Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe has broken his silence on what exactly Facebook was planning when it bought the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset business for $2 billion.
Addressing a packed room at TecCrunch Disrupt, he suggested that by joining forces with the social media giant, the gateway had been opened for a multi-user experience on an epic scale with one billion simultaneous users.
In his words, Facebook and Oculus are building "an MMO [massively multi-player environment] where we want to put a billion people in VR."
Still, the vision is currently limited by the computing power currently available in the world. Such an idea is "going to take a bigger network than exists in the world today." Still, he argues that if anyone can help pioneer the technology, it's Facebook.
He also expanded slightly on the controversial decision to join forces with a social media company – why did the Oculus join with Facebook when it is a technology born out of a passion to bring a whole new level of immersive gameplay.
"Do you want to build a platform that has a billion users on it, or only 10, 20, or 50 million?" asked Iribe, arguing that if Oculus were to only focus on games it would dramatically limit it s potential audience.
It's clear that the notion of a billion-erson MMO is still a dot on the horizon – more of a blurry smear actually. Even on a basic front, the graphics are too basic and cartoon-y for photorealistic faces.
Still, Iribe is hopeful. Oculus's new Seattle offices are set to become an R&D lab that will engage with universities, encouraging the next generation to enter the virtual reality sphere. "We think this is going to be one of the most researched areas in decades to come," affirmed Iribe.