Facebook to go full throttle into Virtual RealityFacebook has acquired Oculus VR the makers of ground-breaking VR headset Oculus Rift for US$2 billion, it said today.
The $2bn acquisition will help the social network get into immersive gaming, communications and new social experiences.The purchase comes just weeks after it picked up WhatsApp for a cool $21 billion.
Oculus virtual reality technology is popular among developers, and has already received 75,000 orders for development kits for Oculus Rift, its virtual reality headset.
Last week, Sony, announced it was developing a VR headset for gamers, compatible with its new PS4.
Facebook says VR has major potential for applications, and plans to extend Oculus’ tech in gaming to new verticals, including communications, entertainment, education.
Virtual reality technology, which give a truly immersive experience, could also to emerge as the next social communications platform, said Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.
“Mobile is the platform of today, and now we’re also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow.”
Brendan Iribe, Oculus VR CEO says the company now has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and the “disruptive” technology could change the way we work, play and communicate.
“We believe virtual reality will be heavily defined by social experiences that connect people in magical, new ways. It is a transformative and disruptive technology, that enables the world to experience the impossible, and it’s only just the beginning.”
The $2 bn fee Facebook forked out for the California-based company includes $400 million in cash and 23.1 million Facebook common stock, plus an additional $300 million earn-out in cash and stock based on the achievement of certain milestones down the line.
Oculus will maintain its headquarters in Irvine, CA, and will continue development of the Oculus Rift.
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014.
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