Facebook Goes Futuristic, Acquires Oculus
Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) latest acquisition includes both virtual reality and hardware. The social media giant has purchased Oculus VR, makers of the Oculus Rift headset.
News of the acquisition broke yesterday. Both companies posted news of the $2 billion sale to their websites. Facebook has been buying up several startups recently, but Oculus is the first that produces any type of hardware. Previous acquisitions, like Instagram and WhatsApp, have been social media apps.
Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg called acquiring Oculus an investment in the future. “Mobile is the platform of today, and now we’re also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow,” said Zuckerberg in a press release. “Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play, and communicate.”
While mobile markets are fairly established, virtual reality is a growing sector still in its infancy. Sony recently unveiled its Project Morpheus, a virtual reality headset meant to be used in conjunction with the PlayStation 4 gaming console. Oculus’ Oculus Rift headset is designed to work with computers.
Oculus sees Facebook’s purchase of the company as an opportunity to build-up a platform as seen on its announcement post on its website. “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. 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.”
Oculus’ fans made their opinions known in the comments section. Many were skeptical of Facebook purchasing Oculus. Some went as far as calling it a betrayal or a selling-out. “Good job pulling one over on us Oculus. All that talk about revolutionizing things and it was just to build up value for an acquisition,” wrote Caleb Benningfield a user who commented on the post.
Several more comments of Oculus selling out or calling for a boycott were also below the post. Oculus got its initial funding to build its prototypes through a wildly successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign that raised about $2.4 million. After the completion of the acquisition, Oculus will continue to work on its Oculus Rift virtual reality platform. They will also maintain their headquarters in Irvine, California.
People with any questions can ask the source directly. Oculus’ founder Palmer Luckey has been answering questions on social forum website, Reddit, all day Wednesday. In a thread created by Luckey, he explains his motivation for his enthuasism regarding Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus.
“In the end, I kept coming back to a question we always ask ourselves every day at Oculus: what’s best for the future of virtual reality? Partnering with Mark and the Facebook team is a unique and powerful opportunity.”