Facebook has confirmed plans to acquire Oculus VR, makers of the Rift headset that took SXSW 2014 by storm earlier this month and continues to capture the fascination of gamers and virtual reality enthusiasts the world over.
But is the $2B (in cash and stock) acquisition really worth it for Facebook? Shortly after the announcement came last night, Wall Street weighed in on the matter and expressed doubt.
Facebook’s stock price dipped in after-hours trading. Although FB closed up on the day (for Tuesday), it quickly fell below its open price of $64.25.
To Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s intrepid CEO, the deal is definitely worth it.
“Our mission is to make the world more open and connected For the past few years, this has mostly meant building mobile apps that help you share with the people you care about,” Zuckerberg said in a written statement last night. “We have a lot more to do on mobile, but at this point we feel we’re in a position where we can start focusing on what platforms will come next to enable even more useful, entertaining and personal experiences.”
“This is where Oculus comes in,” he adds. “They build virtual reality technology, like the Oculus Rift headset. When you put it on, you enter a completely immersive computer-generated environment, like a game or a movie scene or a place far away. The incredible thing about the technology is that you feel like you’re actually present in another place with other people. People who try it say it’s different from anything they’ve ever experienced in their lives.”
The question now is how will Facebook put Oculus to good use, both in terms of bringing added value to the Facebook user experience, and adding significantly to the company’s bottom line for the benefit of investors.
Do you think the acquisition will pay off over time? Please weigh in with your thoughts and comments below.