It’s making headlines in both Social Media and Gaming Realms: Facebook Buys Oculus Rift For $2 Billion.
You read that correctly. Facebook has announced that they have agreed to buy Oculus for $2 billion in hopes of paving a new way for people to communicate, learn and be entertained.
For those of you who don’t know what the Oculus Rift is – it’s a virtual reality headset that’s really hot with video game developers. I’ve recently posted about my interest in Oculus and its capabilities when I blogged about The Legend of Zelda for Oculus Rift. It’s a spectacular piece of technology that brings a whole new type of experience for gaming. So what does Facebook plan to do with it?
Facebook said that they plan to extend the hardware beyond just the limits of gaming to cater to other users. These plans include communications, media, entertainment and education. Facebook stated that they believe the Oculus Rift is a strong candidate to emerge as the next social and communications platform.
Oculus is equally excited, but then again who wouldn’t be after being bought out for $2 billion? Brendan Iribe, co-founder and CEO of Oculus VR stated, “We are excited to work with Mark and the Facebook team to deliver the very best virtual reality platform in the world,” in a PR release for Oculus.
The deal is expected to be finalized in Q2 2014.
Below is the full statement from Mark Zuckerberg
Our mission is to make the world more open and connected. For the past few years, this has mostly meant building mobile apps that help you share with the people you care about. We have a lot more to do on mobile, but at this point 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.
This is where Oculus comes in. They build virtual reality technology, like the Oculus Rift headset. When you put it on, you enter a completely immersive computer-generated environment, like a game or a movie scene or a place far away. The incredible thing about the technology is that you feel like you’re actually present in another place with other people. People who try it say it’s different from anything they’ve ever experienced in their lives.
Oculus’s mission is to enable you to experience the impossible. Their technology opens up the possibility of completely new kinds of experiences.
Immersive gaming will be the first, and Oculus already has big plans here that won’t be changing and we hope to accelerate. The Rift is highly anticipated by the gaming community, and there’s a lot of interest from developers in building for this platform. We’re going to focus on helping Oculus build out their product and develop partnerships to support more games. Oculus will continue operating independently within Facebook to achieve this.
But this is just the start. After games, we’re going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. 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.
This is really a new communication platform. By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures.
These are just some of the potential uses. By working with developers and partners across the industry, together we can build many more. One day, we believe this kind of immersive, augmented reality will become a part of daily life for billions of people.
Virtual reality was once the dream of science fiction. But the internet was also once a dream, and so were computers and smartphones. The future is coming and we have a chance to build it together. I can’t wait to start working with the whole team at Oculus to bring this future to the world, and to unlock new worlds for all of us.
What are your thoughts??