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Facebook Buying Oculus VR For $2 Billion 535

Posted by Soulskill
from the what-on-earth dept.
Several readers sent word that Facebook will acquire Oculus VR for $2 billion. Mark Zuckerberg says the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset is the beginning of something big: "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 obvious question is: why Facebook would buy a company focused on VR gaming? The Oculus team says, "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. ... 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." Put more simply: money and connections.
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Facebook Buying Oculus VR For $2 Billion

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  • Re:Nope (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 25, 2014 @05:19PM (#46578475)

    I view it more as Facebook has just killed promising technology.

    If Zuckerfuck owns it, I want nothing to do with it.

  • Not exactly fair (Score:5, Informative)

    by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday March 25, 2014 @05:29PM (#46578567)

    At least Oculus have shipped a lot of dev kits - they were well built and went out to a lot of external developers.

    Then there's the 2nd dev kit, which is nearing a finished product and shipping soon to even more people.

    It's a far cry from the vapor-wear (ha!) that Sony has currently...

    Besides, if they HAD a finished product Facebook would have paid more like $24 billion (see: WhatsApp). :-)

  • Re:Nope (Score:5, Informative)

    by TitusC3v5 (608284) on Tuesday March 25, 2014 @05:40PM (#46578695) Homepage
    Agreed. This news just completely killed my interest in the Rift.
  • Re: Nope (Score:5, Informative)

    by mwvdlee (775178) on Tuesday March 25, 2014 @06:02PM (#46578945) Homepage

    Didn't they try (and horribly fail at) selling a rebranded Android phone with a custom launcher?

  • by janoc (699997) on Tuesday March 25, 2014 @06:12PM (#46579047)

    I am one of the original Oculus Kickstarter backers. I have received my Rift development kit without any problem, so I think you are grossly unfair to Oculus as far as the Kickstarter campaign is concerned. The perks were the development kits, not company shares, so there is no reason why I should be getting a cut of those 2 billions.

    Also, honestly, do you really believe the company is operating on the Kickstarter money? You would be naive - there are several large investors there, the Kickstarter money went mainly into the original development kit.

    However, I do wonder what the heck is going to happen now. They better tread really carefully or they could alienate many of their customers and developers in no time if they try to aggressively push Facebook everywhere (like the payment system - seriously, if one of the stated reasons for getting acquired was to get access to the Facebook's payment system, that's nuts).

  • Mincecraft (Score:5, Informative)

    by wisnoskij (1206448) on Tuesday March 25, 2014 @06:44PM (#46579357) Homepage

    And Notch has already cancelled his Oculus Rift deal because Facebook creeps him out.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @01:03AM (#46581675)

    Palmer Luckey explains what this means [reddit.com] on Reddit.

    A few samples:

    "I guarantee that you won't need to log into your Facebook account every time you wanna use the Oculus Rift."

    "It it enough to bring a consumer product to market, but not the consumer product we really wish we could ship. This deal is going to immediately accelerate a lot of plans that were languishing on our wishlist, and the resulting hardware will be better AND cheaper. We have the resources to create custom hardware now, not just rely on the scraps of the mobile phone industry. There is a lot of good news on the way that is not yet public, so believe me, things will become a lot more clear over time."

    "Sure, we could have made more money down the road, but this deal was not about making the most money. It was about doing the best thing for the long term future of virtual reality.
    This lets us make CV1 everything we want it to be, which is going to drive much larger sales and adoption."

    "I won't change, and any change at Oculus will be for the better. We have even more freedom than we had under our investment partners because Facebook is making a long term play on the success of VR, not short-term returns.
    A lot of people are upset, and I get that. If you feel the same way a year from now, I would be very surprised."

  • by slew (2918) on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @02:06AM (#46581851)

    AFAIK, SEC regulation do not strictly prevent companies from selling unregistered shares to unaccredited investors.
    Rules 505 and 506 allows a company to sell unregistered shares to up to 35 unaccredited investors (and an unlimited number of accredited investors). This limit of 35 unaccredited investors is the thing that kickstarter bumps up against.

    However, there is another way to do this. It is actually possible to start a "closed-end" registered investment company (like a mutual fund company) that can invest in startup companies as an accredited investor. This investment company could accept money from unaccredited investors and this money can be invested in some startup companies.

    Sadly, the track record of such companies is pretty poor.

    For a recent example, consider GSV [nytimes.com] which was able to use this strategy to allow unaccredited investors to put money into Facebook, Groupon, and Zynga before they went public. The problem is that the liquid value of closed-end fund, is not the value of the underlying securities, but the resale value of your share in the investment company. This is because in a closed end fund, you have to sell your share in the investment company to someone else (the fund won't buy it back from you). In the GSV case, the share value of GSV was driven up by the promise of getting in on a pre-ipo Facebook investment, but it then crashed when the Facebook ipo didn't perform as well as expected.

  • Re:Dat manager speak (Score:4, Informative)

    by myspys (204685) on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @04:24AM (#46582215) Homepage

    Orwell wrote about this in 1946: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P... [wikipedia.org]

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