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VR is the 'next major computing platform after mobile', says Zuckerberg

"Gaming is just the start," predicts Facebook founder

Mark Zuckerberg believes virtual reality to be the next major breakthrough in computing after advent and widespread penetration of smartphones.

VR is the "next major computing platform that will come after mobile," said Zuckerberg in a conference call Tuesday, as he expressed his vision for VR to become a part of people's everyday lives.

Image source: Bloomberg News

"The history of our industry is that every 10 or 15 years there's a new major computing platform, whether it's the PC, the web or now mobile. History suggests that there will be more platforms to come and that whoever builds and defines these, will not only shape all the experiences that our industry builds, but will also benefit financially and strategically."

He went on, "Mobile is the platform of today, and now we're starting to also get ready for the platforms of tomorrow. To me, by far the most exciting future platform is around vision - modifying what you see to create augmented and immersive experiences."

Zuckerberg sees the purchase of Oculus as the firm's gateway to the future of VR and its penetration not just into gaming by into VR as part of people's everyday lifestyles.

"Today's acquisition is a long-term bet on the future of computing," said Zuckerberg. "I believe Oculus can be one of the platforms of this future. Immersive gaming is the first big opportunity."

He later added, "But gaming's just the start. After games, we're going to make oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world, consulting with a doctor face-to-face or going shopping in a virtual store where you can touch and explore the product you're interested in, just by putting on goggles in your own home."

Zuckerberg's sentiments were shared by Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey, who said in a statement on Tuesday, "Oculus' somewhat unpredictable future just became crystal clear: virtual reality is coming, and it's going to change the way we play games forever."

Likewise, Brendan Iribe, co-founder and CEO of Oculus VR, says the merger with Facebook primes the two firms to "invent the future" with VR. "We believe virtual reality will connect people in ways we never before thought," said Iribe in Tuesday's conference call.

Facebook announced its plans to purchase the virtual reality headset company for $2 billion on Tuesday.

"We are excited to work with Mark and the Facebook team to deliver the very best virtual reality platform in the world," Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe said. "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."