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Oculus VR has lofty goals in that they believe they can create an MMO that can host about a fifth of the world's population. That's right a billion people all sharing the same game space. The fly in the ointment, so to speak, is convincing the world that Oculus is indeed the real deal and to perfect an emerging technology.
Getting to one billion users may also have been the reason Oculus decided to join up with Facebook instead of a traditional gaming company. While Iribe says Oculus is still as committed to games as ever, the company realized that a focus on games could artificially limit its reach. "Do you want to build a platform that has a billion users on it, or only 10, 20, or 50 million?" asks Iribe, noting that dedicated game systems don't sell nearly as well as mobile devices in the grand scheme of things.
Obviously, the billion-person MMO is a long ways off, but the company has its eye on a stepping stone: Oculus hopes to convince players that they're having a "real conversation" with another person. For now, the uncanny valley of imperfect video game graphics will keep people from having photorealistic faces, but even cartoony ones might be enough to get us to the tipping point, Iribe says. "[I]f you let go, you can have a real conversation with a person. That's the holy grail we're trying to get to."
And should they indeed reach that scale with Facebook's help, there's another potential application for all those people. Last year, NASA dreamt how a billion-person VR holodeck could help search the cosmos for signs of extraterrestrial life. That sounds like a game worth playing.
Read more at The Verge.