Oculus VR has made a pair of acquisitions, purchasing hardware designer Carbon Design and middleware developer RakNet. Terms of the deals were not disclosed by Oculus, however Carbon’s track record includes the lauded joypad for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console, and RakNet’s networking engine has been rendered open-source as part of the buy-up.
Our broader thoughts on Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus VR in March, and the prospects for the technology across various terms, can be found here and here. These two acquisitions make sense, for differing reasons, but both of which are emblematic of the span that Rift has ahead of it.
In some ways, Facebook’s purchase of Oculus VR is as a ‘games’ acquisition is misleading – while the interim story of Rift may centre on gaming, Facebook’s purchase of this technology is about much more. To the extent, even, that it must see Rift as a non-specialist device, given the umbrella of potential roles it could come to serve for the company. As such, even though the headset is expected to see commercial launch within a year, the unit has myriad iterations and evolutions awaiting before it, with regards to specification, input device and targeted application.