Completely out of the blue, Facebook has announced that it is buying Oculus VR—the future of virtual reality awesomeness—for $2 billion. Aside from the fact that this was completely unexpected, there’s a real weirdness factor to this for me. We’re already sharing so much with one another that the effect of introducing Virtual Reality into the equation concerns me. Socially media tends to be a fairly secondary experience. Cyber-bullying aside, there’s a finite space in which it exists. Entering into a social media “world” is akin to some of these movies like “Gamer.” No to mention the fact that it ends with out enslavement in the Matrix… (I kid.)
Facebook’s plans for the headset aren’t immediately apparent, and the social media giant’s announcement of the acquisition does little to clear it up, citing the possibility of using the the headset for things like communication and education along with more obvious things like entertainment. Which is to say VR Facebook games, and hopefully more ambitious endeavors.
Here’s what Zuck himself has to say:
“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.”
The deal includes $400 million in cash along with about $1.6 billion in stock, which is no small sum, but fairly light considering some of Facebook’s most recent grabs. Oh, and another thing: Do you think this has anything to do with Sony’s Project Morpheus?