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Facebook Acquires Oculus VR, Takes Poking to the Next Level

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 10 comments
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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.

MORE: What is Oculus Rift?

"Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate," he said.

Facebook will host a 30-minute conference call to discuss the transaction at 6:15pm EDT today (Mar. 25). You can dial in toll-free at 866-751-3284.

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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Discuss
Add your comment Display all 10 comments.
  • 3 Hide
    jakjawagon , March 25, 2014 6:58 PM
    Well, there goes my interest in the Oculus Rift.
  • 0 Hide
    Pailin , March 26, 2014 7:14 AM
    Hmmm... was also a bit of my 1st feeling upon reading this. 1st off hoping it was a sick joke!But I Do trust in Palmer Luckey passion for VR and his direction he built the company. I do not believe for any amount of money he would completely sell out - especially given how things and events have developed till now.As long as he set in place the right conditions on this purchase, this could still be a Very Good thing for Oculus VR. I am hoping he accepted this primarily not for the money, but to help further the projects success.(still sad it ended up in the hands of FaceBook ::shivers:: )
  • -1 Hide
    Pailin , March 26, 2014 7:16 AM
    TOM's PLEASE PLEASE, enable recognition of Carriage Return (Enter) character for the comments. **********************These kind of all too regular poor schoolboy coding letdowns are getting Very Boring !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 1 Hide
    Someone Somewhere , March 26, 2014 7:21 AM
    Yup. Was mildly interested, now it's worthless to me.

    Goodbye Oculus, nice knowing you.
  • 0 Hide
    James Mason , March 26, 2014 10:45 AM
    Seriously, I was reading the "what is the oculus rift" article (I already knew just wanted to read) and i let out a verbal "oh no" as soon as I read the facebook had bought it out... Great way to ruin new technology facebook, noone wants to play farm ville with virtual reality headsets.
  • 0 Hide
    Rhinofart , March 26, 2014 11:44 AM
    I completely agree. I was so onboard with this until I found out that the master thief of Facebook bought it. I'll be throwing my whole support behind Morpheus now.
  • 0 Hide
    LePhuronn , March 26, 2014 11:46 AM
    "Oh no! Facebook owns Oculus! Suddenly the product is awful!" Really? It's just money, and now Oculus have a bucketload of cash to cement their product and compete. How is Facebook owning it a problem?Or do you not watch Pulp Fiction because Miramax is owned by Disney?IF Facebook start messing with Oculus to do virtual reality Timelines and NOTHING MORE then yes there's something to complain about. But instantly dismissing something you've been interested in just because the new owner is Facebook is pretty childish.However, it does seem to be a little bit of a sellout by Oculus to sell to Facebook of all people - did they need the money after all? Is John Carmack content to leave id Software and now be a Facebook subsidiary?
  • 0 Hide
    Impatienc3 , March 27, 2014 2:53 AM
    Quote:
    "Oh no! Facebook owns Oculus! Suddenly the product is awful!" Really? It's just money, and now Oculus have a bucketload of cash to cement their product and compete. How is Facebook owning it a problem?Or do you not watch Pulp Fiction because Miramax is owned by Disney?IF Facebook start messing with Oculus to do virtual reality Timelines and NOTHING MORE then yes there's something to complain about. But instantly dismissing something you've been interested in just because the new owner is Facebook is pretty childish.However, it does seem to be a little bit of a sellout by Oculus to sell to Facebook of all people - did they need the money after all? Is John Carmack content to leave id Software and now be a Facebook subsidiary?
    Maybe the issue is because the whole Oculus Rift VR thing was a kickstarter? Paid for by the community.. And now it's popular, Facebook (a company that has only cares for it's userbase numbers) decides to buy it. If Facebook listened to it's users and acted upon it, or sorted out their ad-sharing tactics (including that new "feature" of only displaying a few of your most contacted friends in the news feed unless the others PAY to make sure it's on all their friends news feeds.) I'm sure that people would be feeling a bit better about the situation..
  • 0 Hide
    Impatienc3 , March 27, 2014 2:54 AM
    Quote:
    "Oh no! Facebook owns Oculus! Suddenly the product is awful!" Really? It's just money, and now Oculus have a bucketload of cash to cement their product and compete. How is Facebook owning it a problem?Or do you not watch Pulp Fiction because Miramax is owned by Disney?IF Facebook start messing with Oculus to do virtual reality Timelines and NOTHING MORE then yes there's something to complain about. But instantly dismissing something you've been interested in just because the new owner is Facebook is pretty childish.However, it does seem to be a little bit of a sellout by Oculus to sell to Facebook of all people - did they need the money after all? Is John Carmack content to leave id Software and now be a Facebook subsidiary?
    Maybe the issue is because the whole Oculus Rift VR thing was a kickstarter? Paid for by the community.. And now it's popular, Facebook (a company that has only cares for it's userbase numbers) decides to buy it. If Facebook listened to it's users and acted upon it, or sorted out their ad-sharing tactics (including that new "feature" of only displaying a few of your most contacted friends in the news feed unless the others PAY to make sure it's on all their friends news feeds.) I'm sure that people would be feeling a bit better about the situation..
  • 0 Hide
    LePhuronn , March 27, 2014 6:38 AM
    Granted I did forget about Kickstarter, but there will be legal measures in place to ensure Oculus make good on their contractual obligations. I'm not a big fan of Facebook swooping in and buying up anything that looks funky, but in very real terms all this ill feeling is nothing more than tech snobbery. If Oculus have $2bn to get their product out and done well then we all win. Passing it up just because it's now a Facebook company is childish and just cutting off your nose to spite your face.
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