Facebook Acquires Oculus VR For a Whopping $2B; Virtual Reality the Future?

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By Pavithra Rathinavel | March 26, 2014 5:35 PM EST

Facebook is on a buying spree. Facebook has announced it acquired Oculus Virtual Reality (VR), the company that makes Oculus Rift gaming headset on a cash and stock deal prized at $2 billion.

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Image of a User Trying the Oculus Rift

The deal includes $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook common stock. In the previous month, Facebook bought WhatsApp for a walloping $16 billion.

According to Mashable, the Oculus VR gained prominence on Kickstarter, which is a funding platform for creative projects, raising over $2 million in 2012. Also, the company went on to raise $91 million and a venture capital funding in 2013.

Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement, "Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate."

Even though, the Oculus VR team did not plan to make a consumer-friendly version of its gaming headset, a staggering 75,000 developers had ordered their developer kits for the technology.

According to Facebook, Oculus team will remain headquartered in Irvine and will operate independently.

Zuckerberg reportedly said the following about buying Oculus, "a long-term bet on the future of computing."

For him, it is all about the future. If mobile is the latest computing platform, VR would be the future. Chris Dixon, an investor at Andresseen Horowitz, the company that helped Oculus VR's $75 million Series B funding echoed the same thought.

In a blog post, Dixon explained his extensive research on VR and Oculus. He said, "The more we learned, the more we became convinced that virtual reality would become central to the next great wave of computing."

According to Shane Hudson, a London-based web developer, the VR experience could potentially extend from tasks such as "playing a game, watching a film, reading a book or even chatting with your friends face-to-face in spite of being on the other side of the world."

Mark Zuckerberg said, "Oculus's current focus around games and entertainment is just the beginning."

"Imagine not just sharing moments with your friends online but the entire experiences," he added.

The other prominent examples from Zuckerberg's Facebook post included, "studying in a classroom with other students virtually or getting a face to face doctor consultation from anywhere", "sitting court-side at a big game virtually".

Engadget said the idea of VR being the next big thing gained more credibility when Sony exhibited a prototype VR headset for developers named "Project Morpheus."

Is VR the next big thing? What do you think?

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Image of a User Trying the Oculus Rift
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