Facebook acquires virtual-reality company Oculus for $2 billion
The social network's acquisition of the makers of the Oculus Rift headset promises to change the way we experience online media.
Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 09:23 AM
Attendees try out Oculus Rift HD virtual reality headsets at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show. (Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
You probably visit Facebook daily to chat with friends, keep up with the news and catch up on cat videos, and thanks to the social giant's latest acquisition, you may some day do it all in virtual reality. Facebook has bought out virtual reality headset maker Oculus VR for roughly $2 billion, taking ownership of the California-based company behind the popular Oculus Rift headset.
According to Facebook's blog, the social network purchased Oculus VR for $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook common stock, which is valued at about $1.6 billion. The deal is expected to close in Q2 2014, and while Facebook has yet to specify how they'll use this acquisition, CEO Mark Zuckerberg did provide a tease.
"Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate," he said.
Oculus VR will continue to operate at its Irvine, CA headquarters. The company recently unveiled the $350 Development Kit 2 version of its Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, which will begin shipping this April. Oculus VR is prepping a consumer version of the Rift for PC gaming, though a release window is still forthcoming.
This is one of many big pickups for Facebook, after recently seizing popular chat app WhatsApp for $19 billion. For Oculus though, this acquisition could mean they have a bigger chance against rival Sony, who recently announced its own gaming headset called Project Morpheus. With Facebook's backing, Oculus could have more means to test and develop its product, which is currently in its second iteration.
In addition to big things for Oculus' Rift, we can also see some interesting synergy between the two in the future. Would you want to experience your news feed from behind a headset?
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