Oculus recruits Valve's Michael Abrash as chief scientist

"Facebook's acquisition of Oculus means that VR is going to happen in all its glory."

While many reacted to Oculus' acquisition by Facebook with horror, shock and awe, not everyone was troubled by this merger. Certainly not Valve's former VR specialist Michael Abrash, who just left the house that built Half-Life to join the VR headset company as its chief scientist.

Michael Abrash.

Contrary to what most of the internet says, Abrash is greatly in favour of the Facebook buyout because it gives Oculus the capital it needs to fine tune its hardware. "I've written before that VR wouldn't become truly great until some company stepped up and invested the considerable capital to build the right hardware - and that it wouldn't be clear that it made sense to spend that capital until VR was truly great. I was afraid that that Catch-22 would cause VR to fail to achieve liftoff," Abrash noted in his blog post about joining Oculus.

"That worry is now gone. Facebook's acquisition of Oculus means that VR is going to happen in all its glory. The resources and long-term commitment that Facebook brings gives Oculus the runway it needs to solve the hard problems of VR - and some of them are hard indeed. I now fully expect to spend the rest of my career pushing VR as far ahead as I can."

Abrash concluded his introductory post with the grandiose claim "We're on the cusp of what I think is not The Next Big Platform, but rather simply The Final Platform - the platform to end all platforms."

Abrash is the third recent Oculus hire to come from Valve with VR project lead Atman Binstock joining the company earlier this month, while Team Fortress 2 VR specialist Tom Forsyth jumped on board last May.

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Jeffrey Matulef

Jeffrey Matulef

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Jeffrey Matulef is the best-dressed man in 1984.


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