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In a surprising acquisition, Facebook announced that the social media giant is acquiring Oculus Virtual Reality for a cool $2 billion. The total venture breaks down to $400 million in cold hard cash and more than 23 million shares of stock, which are valued at $1.6 billion. The inked deal also has an extra contingency that adds a $300 million payout if certain milestones are met.

According to an official press release, Facebook is not seeking to interfere with Oculus VR’s current goal for their virtual reality headset, Oculus Rift. However, the company does plan to expand the Oculus Rift’s applications beyond gaming to fields such as media, entertainment and communication.

In the official press release, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg went on to say that “Mobile is the platform of today, and now we’re also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow” and he firmly believes that “Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate”.

Zuckerberg even updated his Facebook status with the following:

“This is really a new communication platform. By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures”.

Brendan Iribe, co-founder and CEO of Oculus VR, said that “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”.

Although many feel ‘betrayed‘ by Oculus VR selling out to Facebook, the reality of the situation is that Facebook has the capital to make the Oculus Rift a commercial reality and possibly even a success. Time, of course, will tell.

[Sources: Oculus VR, Facebook]