it, super sleek, but still sort of in sandbox mode. Where the technology goes will be defined by you, the user, and that is really fascinating for the future.​

The Oculus-powered Gear VR bundled with Samsung phones (Oculus)

The launch price of the Samsung unit is INSANELY low

You CAN buy a $500 version of the Oculus, which is aimed at a much smaller, professional market).

If you buy a brand new Samsung smartphone, you get an Samsung Gear VR, powered by Oculus FREE.  If you don’t need a phone, $99 and it’s yours. $99. 

Bold manoeuvre

Never before has a piece of cutting edge tech launched at such an attractive price. Samsung and Facebook could have easily slapped a heavy 3-digit figure on the Gear VR and it would have still sold in droves. But this bold pricing manoeuvre on the Gear VR instantly blasts the market apart. $99. NINETY NINE DOLLARS.

Orange Punch's Tony Barker road tests an Oculus Rift, 2013 (Drupal Yorkshire)

Zuckerberg shoots. He scores.

I’m not sure he’ll ever miss again.