Zuckerberg tried PS4 VR headset a week before Facebook bought Oculus Rift
Founder of social networking giant tested out Sony's Project Morpheus a week before surprise $2 billion acquisition of Oculus VR.
Just a week before paying $2 billion to buy Oculus VR--maker of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset--Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg tried out Sony's own virtual reality headset, Project Morpheus, it has been revealed.
PlayStation marketing executive Guy Longworth said today during a Games Marketing Summit 2014 session that he remembers Zuckerberg asking, "Can I have a tech demo?" for Project Morpheus. Longworth said he wondered why, at the time, Zuckerberg might want to see Sony's headset.
Now, it appears Zuckerberg wanted to check in on the rival to Oculus Rift to make sure he was making the right decision in buying Oculus VR.
"I wish he bought ours," Longworth said with a smile, referencing Facebook's surprise purchase of Oculus VR, which was approved today by the Federal Trade Commission, according to a Reuters report. "All the folks at Oculus have got big smiles on today."
Just because Facebook chose Oculus Rift over Project Morpheus, it doesn't mean that Sony has become soured on the prospects for virtual reality. Not at all, according to Longworth.
"If you think about VR, not just in terms of gaming, I think wearable technology is a huge trend that's going to continue," he said. "I think that being able to have experiences that are truly deep and immersive...that it somehow makes you feel you are there...is something that people want. If you could really deliver that in the future, that would be huge."
Ubisoft senior vice president of sales and marketing, Tony Key, also spoke during the panel. He said virtual reality technology like Oculus Rift or Project Morpheus represents a "breakthrough, technologically speaking," but explained that he believes it won't take off unless the content is there.
"How many people are willing to put this thing on their head? It all depends on the content," Key said. "It's going to be content-driven in the end whether these things are successful or not." Key went on to say that he tried Oculus Rift and it made him sick.
Finally, head of product planning for Xbox, Albert Penello, offered some quick thoughts on virtual reality before the panel came to an abrupt end. He said "I think [VR is] great," going on to note that he gets the same feeling using VR today that he did when he first tried Kinect in 2008. In short, he said he's excited about the future for VR, but said there are still hurdles to overcome. Microsoft is reportedly working on its own VR/AR technology, and even paid as much as $150 million to acquire assets related to wearable technology earlier this year.
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