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Sorry Xbox fans, Facebook just bought Oculus for $2 billion

Fortaleza

We’ve heard it in the comments for the longest time. “Microsoft should just buy Oculus” a lot of you would say over and over again. The integration between Oculus and the Xbox One would have been a welcomed feature to most. Sadly, that won’t happen. Facebook just bought Oculus.

Facebook is on a buying spree. Last month they bought WhatsApp for $19 billion. Last year Facebook picked up Instagram for $1 billion. Now Oculus is joining the stable in Menlo Park for $2 billion.

Facebook and Oculus? Weird, right? The Oculus team says Facebook shares the same goal of creating the best virtual reality platform in the world. Here’s the Oculus team on the acquisition:

“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.”

We’ll admit that Xbox and Oculus integration would have been cool, but Microsoft already has their own product on the horizon – Fortaleza. We first saw Microsoft’s augmented reality glasses in a leaked roadmap for the Xbox in summer 2012. Then last summer, Microsoft filed a patent for augmented reality gaming. While augmented reality isn’t the same as virtual reality, we’re excited to see what’s on the horizon for the Xbox One.

In the meantime, tell us your thoughts on Facebook buying Oculus.

Source: Oculus, Facebook

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Reader comments

Sorry Xbox fans, Facebook just bought Oculus for $2 billion

198 Comments

Exactly Microsoft just needs a little more time to get everything together it ain't easy managing Bing azure windows for phone tablet and computers....

True. They're developing hardware in-house, which is usually better in the long run when you're building a family of devices. Had they not then I could see the buyout of Oculus working instead. They've got to be only a year or two from releasing their headset for Xbox.

This is bad.. Now Microsoft will have to buy Facebook to get WhatsApp, instagram and oculus rift. How much do u think Facebook will sell it for? 100billion? i ve stopped using Facebook to lower this price.

Come back when you've earned your first billion, and maybe I'll believe you.

Meantime, Microsoft have their multi-billion which they didn't earn by being stupid! :))

I (prefer to) think the same. I mean, Microsoft must be aware of all the fans crying out for this to happen. They know what they have to do; they just need to focus on how to do those things, and do it successfully. Maybe, for their purposes, Oculus wasn't a great investment, so who knows what's inside those incredibly successful, competent and powerful men's minds?

Well I tried to put up the link to the Forbes article from last week stating MS is working on VR too but this site keeps marking it as spam.  SO Google or Bing it and you'll see they are in fact working on a vr platform.

MS has bought plenty of products and services, some of which were top of its line at the time like hotmail and skype.  MS however doesn't keep the momentum going.  It's like they buy them so they can rot in hell.

That would have been my feelings about the Nokia purchase, before Microsoft proved themselves by making the Surface tablets. Those are extremely high quality tablets.

Worried about MS quality compared to Nokia? Wow...

In addition to the comment above reminding you of the MS Surface tablets (PS Bing/Google the videos of MS employees using them as skateboards because they are so durable.)

Have you ever heard of a little device called the ZuneHD?

It wasn't very successful in the market, but introduced SEVERAL designs that almost all smartphones use to this day. 

You know, common things like AMOLED, Gorilla Glass, durable frame, high end audio, first HD video output, pressure sensitive touch, etc. (Some features OEMs have yet to implement in ANY phone.)

 

 

Honestly curious... What makes you say that? MS makes some of the best quality mice and keyboards and the surface build quality is amazing.

Well, yea. They bought them and failed to keep their hype.  Really. Look at Skype? Viber/Tango/WhatsApp did what Skype should have done! Also, look at Hotmail? Signing up to Gmail was like seeing a new world. Now MS is playing catchup.  I think the best thing for MS to do buy companies and let them be seperate entities until they mature more.

They have filed patents regarding VR, not just AR. They don't need to buy this, they can build their own stuff and they have enough engineers. It's better to give those 2 billion to their own r&d team.

IMO, their intention was to bought ... Skype users. And to do it, they need to buy Skype. Oculus? Not much users and this type of research can be done in house. So there's a big difference there.

doesnt skype and nokia mobile counts? oh you see that? microsoft only buys winners,  wasap instacrap and oculus are only a bunch of young startups, now that leaves us with sony's morpheus that wont come to the microsoft empire anyway, and maaaybe an official response from microsoft at the right time

Nope. They did NOT buy Nokia. They purchased the Devices devision of Nokia, and a license to all their patents.

