Oculus Rift purchased By Facebook for £1.2 billion
Facebook has today announced that its latest purchase is the developers behind the much hyped Oculus Rift Virtual Reality headset, for a cool £1.2 billion (or $2 Billion of the US). The buy will see the virtual reality startup become a much bigger deal in the hands of Mark Zuckerberg and co.
The Oculus Rift headset is a device aimed at gamers to give an immersive experience when playing, including 3D rendering and head tracking which allows gamers to feel like they are actually in the game.
The 2 Billion dollar deal itself consists of $400 million (£241.7 million) in cash, with another 23 million shares in Facebook, which if the owners were to cash in now are worth around $1.6 billion (£967 million). Then, if a few laid out (and undisclosed) targets are hit then the founders of Oculus could also receive another $300 million (£181 million) from Facebook.
Founder Mark Zuckerberg stated that “Mobile is the platform of today, and now we’re also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow,” and that “Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate.”
The latest Facebook purchase does raise questions as to what Zuckerberg and co are planning for the future, as a virtual reality gaming headset isn’t really in the Facebook MO, but as Zuckerberg said, it’s about planning for the future.
The Oculus Rift headset initially came to prominence after a successful crowd funding campaign on Kickstarter, which raised $2.4 million (£1.5 million) in its first round of funding. Thanks to plenty of exposure Oculus raised another $75 million (£45.4 million) for the project and since then they have been working on the second iteration of their gaming headset, of which there are currently more than 75,000 orders.
It’s a big deal for the moment, and we look forward to seeing what a big company like Facebook can bring out of the intriguing technology.
EA and Sony have both expressed their interest into the Virtual Reality world in recent weeks too, so this could soon become a very crowded area.