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WEEKLY NEWS UPDATE FOR 24TH-30TH MARCH

Headline Of The Week

Facebook is to purchase Oculus VR for $2 billion, in a deal which includes $400 million of cash and 23 million shares in the social networking site. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has hailed Oculus, who are currently working on the Oculus Rift VR headset, as the ‘social platform of the future’ (you can read the full statement here). The company will continue to work on the Rift at their headquarters in California.

The reaction to the deal has been…volatile.

The internet seems to have taken a mostly apocalyptic view of events; many early backers of the Oculus Rift (which was Kickstarted to the tune of $2.4 million) have expressed their disgust with Oculus for variously; killing virtual reality and the future of gaming, selling out, and making a mockery of crowd funding. The share price of Facebook took a nose dive after the announcement, dropping 6.9% by the end of day trading on Wednesday. And anyone hoping to play an official version of Minecraft on the Rift will be left extremely disappointed as creator Markus ‘Notch’ Persson cancelled the deal to bring the game to the hardware – amusingly taking to Twitter to express that ‘Facebook creeps me out’.

Facebook have flatly denied that they will rebrand the Rift or detract from its focus on gaming, and Oculus themselves have claimed that while the are surprised at just how negative the reaction has been, the benefits will be found in cheaper units and reduced delays of production. Chief technology officer John Carmack has remained optimistic about the deal claiming that Facebook’s vast financial resources will help to avoid ‘an embarrassing scaling crisis for VR’.

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