Nokia have some.of the best mobile technology that there is - specifically the best maps, nav, microphones,.OIS cameras, touch panels and screen technology of any smartphone vendor.

There are enough posting about this re new CEO and the path he will plot for MS. I guess well see soon enough.

Oh, you mean the same multi billion dollar company that has been in business for about 40 years...?

Yeah, they need to figure it out already!

MS has amazing R&D. There's no need to buy up everything out there. I honestly can't see what FB is going to do with it. We'll see.

They will never stop buying other companies.  The goal of some of these small fish to get gobbled up by the big fish, it's nature and our greedy society.

I like this bit about hiring the best and brightest... While Zuckerberg is clamoring for Congress to let him hire thousands of illegals.

And they completely screwed up Skype for WP while giving iOS and Android far superior product. We don't know what they will do with Nokia, but we can guess given their complete lack of WP support (in regards to Skype and Bing).

They should buy Twitch too, and really beef up the social network integration scene, combingin so.cl with Twitch and Xbox Activity feed. It could be the quintessential social gaming network.

Fortaleza is the AR (augmented reality) system they are working on. The latest rumor is that they are working on a VR system as well.

Exactly! I don't know why everybody is up in a huff over rumored releases and non-releases! Sure, I'm disappointment but they are all just rumors after all - good while they lasted!

You didn't get it right? Why would he tell his sources? That was clearly not a joke. 8.1 Preview is delayed.

Did you really expected 8.1 dev preview to be released at build?!?! Either you're new to the Microsoft "world" or not paying attention. The list of delays is longer than my mother in laws tong.

Its safe if you know what you are doing, lets just be glad there aren't"splinternets" or SOPA finally gets passed. :P

\\
Smartscreen filter and Win Defender ATW

True, and to be honest, this has bought it a massive leg up. I think the will achieve greater goals, and much sooner, thanks to this acquisition.

ergo these purchases. Facebook still has family members and businesses fooled that it's still relavant, but that wont last forever, so they need to purchase that which is or will be relavant.

But if those people you just mentioned are on it (family members and businesses) it's technically still relavant

What you're saying doesn't apply where I live, Facebook is getting more and more users everyday and that's a good thing for me as a Facebook user myself.

MS buying Oculus would have been stupid. Facebook buying Oculus will be even worse. I really hope they don't fuck this up.

Yeah, 2m investment and the Zuck told MS to get F*cked when it came to FB & Instagram apps. Why is it going to be different now?

Try 250 million. Msft has 1.3% perfered shares now. They sold a little at ipo to get back their investment. So if facebook rises, msft rises a litle to:-)

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That is sortof how I feel about it too. Oculus looks awesome....it will be awesome....it is just weird that Facebook bought it.....the hell?

Yeah, I'm tired of being someone that helps contribute to these newer tech companies gain billions to buy something else that I might be interested in.

All is not lost, at least Facebook is less evil and less antagonist to MS than Google and I would rather want it to be with Facebook than Google.

Looks like Facebook is planning to implement hanging out with our friends in a virtual 3D world. No thanks. I hate Facebook already for what it's, and will not like it for what it's trying to be.

You've no idea how cool that actually sounds to me. It could certainly help with long distance friendships.

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I don't think Microsoft really needs to buy anything. They are company fully capable of creating their own products.

Okay, both you guys are just being an asshole.

Xbox One has Titanfall and other exclusives, an interface that doesn't suck, thousands of multimedia features including an HDMI-in port, CD player support, and DLNA, Kinect, an operating system that is lighter than the PS4's, is created by a company that is known to update their consoles, and games that doesn't have FPS going all over the place.

What does the PS4 have? It's $50 cheaper. And in Canada, the Xbox One and PS4 are the same price. And the PS4 doesn't include a Kinect equivalent, nor anything stated above.

Well sorry to disappoint you but PS4 has infamous and other exclusives, blu-ray support and ps4 camera that no one cares about just like kinect.

I don't really feel like arguing anymore, I'm a PC guy anyway.

Fine, but the Xbox One still supports Bluray and in more formats, if I'm not mistaken :P

And the PS4 camera is still worse than Kinect 1.
 

