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Facebook plans to do more than just gaming

Facebook is stepping into the virtual gaming world through a recently announced purchase of Oculus VR.

According to Business Insider, Facebook is buying Oculus VR for $2 billion USD in cash and stock. A breakdown looks more like $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook common stock.

Oculus VR is an Irvine, California-based startup that was founded by Palmer Luckey. The company launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund development of their first product -- the Oculus Rift -- which is a virtual reality headset for immersive gaming. The Kickstarter campaign reached over $2.4 million in funding.

While Facebook has seen a lot of success with games like "FarmVille," the social giant said it plans to do more than just virtual gaming with the company.

"After games, we're going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences," said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. "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."

Oculus VR doesn't have a consumer version of its Oculus Rift yet, but it's available for developers at the moment. 

The Oculus Rift headset makes you feel like you're in the gaming environment, taking video games to a whole new level of feeling "real" beyond just graphics on your TV and movements with a controller. 

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2014, the Oculus Rift "Crystal Cove" prototype was named Best of CES 2014. 

"We are excited to work with Mark and the Facebook team to deliver the very best virtual reality platform in the world," said Brendan Iribe, co-founder and CEO of Oculus VR. "We believe virtual reality will be heavily defined by social experiences that connect people in magical, new ways. It is a transformative and disruptive technology, that enables the world to experience the impossible, and it's only just the beginning."

Oculus will keep its headquarters in Irvine and continue development of the Oculus Rift. The transaction with Facebook is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014.

Source: Business Insider

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RE: $2 billion?
By DaveLessnau on 3/26/2014 10:26:25 AM , Rating: 3
I've got to agree. I don't see the barrier to entry that would have prevented FB from just developing their own for much cheaper (it looks like Occulus developed this via Kickstarter for something on the order of $77 million dollars. Plus, from what I can see, the company doesn't actually sell anything (yet).

I own stock in Facebook. So, it's kind of upsetting seeing them toss money around like this.

RE: $2 billion?
By HoosierEngineer5 on 3/26/2014 10:38:28 AM , Rating: 2
Makes me think Zuk is playing Monopoly in more ways than one.

RE: $2 billion?
By Argon18 on 3/26/2014 2:15:32 PM , Rating: 2
My personal opinion is that Zuk sees himself as some sort of Bruce Wayne. Billionaire playboy type, now he's buying up military tech and virtual reality companies as if he's about to set up a secret "Applied Sciences" division in Facebook's basement.

Zuk is a douche.

RE: $2 billion?
By Drafter on 3/26/2014 4:24:41 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, it seems like this Zuk guy is having an identity crisis using investor money.

I'm sure the ladies and gents over at Project Morpheus were excited by the news. A potentially major competitor in the emerging virtual reality market has been bought out by a polarizing company that nobody trusts and who has absolutely no creditable experience in doing what Oculus is meant to do.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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