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Oculus Rift DK2
Facebook acquires Oculus VR for $2 billion

26 Mar 2014 | Rasmus Larsen |

Oculus VR, the creator of the Oculus Rift VR headset, has been acquired by Facebook. Facebook will have to cough up $2 billion, but Oculus will remain a separate unit - with far more resources to create better hardware.

Oculus is now owned by Facebook

Oculus has taken the world by storm with their virtual reality headset for gaming. They were already well-funded by VC funds in the Silicon Valley area, but the Facebook deal opens new doors, they believe.

Facebook will pay $400 million upfront and the rest in Facebook stocks. Oculus will remain a separate unit as today. The plans to launch a consumer version of the Oculus Rift headset are unchanged.

- ”We had two roadmaps: plausible and impossible. This partnership means the impossible roadmap just became ‘very likely’.” says Nate Michell, VP of Product at Oculus.

Oculus explains that the new resources will allow them to build their own components instead of just reusing smartphone components. One of the major challenges on the hardware side is to find suitable display technology. The latest Oculus Rift is using a Full HD OLED display, but Oculus wants more.

Oculus Rift DK2

Read FlatpanelsHD's review of the Oculus Rift DK1 here. Oculus has just unveiled a new developer version with OLED, and Sony has announced a competitor under the code name Project Morpheus.

Mark Zuckerburg, CEO of Facebook, comments on the deal:

”I'm excited to announce that we've agreed to acquire Oculus VR, the leader in virtual reality technology.

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.”

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