Train2Game News Facebook buy Oculus Rift

Oculus RiftThe news broke last night that Facebook has bought the Oculus Rift firm for $2 billion. The company is working on a virtual reality headset.

Oculus Rift got off the ground thanks to Kickstarter funding which allowed them to work on their virtual reality headset which would allow for extremely immersive gaming. Oculus’ crowdfunding campaign raised $2.4m, 10 times the amount originally sought, it then received a further $75m from investors. The Oculus Rift has yet to be released, but more than 75,000 orders for development kits have already been placed.

In a statement released by the Social Media Company, Facebook said it plans to expand the use of Oculus technologies to include “communications, media and entertainment, education and other areas”.

Commenting on the deal, Mr Zuckerberg said: “Mobile is the platform of today, and now we’re also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow.”

The deal includes $400m in cash and just over 23 million Facebook shares, valued at $1.6bn. Oculus employees will also receive an additional $300m if the company achieves certain targets.

How this will affect the future of Oculus Rift is yet to be seen but the future is definitely on its way.

Source: BBC News

Train2Game News: Mark Zuckerberg working to connect the world

mark zuckerbergFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has just announced the formation of Internet.org, a group with the specific goal of helping make the internet available to the entire world.

It’s a partnership with a number of prominent technology companies — Facebook, Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm, and Samsung are among the founding members — that will join forces for a number of initiatives they hope will bring connectivity to the two-thirds of the globe that currently don’t have an easy way to get online.

According to the press release announcing the initiative, Internet.org is taking aim at three specific challenges. Affordability, for which the founders will be developing cheaper means of access, including smartphones; data efficiency, in which they’ll focus on compression and other techniques that will allow services to use less bandwidth; and access itself. For the latter, Internet.org’s members will focus on developing business models that will incentivize companies of all types to provide cheaper, more plentiful internet access in the targeted regions.

In connection with the launch, Zuckerberg has posted a mission statement laying out some early goals and approaches Internet.org is looking at, while framing its ambitions as an issue of human rights rather than business concerns. “I’m focused on this because I believe it is one of the greatest challenges of our generation,” Zuckerberg writes. “The unfair economic reality is that those already on Facebook have way more money than the rest of the world combined, so it may not actually be profitable for us to serve the next few billion people for a very long time, if ever. But we believe everyone deserves to be connected.”

If Zuckerberg and his team succeed in this venture, not only will it be great for those unable to connect at the minute to have access to the knowledge of the internet, but it will also mean that the market for games will grow exponentially.

Train2Game News: Games news round up – 22.02.13

Barack Obama speaks at the Rodon Group in PennsylvaniaIt’s the end of the week so Train2Game News will bring you some of the news stories of the week!

United States president, Barack Obama, revealed he was in favour of computer programming lessons in schools as part of a Google+ discussion. He said computers and videogames excited youngsters and spurred them on to learn. He referred to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, saying he taught himself to program due to his interest in games. He said he wanted people to understand the principles involved in a career in videogames such as maths, science and design.

Following the troubles THQ had they have sold the rights to the WWE video game series to 2K. 2K are more than familiar with sports titles having previously developed the entire NBA series of games since 2011. The series, which will continue to be developed by Yukes in Japan and will combine the studio’s signature gameplay with 2K’s commitment to authenticity in this years WWE ’14.

In addition 2K Games and Irrational Games today announced that production of downloadable content has recently begun for their forthcoming BioShock Infinite and revealed details of the BioShock Infinite Season Pass. Three all-new add-on packs are in development that will provide hours of additional gameplay and continue the player’s journey in the sky-city of Columbia with new stories, characters, abilities and weapons. The BioShock Infinite Season Pass will be available on March 26, 2013 when the game is planned to launch.

Despite Sony showing the currently-available PS Move controller being used with PS4 during the console’s unveiling event on Wednesday, the firm says the new console will not support the use of the standard DualShock 3 controller. The reasons are unclear since the DS3 controller uses the same industry-standard Bluetooth 2.0 tech as the Move controller to connect with PS3, which suggests PS4 will have Bluetooth 2.0 capabilities.

Commander Shepard’s story is finally coming to an end with the announcement of the last bit of single player DLC. Available on March 5th, Mass Effect: Citadel will see Shepard “explore and discover new locations across the vast, deep-space station” while reconnecting with some recognizable characters from the series past. Mass Effect was truly a great game, a save game that lasted six years across three games. Commander Shepard and the crew of the Normandy shall be missed.

Train2Game News: Mid-week round up – 10.5.12

The OnLive console is not dead according to CEO Charles Jablonski and UK general manager Bruce Grove. The new plan is all about forming partnerships to provide OnLive’s service, instead of relying on PCs and its own console.

The Volus race has come to Mass Effect 3 multiplayer with the new DLC, The Retaliation Pack. The comic relief character has been put in to the online game play to show the ever expanding war according to BioWare’s Chris Schanche. The new pack also sees the return of The Collectors to battle against.

Earlier this week it was announced that Windows 8 will primarily use real world currency over Microsoft points. This had the games world speculating that the Xbox Live Arcade was going to start phasing out MS points. Microsoft have announced this is not the case. XBLA will still use the previous points system.

Rovio and LucasArts have teamed up in an interesting combination to create Angry Birds Star Wars. The game will see the birds dressed as the main Star Wars protagonists and the pigs are going to be dressed as Storm Troopers and Darth Vader. The levels will be famous Star Wars locations such as Hoth and Tattooine. The game is being released November 8 for iOS.

IGN have brought their application to Xbox in the UK. The app is already available in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the USA. The app offers content, shows and access to its pro-gaming league.

Mark Zuckerberg has announced that Facebook has now surpassed one billion users. Since Facebook’s formation in 2004, it has seen more than 140 billion friend connections made, 219 billion photos uploaded, and 1.13 trillion likes. Facebook’s director of developer products said around a quarter of its active user base, about 230 million people, play games on the site in a month. He also noted that Facebook has more than 130 apps.

A one-man company, Cryptic Sea, has created a game called A New Zero. The game has no animation and only uses physics for any movement in the first person shooter. In addition, visuals are also procedurally generated, chopping Zero’s total size below a single megabyte. You can download the game from Cryptic Sea’s website.