So that happened. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Tuesday that his company has acquired Oculus VR, makers of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, for $2 billion in total.
In his announcement, which he published to his Facebook profile (because of course), Zuckerberg offered a hint at what Oculus VR’s tech could become as part of Facebook.
“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.”
The $2 billion price tag is twice what Facebook spent on Instagram, but its chump change compared to the $19 billion the company spent to buy messaging company WhatsApp. That purchase seemed to be more in line with what Facebook’s current business focuses on, however, and bought the company a large userbase along with it.
The Oculus Rift, by comparison, is still fairly young , and it’s a device that’s still very much an early adopter’s toy—in fact, it’s only available as a developer kit as of right now. And it’s an area that’s outside Facebook’s core area of focus. I can’t help but think of Google getting into self-driving cars and buying robotics companies like Boston Dynamics. But as The Verge’s David Pierce points out on Twitter, Facebook’s deep pockets could mean good things are ahead for Oculus VR.
Facebook has unlimited resources, massive scale, and a willingness to do cool, weird things. That should all sound REALLY enticing to Oculus
— David Pierce (@piercedavid) March 25, 2014
We’ll update this post as more information becomes available.