Facebook has reached an agreement to acquire Oculus VR in a deal worth approximately $2bn.

The deal will see Facebook paying $400m in cash and providing 23.1m shares of common stock, valued at approximately $1.6bn.

Facebook says that its goal for Oculus is to extend its "existing advantage in gaming to new verticals, including communications, media and entertainment, education and other areas".

The company also claims that virtual reality technology "is a strong candidate to emerge as the next social and communications platform".

"Mobile is the platform of today, and now we're also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow," said Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. "Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate."

"We are excited to work with Mark and the Facebook team to deliver the very best virtual reality platform in the world," added Brendan Iribe, co-founder and CEO of Oculus VR. "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."

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014, with Oculus continuing development of the Oculus Rift under its new owner.

Source: prnewswire.com