Science and Tech


What Does Facebook Gain From Oculus 3D Tech Purchase?

Oculus VR is the virtual reality company behind the Oculus Rift headset that allows for a 3D gaming experience.
Posted at 10:14 PM, Mar 25, 2014

So, how much money does Facebook really have? Apparently, enough to shell out $2 billion in cash and stock for a virtual reality company one month after acquiring a mobile messaging app service for $19 billion. 

Facebook announced Tuesday the acquisition of Oculus VR, the company behind the Oculus Rift headset that allows for immersive 3-dimensional gameplay. (Via Tested)

Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement in a Facebook statement saying, "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. ... Immersive gaming will be the first ... After games, we're going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences."

One of those hypothetical experiences Zuckerberg mentions is enjoying a basketball game courtside with the help of the Oculus headset. Sup, Bron! (Via Flickr / Roozbeh Rokni)

The Verge reports the acquisition of the 20-month-old company seems to come out of nowhere seeing that Oculus just demoed its most recent version of the Rift development kit at this year's Game Developer's Conference. 

Oculus VR has yet to create a consumer-ready product, but the Verge writer adds that Facebook's resources could move that along. 

The Oculus VR team also posted a statement to their blog saying, "We believe communication drives new platforms; we want to contribute to a more open, connected world; and we both see virtual reality as the next step. Most important, Facebook understands the potential for VR." 

A writer for CNET wrote back in February Facebook's massive purchase of WhatsApp showed how eager the social network was to "subsume one of its largest challengers." 

But a writer for Forbes sees Facebook's $2 billion acquisition of Oculus VR as a way of getting ahead of the curve and buying up technology that could blossom into something promising. 

"Bolstered by IPO money and a booming business and his own outsized ambitions and vision of what’s coming next in technology, Zuckerberg can afford to borrow a page, as it were, from Google CEO Larry Page and plow money into promising new technologies that today have only a glancing relation to its current business."

Although both companies shared their excitement for the deal, Mashable reports several early backers of Oculus expressed their disappointment on the company's Kickstarter page, with some calling the start-up company a "sell out" and others saying they regret the decision to back the project. 

Oculus VR raised more than $2.4 million on Kickstarter to go toward developing the Rift headset.

Facebook's acquisition of Oculus VR includes $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of the social network. Zuckerberg said Oculus VR will continue to operate independently to help both companies achieve their shared goals.