Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admits that Oculus Rift must sell lots of units to achieve market impact
Facebook recently had its third quarter earnings call with investors in which CEO Mark Zuckerberg and co. talked about the company and its progress. During the call, the Oculus Rift was discussed, with Zuckerberg reiterating that this is a long-term project that shouldn’t be expected to become very successful just yet. The CEO revealed that 100.000 developer kits for the Oculus Rift has been sold thus far, but the company needs to sell a lot more if the device is to have a meaningful impact on the market. According to the head of Facebook, the virtual reality headset has to sell around 50-100 million units in order to achieve that. In other words, it still has a long way to go, although the device is certainly already becoming pretty popular.
“As I’ve said before, with Oculus we’re making a long-term bet on the future of computing”, Zuckerberg explained. “Every 10-15 years a new major computing platform arrives, and we think virtual and augmented reality are important parts of this upcoming next platform. This quarter Oculus continued to make progress towards this vision. In September, the first Oculus developer conference took place where we announced a new prototype VR headset on the path to the consumer version of the Rift. We continue to see a lot of excitement in the developer community, and we’ve now shipped more than 100,000 Rift developer kits to over 130 countries. It’s still early days for Oculus, but we’re encouraged to see the variety of apps and games being developed for the platform. Our efforts here will take longer to achieve their full impact, but we’re going to continue preparing for the future by investing aggressively.”
The CEO of Facebook believes that it will take some more years before the Oculus Rift will be considered an important platform for consumers. The VR headset is valuable for developers at the moment and less so for the masses as it doesn’t feature a whole lot of games and apps. This is expected to change next summer when a consumer version of the Oculus Rift will be launched for a rather affordable price. The exact cost has not been announced yet, but it is believed that this version will cost somewhere between $200 and $400. Aside from launching a consumer version, Oculus also unveiled a marketplace service specifically designed for virtual reality apps. The service is very similar to Valve’s Steam and will allow developers to sell their apps for a fair price. The Oculus Platfom will not only support the Oculus Rift, but also Samsung’s Gear VR as well as VR apps for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer.