Oculus Rift 3D virtual reality (VR) headset got acquired by Facebook for a cool $2 billion. The maker of the headset, Oculus VR, does not even have a shipping product yet. According to Marketwatch on Mar. 26, analysts were not so sure on this deal coming on the heels of paying $19 billion for WhatsApp.
One analyst asked the executives to give investors 'some confidence , to give us some comfort, as you do more bold bets like this,' in management’s ability to execute on these large deals.
Oculus Rift is only available for pre-order as a developer’s toolkit for $350 right now. Investors hope that Facebook will see it through to completion. A shipping product that is both tightly coupled to the companies existing offering and open to third party games and applications would be prudent. Facebook used its purchase of Instagram as an example of what is possible.
Ebersman responded by noting that its $1 billion acquisition of Instagram is already exceeding its original customer growth targets.
Even Jaron Lanier, a brilliant computer scientist who sold the first VR goggles in 1984, has reservations. He feels that it is a niche market, which could support "a few hundred thousand units." But for this to make sense to Facebook shareholders it would need to sell hundreds of millions.
Facebook shares dropped nearly 5% today on news of the Oculus Rift deal.
What do you think about the Oculus Rift story? Please drop in your comments below.
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