Back in September 2012, a $2.4 million Kickstarter campaign finished to help develop the next wave of immersive gaming in Oculus Rift.  The premise behind Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset that puts you deeper into the game than any other headset has ever done before.  Since that Kickstarter campaign news about Oculus has penetrated all of technical media in terms of the development, the nature of the device and what sort of games are going to be able to use it.  I remember a few images of Brian and Anand trying the Crystal Cove prototype at CES this year.

The news today comes as a shock (to me at least) – Facebook has announced today that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Oculus VR Inc at a $2 billion dollar value.  This includes $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook stock (~$1.6 billion on last 20 day average).

Oculus will keep their headquarters in Irvine, CA and continue development on the Rift.  With Facebook moving to the help (it is unclear at this point just how much of a role they will play), the focus may shift towards a more social scenario and future for the device, alongside the anticipated action game genre.

The deal is expected to be completed during Q2, and we are awaiting further information as to the depth of the acquisition and how each firm will operate under the new structure.  Facebook should have a lot of money from its IPO in order to help drive Oculus investment, perhaps accelerating the process.

Source: PRNewswire

"We are excited to work with Mark and the Facebook team to deliver the very best virtual reality platform in the world," said Brendan Iribe, co-founder and CEO of Oculus VR. "We believe virtual reality will be heavily defined by social experiences that connect people in magical, new ways. It is a transformative and disruptive technology, that enables the world to experience the impossible, and it's only just the beginning."

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  • superkev72 - Friday, March 28, 2014 - link

    Lifted you don't know what you are talking about. The devil is in the details and in this case FB essentially has a equal representation in Oculus so Oculus is still independent and was not absorbed as many here seem to think. Your idea on what occurred here could not be farther from the truth.
  • nutjob2 - Sunday, March 30, 2014 - link

    That's hilarious. FB bought it lock, stock and barrel and FB has total control. They can step in whenever they want, probably when the existing management becomes to much of a pain in the backside.

    Meanwhile "true believers" have been sold a bill of goods. The good guys took the money and ran.
  • wickman - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    if oculus was a "social" experience, it wouldn't involve blinding yourself to the world around you with a head mounted display, and deafening you to the world around you with a nice set of headphones. It is a complete slap in the face to those of us with dev kits, and developing software, to have contributed so much money to the project only to have zuck & co step in and destroy the reputation that has been building. Valve is a better fit for a buy, hell even Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo would be better parents. At least that lot has a history in gaming that extends further than telling Zynga to rip off other people's games.

    I may be joining you in the "Oculus Rift Dev kit for sale. Going fast or going in the trash." sale....
  • ET - Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - link

    You seem to have a strange idea of what "social" means these days. People are already in their own world, using their phones for social aspects while ignoring those around them. VR is the next obvious step, shutting out that pesky outside world completely.

    Besides, Facebook really is a better choice for VR than any game related company. VR games are a niche product, even for gamers. VR needs other apps to really take off.
  • blakflag - Friday, March 28, 2014 - link

    So true... I see many 20-somethings buried so deep in their cell phones they might as well be on Mars, they're so oblivious to the people and things around them.
  • skiboysteve - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    I think Carmack feels like his wallet just got a lot thicker...
  • EdgeOfDetroit - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    Er, I guess Star Citizen is no longer the most successful Kickstarter. Hopefully CR will never sell out.
  • HisDivineOrder - Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - link

    Welcome to Unbelievably Crazy Technology News. The top story is the joint sellout of major Kickstarter efforts, Star Citizen has officially been sold to Zynga. They're integrating it into their joint efforts with Facebook on the Oculus Rift.

    In other news, Sony has bought in its entirety by Apple for 1 billion dollars and 2 free Macbook Pro's. The PS4 was renamed the AppleTV Pro. Sony's VR unit is going to be called, Apple iSight for AppleTV Pro. Subsequently, many previously available Android versions of old Playstation titles are being released on iTunes for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and AppleTV Pro.

    Elsewhere, Microsoft has purchased Valve for 101 billion dollars. Steam will be integrated into Windows and renamed, "Xbox Gaming for Windows." Microsoft is promising that Steam will operate independently otherwise and that SteamOS's release will not be impacted. In fact, Microsoft is rumored to be spinning Xbox One down in favor of a new initiative based on SteamOS called, "XboxPC." Rumor has it the only major change to SteamOS is the changing out of the Linux kernel for the Windows 8 kernel and the ability to swap out the OS freely and easily for a locked down, closed system of isolation. Major publishers are highly supportive of the move. Rumors also suggest a major factor in the purchase was the acquisition of Valve's highly praised VR technology prototypes that were not to hit market... until now.

    Elsewhere, Nintendo will lower the price on 3DS a bit more and release an add-on they're calling, "The Nintendo Strap-On" that despite its name allows you to strap the the 3DS not where you're thinking, but instead on your face. It includes a pair of "eyecups" that you stick on your eyesockets and then pull the 3DS on tight. Unique technology allows the 3DS to them simulate a VR headset. Nintendo is expected to announce a $99.99 price point for the Nintendo Strap-on. Nintendo's own Reggie is said to have been so excited, he screamed, "I love strap-on's!"

    And finally in today's top technology news, Google is said to have woke up this morning and looked around at the VR landscape. Then scratched their heads.

    That's it for Unbelievably Crazy Technology News. Back to you, Bob.
  • Krioni - Thursday, March 27, 2014 - link

    Woops... replied to the wrong comment...

    Here you go...

    "Nintendo Strap-On"... wow.. that is funny stuff. +100!!

    Great post.
  • Krioni - Thursday, March 27, 2014 - link

    "Nintendo Strap-On"... wow.. that is funny stuff. +100!!

    Great post.

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