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Facebook Will Acquire Virtual Reality Company For $2 Billion

Facebook announced a pretty big purchase on Tuesday: The social media giant said it was acquiring Oculus VR, a company that makes virtual reality goggles, for $2 billion.

The deal includes $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook, which the company values at $1.6 billion.

In a statement on his Facebook page, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company is making the purchase in an effort to focus on future platforms.

Oculus, Zuckerberg said, will concentrate on immersive games to begin with.

"After games, we're going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences," Zuckerberg said. He continues:

"Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face — just by putting on goggles in your home.

"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."

Oculus for its part is a pretty new company. According to Crunch Base, which keeps tabs on technology firms, Oculus was founded in July 2012. In September 2012, the company raised $2.4 million on Kickstarter to make an immersive virtual reality headset for video games.

In a statement Tuesday, the company acknowledged: "We've come a long way in the last 18 months: from foam core prototypes built in a garage to an incredible community of active and talented developers with more than 75,000 development kits ordered."

If you're curious to learn more, NPR's Laura Sydell wrote a piece earlier this month about taking the company's headset for a spin.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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