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Oculus didn't expect FB deal response 'to be so negative'

Partnership will translate into a better retail unit, promises founder

Oculus VR expected its acquisition by Facebook to upset some core fans, but it did not expect an uproar to the extent witnessed since its announcement on Tuesday.

That's according to vice president of product Nate Mitchell, who told Game Informer, "We assumed that the reaction would be negative, especially from our core community. Beyond our core community, we expected it would be positive. I don't think we expected it to be so negative."

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But Mitchell says the firm is starting to see a turnaround in public opinion as the furor dies down. "As people begin to digest it a bit and think about it, you can see that Twitter and Reddit is swinging back the opposite direction," said Mitchell. "The onus is on us to educate people, and we want to share everything we're doing."

Facebook announced its plans to purchase the virtual reality headset company for $2 billion on Tuesday.

Founder Palmer Luckey is obviously keen to assure gamers of the positives of the deal. Palmer pledges that, with the backing of Facebook's considerable resources, the final retail Oculus Rift unit will be "cheaper and higher performance" than it would have been otherwise.

"There's a lot of things we're going to be able to do not just in the long-term, but in the short-term, that will make the consumer rift cheaper and higher performance without any kind of delay," said Luckey.

"It lets us make the right tradeoffs. It allows us to make for the long-term future of virtual reality and not the current financial reality," he added.

Mitchell concurred: "If we can sell hardware at almost no cost, that allows you to pack more quality and components into it. The Oculus Rift just became the 'zero compromises' product. It's the best possible thing that can happen."

Backers of the original Oculus Rift have been heavily critical of the deal since the Tuesday announcement, bombarding the Kickstarter comments page with scathing messages.

Likewise, Minecraft creator Markus 'Notch' Persson also expressed his displease with the acquisition, to the extent that he publicly canceled a deal to bring Minecraft to Oculus Rift within minutes of the announcement.

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