Whatsapp Wasn’t Enough For Zuckerberg, Facebook Buys Oculus VR For $2 Billion

Photo courtesy of Huffington Post
Photo courtesy of Huffington Post

Remember how I said virtual reality would completely redefine the “quality and excellence of gaming” in my last Wired Wednesday post?

According to Mark Zuckerberg, virtual reality will bring a lot more use for just simply gaming, because Facebook just bought Oculus for $2 billion in cash and stocks earlier today.

It’s a surprise, indeed, especially since Facebook had just bought out Whatsapp a little over a month ago. Except this time, he’s spending $17 billion less on Oculus. What? Oculus has so many opportunities to come, especially as a leader in the virtual reality world, and also as a growing company, not to mention they could be generating much more revenue than Whatsapp. In other words, $2 billion is a surprisingly small sum to see.

It sounds funny though, doesn’t it? A social media platform giant buying out an organization that specializes in developing virtual reality devices. It’d be really interesting to see Zuckerberg’s plan on how the two will tie together, although it seems like his vision of virtual reality is more than just using it for gaming.

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.

He continues, “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. One day, we believe this kind of immersive, augmented reality will become a part of daily life for billions of people.”

However, if you’re not celebrating in the bask of Facebook’s recent purchases, just know you aren’t the only one. Mojang’s Notch, creator of the popular block-builder game, Minecraft, feels the exact same way.

Polygon reached out to Notch for a more thorough explanation: “Well, VR has huge potential in many fields, including social. I can see why Facebook would want to get in to this,” Notch said. “As a game developer, however, I don’t ever want to get stuck trying to target a platform not focused on games. People have made this mistake before.”

As for the fans, let’s just say “angry” and “disappointed” are understatements. There’s currently an (emotional) discussion going on in response to Palmer’s thread on Reddit. Many fans and supporters feel pretty betrayed, especially those who have been supporting Oculus since their first Kickstarter campaign two years ago.

Zuckerberg has said that he will not be changing any plans that Oculus have already set, however, he did decline to comment on information and release dates regarding the consumer version of Oculus Rift.

The Oculus Rift Developers Kit 2 is currently available for pre-order for $350, although shipment will not be expected to carry out until July.