Mark Zuckerberg, creator and CEO of Facebook, announced yesterday on his (you guessed it) Facebook page that the social media giant was buying Oculus Rift, the virtual reality development company that created the Oculus VR headset, for a reported US$2 billion dollars.
Over the last 18 months, Oculus VR has come a long way and made irreversible waves on the virtual reality front, combining the real and unreal for mind-blowing gaming experiences, but according to Zuckerberg, with his backing, games are only the beginning.
"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," writes Zuckerberg in his official Facebook announcement.
"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."
Other companies have been toying with the idea of using the Oculus technology outside of gaming purposes - the Toyota Corollacade
, for example - so it is no surprise that Zuckerberg wants to be part of creating the future of human/virtual environment interaction.
Oculus VR has also released a statement concerning the partnership, saying:
"At first glance, it might not seem obvious why Oculus is partnering with Facebook, a company focused on connecting people, investing in internet access for the world and pushing an open computing platform. But when you consider it more carefully, we’re culturally aligned with a focus on innovating and hiring the best and brightest; we believe communication drives new platforms; we want to contribute to a more open, connected world; and we both see virtual reality as the next step.'
'Most important, 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. Facebook is a company that believes that anything is possible with the right group of people, and we couldn’t agree more.'
'This partnership is one of the most important moments for virtual reality: it gives us the best shot at truly changing the world. It opens doors to new opportunities and partnerships, reduces risk on the manufacturing and work capital side, allows us to publish more made-for-VR content, and lets us focus on what we do best: solving hard engineering challenges and delivering the future of VR."
This is a very exciting development for VR and with the backing of Facebook, it looks like we have a lot to look forward to in the near future. Congratulations Facebook and Oculus VR on your partnership!
Read the full statement from Mark Zuckerberg here
Read the full statement from Oculus VR here