Is Facebook Doubling Down on Virtual Reality?, by Keith Noonan


Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) acquired virtual reality (VR) headset maker Oculus in 2014 at a price somewhere in the range of $3 billion, with hopes that VR would emerge as the next big computing platform. Success in the space hasn’t been easy to come by, with weaker-than-expected consumer headset sales and a shortage of must-have content resulting in headsets not seeing much adoption outside a niche audience. But Facebook is still committed to the space and its Oculus division.

The latest sign of that commitment came late last month when the social media giant announced it is acquiring Beat Games, the maker of Beat Saber, a music-based game that’s become one of the most popular and critically games for VR platforms. No price on the deal has been reported, but it’s an intriguing move, and Facebook could be making more big virtual-reality investments in the not-too-distant future.


The Beat Games acquisition is just the beginning

The announcement of the Beat Games acquisition was paired with a comment from Oculus’ director of content, Mike Verdu: “We’re exploring many ways to accelerate VR. This is just the beginning.” That comment suggests that more acquisitions in the VR space are on the horizon.

Facebook didn’t buy Oculus with the limited goal of selling hardware. Beat Games has said that Beat Saber will continue to be available across all VR devices despite the purchase by Facebook, and that it will continue to ship games for all currently supported platforms, so the acquisition clearly didn’t hinge solely on getting exclusive content for the Oculus hardware line. 


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