And they do not make phones yet. Xbox is a billion positive cash business for the past three years.

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My point was that.. Yes while they do create good products like Xbox, Surface etc, they actually "had to" buy Nokia to get a little piece of the mobile market, just like facebook now buys OR.
We shouldnt be as cocky as bayanii cause it isnt really true.

This guy is crazy, there's nothing like courtside seats at baseball, basketball, football, soccer, tennis, etc. I also don't see to many people putting on google to watch any of the above mentioned events. As for seeing a doctor, you can do tele-doctor via items like webex which you can have audio/video

Seems like Facebook is coming out of its shell to take over the world. I really wonder how the company looks like over another 10 years.

Well, I'll tell ya.. Not good. About 1 in a half years from now Facebook will buy Asplundh. That's when people will finally begin to question Zuck's sanity. Their subsequent acquisition of Charmin from Proctor & Gamble all but confirms this. In late 2017 Facebook acquires the Republic of Chile, and there's unconfirmed rumors that Zuck is planning on starting his own new race of people. Shareholders begin to lose faith in the company shortly after that and slowly begin selling out. By 2021 this has greatly impacted the company's bottom line. Facebook, as well as its under-development sister site "Racebook" are running out of money. Zuck, completely mental at this point, attempts a hostile takeover of MS. Of course MS retaliates and successfully takes over Facebook with the help of the new corporate intervention laws passed in 2020 (inspired by Facebook concerns, actually), then begins liquidating its assets. 2 years later MS, in a somewhat beautiful master stroke of irony, sells what's left of Facebook to ConAgra. By the beginning of 2024, Facebook is all but forgotten except in business classes on how not to run a company. By the time I left 2024 to travel back to this time, Zuck had begun the process of suing his parents and McDonald's (still a great way to make a fast buck.).

I actually like the glasses better it would be cooler if it works compared to people not wanting to cover there face and head and if they want me could pay fb...

Dont think i'll ever become comfortable wearing any type of glasses or headset while gaming or whatever.  I dont like wearing the 3d glasses in movies, and the whole 3d t.v didn't pan out so well. 

Dont think this will pan out, but it may, if it does wont be for awhile. 

maybe in porn. 

Microsoft needs to move on things. However I hope that they intentionally let this slip away as they already have better things in the works. The sad part of this is that if this ever becomes a part of the mobile space because of something that Facebook cooks up,then Microsoft's platforms will play second fiddle to Apple and Google in that Facebook seemly suppors them first and more. Smh.

It will be funny as fuck when Facebook disappeared and someone else replaced them just like MySpace and other companies, what goes at one point it will come down

MS has their own VR headset in the works, I don't see a need to buy a company when they're already working on similar tech that will no doubt be integrated with Kinect.

How is it not? It's an immersive stereoscopic display, which satisfies the requirments for being a VR headset as far as anyone is concerned.

The two are not necessrily mutually exclusive. While Google Glass isn't large enough to do the kind of immersive display required for a more "VR" expereince, there are see-through VR headsets that can do both.

that was my first thought after reading the headline! Zucks clearly liked the concept in the book i guess haha

Microsoft and Facebook are on good terms, they could still team up and learn from each other. Microsoft could still use Rift for their PC games and use their current model for their console.

All that useless stock they keep using to buy these companies, I hope these guys cash out immediately when they sell cause Facebook will be useless and dead in less that 3-5 years!

Now, John Carmack, the same dude that made Doom, Wolfenstein 3D, Quake, etc... is part of Facebook!!!! LOL 

Great! At least when Facebook buys a company the don't have the bad habit of screwing up that company. Instagram is still instagram and whatsapp will remain what it's always been. Fine with me.

This purchase wouldn't bother me if it weren't for the fact that the project was started independently over Kickstarter. I bet if Facebook were involved from the start they wouldn't have got backing from so many people, or at least not the same people...

The oculus is stupid anyway. I'm glad they didn't waste 2b. Facebook is going to die simply because they can't stop spending their money.

Big boy Sony shows off their VR at GDC and oculus realizes they have no hope of competing and offload to FB.... Facebook you have been ripped. Pmsl

It is not always about company or technology...sometimes you buy a company because they have patent/user base of a particular thing.

