Well, it seems like Facebook’s acquisition spree is not over. After spending $1 billion on Instagram and $19 billion on WhatsApp they’ve decided to acquire virtual reality headset maker Oculus for $2 billion in cash and stock. The announcement came from Facebook’s own investor relations page and may actually shake the foundations of the company’s user base who may not like the idea of Facebook owning Oculus. While I do understand Facebook’s goal to get more involved in gaming and virtual reality/augmented reality, Oculus and their Rift simply doesn’t make sense to me.
Yes, Oculus VR is hot, and their DK2 that we saw last week at GDC was impressive and awesome, but the fact that Facebook is paying $2 billion to buy the company, including $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook common stock, is ridiculous. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg stated, ?Mobile is the platform of today, and now we?re also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow. Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate.?
While we have already seen Oculus’ VR headset demoed on a Samsung smartphone, almost all of the demos that they’ve shown have been on gaming PCs and it is simply a PC-based system. It makes me wondering how many PC gamers may be turned off by Facebook’s focus on mobile and their possible diversion away from the PC. Yes, Facebook is saying that Oculus will maintain their HQ in Irvine, CA and will continue to develop the Oculus Rift. But Many people, including myself worry about what this will mean for PC gamers hoping that Oculus VR’s Rift could be the future of PC gaming. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014.