Facebook to buy virtual reality firm Oculus VR for $2 billion

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Facebook is getting into the virtual reality business.


The social networking giant announced plans Tuesday to buy virtual reality firm Oculus VR for $2 billion in its latest high-profile acquisition.


Oculus makes the Oculus Rift headset, which covers your eyes and immerses you in a virtual environment that responds to your head movements.


The Rift has demoed at tech industry events to rave reviews. It isn't yet available to consumers, but developers interested in building software for the device can purchase it for $350.


\"Mobile is the platform of today, and now we're also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow,\" Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement. \"Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate.\"


Zuckerberg said Facebook planned to help Oculus develop first as a platform for immersive gaming, before expanding into other fields like education and live media.


\"The incredible thing about the technology is that you feel like you're actually present in another place with other people,\" Zuckerberg said on his Facebook page. \"People who try it say it's different from anything they've ever experienced in their lives.\"


Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe said the company was \"excited to work with Mark and the Facebook team to deliver the very best virtual reality platform in the world.\"


\"We believe virtual reality will be heavily defined by social experiences that connect people in magical, new ways. It is a transformative and disruptive technology, that enables the world to experience the impossible, and it's only just the beginning,\" Iribe said.


The deal includes $400 million in cash and $1.6 billion worth of Facebook stock.


Facebook shares fell 0.8% in after-hours trading. 

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