As long as they Share the patents with Microsoft, its a win-win.  Google is the enemy of facebook, with google plus.

 

Microsoft will rise from the ashes like a Phoenix!

Meh, I think VR is pointless anyway. I have a huge tv and a great surround sound system, why would i ignore the thousands of dollars I've spent so I can put some headset on and get laughed at.

Or they could just buy Facebook if it was really important to them. They already invested once to keep it going before it went public.

Facebook just spent billions. They got cash. They won't be sold. Twitter would be a better choice then buy vimeo along with that and integrate the two. Just sayin.

1)  MS didn't need to buy them, they already have their own technology, that predates the Oculus
2) Facebook has a history of good concepts and poor implementation, they will need partners like Microsoft to implement support for this product, or it will be relegated to history. See #4
3) There is no reason this or any other VR device still can't be used with the Xbox One, it doesn't have to be an exclusive.
4) Facebook has to have 'platform/device' to use this product, and they don't 'truly' make their own. So unless they are going to create a specialized Android/Linux product, they will need to support the main customer base, which is still Windows users.

I take exception to the articles title. There really isn't anything for Xbox fans to be sorry about. Project Fortaleza predates Oculus Rift and they'll probably show it at E3. If anything, Facebook saw what Sony is doing and absolutely knows what Microsoft is doing so that left Oculus to be picked up by Google, Facebook or anyone else.

For people who say that xbox has their own VR coming: The Xbox One doesn't even have enough capacities for one 1080p image with current rendering technologies in modern games, yet alone for 3D in a much higher resolution, which would be nessessary for a halfway decent VR-kit to work.

The Xbox One absolutely does have the tech to render games at 1080p.  The 360 and PS3 even have that capability. The issue appears to be that the 32MB ESRAM in the XB1 isn't enough for a 4xMSAA 1080p buffer, and rather than invest the time in something like FXAA (oh noes, two or three days of one programmer's time!) that looks as good without the heavy RAM requirement, many game developers are choosing to drop the resolution instead. This seems particularly true for games that are cross -platform or using cross-platform engines.

Note also that Oculus is using a single 1080p buffer split between the two eyes.

I think the entire VR thing is entirely overblown.  Maybe I'm looking at this from too practical a point of view, but I cannot imagine typing a paper with a VR headset.  At this point, I'd rather put the extra money towards either a nicer monitor, or a second monitor.  It remains a novelty for me, and I don't see that changing any time soon. 

There are applications, such as training, manufacturing, simulation, some types of psychological thereapy, that have benefitted greatly from VR. Gaming can also benefit. No serious researcher is advocating that we should be wearing VR headsets all the time, but when the application is vastly improved by an immersive display, it is definitely worth the investment.

I don't know - i personally think ms needs to start shoring up their future and buying these type of tech companies...

I can imagine Facebook and instagram, in the future, allowing virtual chats and tours of places people have been, restaurants and the like. And take that into advertising and you can see Facebook getting money...

Skype virtual meetings? Family chats etc?

Of course, ms is working on their own tech but it is solid and viable business practice to buy up potential threats and or prevent others coming to the market. And i am sure the oculus guys would have a lot to bring to ms...

Microsoft need to get pro active. Nadalla (did i spell that right?) needs to begin kicking this behemoth in the behind and get it going faster....

And i am not referring to xbox specifically, and on purpose. VR is not just for playing games - this could work for enterprise, medicine, search and rescue, construction etc etc.

IF, and that is a biggie; if Facebook gets viable tech out there and begins licensing: that is cash ms let slip through their fingers.

I'll be caught dead wearing a stupid Oculus unit on my head. and Ocilis bringing this to 2 billion people, what a load of crap....this is simply dead in the water. Its a stupid VR unit which you wear. It's been done countless times and never picks up, just like 3D TV, the only way for the masses to use it is to force them. I don't see this kicking off. And if it does, send respond to my post to I can eat my hat.

So X1 is going to get left behind by the capabilites of the PC and PS4 (Oculus and Project Morpheus respectively). Once again glad I didnt buy and X1.

Typical. I love the touchy-feely shit about how friendly and helpful Facebook wants to be. Well, not only are you sellouts, Oculus, you're also rubes. Weenies of the highest caliber. Keep going on with your 1990s dreams of magical VR crap. I won't miss you.