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Facebook buys Oculus Rift company for $2bn, seriously

Sam Loveridge


Facebook buys Oculus Rift
Facebook buys Oculus Rift

Facebook has announced it is acquiring Oculus, the company behind the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, for $2 billion.

Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO of Facebook, has revealed the social media giant has acquired the company in an attempt to be part of the technological future.

“Mobile is the platform of today, and now we’re also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow,” said Zuckerberg. “Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate.”

According to Zuckerberg, Facebook will support Oculus’ plans for immersive gaming that it “hopes to accelerate” and help develop partnerships to make sure Oculus Rift support more games.

“Oculus will continue operating independently within Facebook to achieve this.”

Oculus itself seems very pleased with the acquisition, suggesting that Facebook is going to help them “bring our vision to millions of people” and allow”billions of people to connect in a way never before possible.”

“At first glance, it might not seem obvious why Oculus is partnering with Facebook, a company focused on connecting people, investing in internet access for the world and pushing an open computing platform,” said Oculus in a statement. “But when you consider it more carefully, we’re culturally aligned with a focus on innovating and hiring the best and brightest; 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.”

However, Facebook will create a platform “for many other experiences”, including sports, education, or even healthcare.

“This really is a new communication platform. By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life.”

The purchase is expected to close in Q2 2014, and the $2 billion sale cost is made up of $400 million in cash and over 23 million shares equating to around $1.6 billion, plus an additional $300 million put aside for future performance.

Developers have already started voicing their opinions on the Facebook Oculus buyout, with Mojang’s Markus “Notch” Persson of Minecraft fame already speaking out passionately on the subject.

“We were in talks about maybe bringing a version of Minecraft to Oculus,” said Persson. “I just cancelled that deal. Facebook creeps me out.”

Read more: Oculus Rift vs Sony Project Morpheus – VR tech compared

Tim Sutton

March 26, 2014, 12:29 pm

Notch is such an emotive little hairy troll scamp.

Oculus Rift needs huge amounts of financing to achieve VR's potential (I'm sorry Playstation fans, VR will never ever be practical on a PS4) and Facebook has huge amounts of financing to give.

There's absolutely zero reason to believe Facebook will be any more hands on with Oculus than it is with Instagram or WhatsApp. They'll just pump in hundreds of millions, leave Oculus to it and see what happens.

It's close to an ideal situation for Oculus, and Notch needs to get over himself.


March 26, 2014, 12:41 pm

And suddenly... my want for Oculus Rift has died. :(


March 26, 2014, 2:14 pm

Why will VR never be practical on a PS4? Can't see how it's less practical than a PC.

Tim Sutton

March 26, 2014, 5:16 pm

It's only a question of hardware.

Nothing against PS4, but it's not powerful enough to generate games at 1080p at 95fps, which is the minimum Rift will require to be immersive.


March 26, 2014, 7:43 pm

Isn't (or wasn't) their first partnership going to be with Android? Not sure they'd find Android hardware that's a lot faster than the PS4.

Tim Sutton

March 27, 2014, 10:24 am

They are planning on Android compatibility when there is powerful enough hardware there to run Rift, but there aren't even any dev kits yet.

The minimum 1080/95fps figure required for immersion is fairly well set in stone, that's just what the human brain needs for VR to work.

The next-gen Kepler mobile chipsets this year will almost certainly scale up to very close to PS4 levels. 2015 should see mobile devices exceeding PS4 fairly comfortably.

That's not to say that the top end hardware will necessarily be in phones, but Android gaming devices and high end tablets WILL outperform PS4 and Xbox One in the next 2 years.

Which is actually freaking amazing.

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