SOCIAL media giant Facebook has agreed to purchase fledgling virtual reality firm Oculus for $2 billion, or £1.2 billion.
Oculus is best known for its Oculus Rift video gaming headset. A Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign for the headset, which is currently in development, has raised almost $2.5 million.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said: “This is a long-term bet on the future of computing.
“I believe Oculus can be one of the platforms of the future.”
The proposed deal will see Facebook pay $400m (£242m) in cash and $1.6bn (£970m) in Facebook stock.
Zuckerberg said Facebook intends not to make a profit on hardware, but instead make the product affordable and ubiquitous so Facebook can generate revenue from services, software, advertising, or virtual goods.
Some of Oculus’s crowd-funders have reacted angrily to the news, with commenters on the Rift project’s Kickstarter page accusing the California firm of “selling out”.
The Oculus deal is Facebook’s second big acquisition in as many months. Last month the social network announced that it would pay 19 billion dollars (£11.5bn) for mobile messaging start-up WhatsApp, a deal which is yet to conclude.