It’s being reported that Facebook—you know, that little social media site that legally owns your soul—has purchased Oculus VR, the company that makes the highly anticipated virtual reality headset the Oculus Rift, for around half the price that Disney paid for Lucasfilm, a grand total of $2 billion.
The Oculus Rift has been making huge waves for its ability to make you feel like you’re somewhere you’re not, such as a movie theater, but it’s especially anticipated in the realms of video games, where the headset looks to be the VR accessory gamers have been waiting for. A quick visit to YouTube and you can see thousands of videos showing off what the Rift can do, and how it will look with most compatible games.
Continue reading for more and to read a statement from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
The $2 billion transaction involves both cash and stock, coming out to about $400 million in cash and 21.3 million shares of Facebook common stock (valued at $1.6 billion). There’s also the incentive of an additional $300 million in cash and stocks based on performance and milestones achieved.
Here’s what Zuckerberg had to say about the acquisition via Facebook:
I’m excited to announce that we’ve agreed to acquire Oculus VR, the leader in virtual reality technology.
Our mission is to make the world more open and connected. For the past few years, this has mostly meant building mobile apps that help you share with the people you care about. We have a lot more to do on mobile, but at this point we feel we’re in a position where we can start focusing on what platforms will come next to enable even more useful, entertaining and personal experiences.
This is where Oculus comes in. They build virtual reality technology, like the Oculus Rift headset. When you put it on, you enter a completely immersive computer-generated environment, like a game or a movie scene or a place far away. The incredible thing about the technology is that you feel like you’re actually present in another place with other people. People who try it say it’s different from anything they’ve ever experienced in their lives.
Oculus’s mission is to enable you to experience the impossible. Their technology opens up the possibility of completely new kinds of experiences.
Immersive gaming will be the first, and Oculus already has big plans here that won’t be changing and we hope to accelerate. The Rift is highly anticipated by the gaming community, and there’s a lot of interest from developers in building for this platform. We’re going to focus on helping Oculus build out their product and develop partnerships to support more games. Oculus will continue operating independently within Facebook to achieve this.
But this is just the start. After games, we’re going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face — just by putting on goggles in your home.
This is really a new communication platform. By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures.
These are just some of the potential uses. By working with developers and partners across the industry, together we can build many more. One day, we believe this kind of immersive, augmented reality will become a part of daily life for billions of people.
Virtual reality was once the dream of science fiction. But the internet was also once a dream, and so were computers and smartphones. The future is coming and we have a chance to build it together. I can’t wait to start working with the whole team at Oculus to bring this future to the world, and to unlock new worlds for all of us.
Oculus set the bar, but they are not the only virtual reality headset on the way. Sony recently announced their own PlayStation 4 VR headset currently known as Project Morpheus. It’s very likely that Microsoft is also working on something similar. Whether any of them will be anywhere near what Oculus is and will be, time will tell.
What do you think of Facebook acquiring Oculus VR, and what would you like to see them do with it?