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Facebook is planning to bet big on VR in the next decade

A game publisher has accused Oculus, which was acquired by Facebook, of stealing its technology to develop their VR headset. While denying these accusations in federal court yesterday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that the company is planning to bet big on VR. Over the next 10 years, Facebook will have to spend over $3 billion to push the technology forward.

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The lawsuit

Oculus is facing a $2 billion lawsuit from ZeniMax over the creation of the technology that went into their VR headset. ZeniMax is a game publisher, and while you may not have heard of them, you may have heard of some of their games, like Fallout or Elder Scrolls. Some parts of this technology may have come from a former employee of the game publisher, and ZeniMax was never compensated for it. Zuckerberg went to the trial yesterday to testify for Oculus, which Facebook had acquired back in March 2014 for $2 billion plus another $1 billion more for milestones and employee retention. Zuckerberg, of course, denied the accusations and issued this sick burn after being asked by a ZeniMax lawyer about his reaction to the suit:

“It is pretty common when you announce a big deal or do something that all kinds of people just kind of come out of the woodwork and claim that they just own some portion of the deal. Like most people in the court, I’ve never even heard of ZeniMax before.”

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Samsung and Oculus'  Gear VR is fun for those with high-end Samsung devices. / © AndroidPIT

Zuckerberg's vision for VR

Zuckerberg gave us some strong hints about his vision for VR during the trial, and it seems to me that his plan for the technology involves three key components:

1. Improve quality of the VR experience

While he doesn't think that "good virtual reality is fully there yet," he does seem hopeful for the future, and more importantly, seems like he has a plan. He projected it would take five to 10 more years of development in order to "get to where we all want to go."

2. Commit to long-term efforts

But, why will it take so long? He said, “These things end up being more complex than you think up front.” So it seems that the company knows it will have to make a larger long-term investment to reach its technical and adoption goals than it had initially planned.

3. Make a large monetary investment

Zuckerberg said during the trial that Facebook will probably have to invest over $3 billion in the next 10 years in order to give hundreds of millions of people a good virtual reality experience, which is the primary goal.

After the trial, Facebook spokeswoman Tera Randall said that the company believes that "VR is the next computing platform, and Facebook’s Oculus team is leading the way." Do you think Facebook will be the leading force in VR? What do you think will be the challenges the technology will face? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Source: New York Times

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