Facebook has just announced that it will acquire Oculus VR, the makers of the Oculus Rift, for $2 billion in cash and stock. According to Facebook's news release, the company "plans to extend Oculus’ existing advantage in gaming to new verticals, including communications, media and entertainment, education and other areas. Given these broad potential applications, virtual reality technology is a strong candidate to emerge as the next social and communications platform." Said the Oculus VR team in a blog post, "Facebook understands the potential for VR. Mark and his team share our vision for virtual reality’s potential to transform the way we learn, share, play, and communicate." In a Facebook post, Mark Zuckerberg reinforced that Oculus technology would still be a platform for gaming first, but wants it to be a new communication platform for life 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."
Oculus Rift development will continue from Oculus VR's headquarters in Irvine. Facebook will be hosting a conference call to discuss the acquisition later today, which we'll be tracking. Strange times.