Facebook Acquires Oculus VR, Takes Poking to the Next Level

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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  • jakjawagon
    Well, there goes my interest in the Oculus Rift.
  • Pailin
    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:: )
  • Pailin
    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 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!