Facebook Confirms Another New Oculus Quest Headset Currently in Development
Facebook had its Q4 2020 earnings calls yesterday and like other calls in the past, there was a lot to be gleaned on how virtual reality is panning out for the company as well as its VR plans for the future. Facebook noted that its recently released Oculus Quest 2 was doing impressively in the sales department. Facebook also confirmed that a successor to the new standalone virtual reality headset is already in the works.
During Facebook’s Q3 earnings call, the tech giant’s boss Mark Zuckerberg had revealed that the now wildly successful Oculus Quest 2 headset had realized five times the pre-orders of the original Quest headset over the same time duration.
In the latest earnings call yesterday, Zuckerberg declared that the Oculus Quest 2 headset is now “on track to be the first mainstream virtual reality headset.” Zuckerberg also declared that his company had done “more than any other company to help bring virtual reality to the mainstream.” No one can dispute that.
While Facebook did not reveal any concrete sales figures for its VR headsets, the company’s CFO Dave Wehner mentioned the impact that the new Quest 2 headset had on Facebook’s revenue stating that the company’s other revenues grew 156% year-on-year to $885 million as a result of the strong Quest 2 holiday sales. Facebook says that it has been encouraged by the strong positive demand for its Oculus Quest 2 headset since its October launch.
It isn’t clear what Facebook is alluding to with the “mainstream” comment; whether it is referring purely to the headsets that are in customers’ hands or the amount of revenue which has been generated from the content that supports the developers in its VR content ecosystem.
In 2014, Zuckerberg had noted that VR needed to reach “5o to 100 million units” to be a “very meaningful thing.” Those threshold figures for a “meaningful” VR phenomenon were revised down to 10 million during the Oculus Connect 5 (OC5) in 2018. Currently, it is only PlayStation VR that has come close to attaining that lofty threshold although Sony Interactive Entertainment still doesn’t appear to be in much of a hurry to release a successor to the PSVR.
Facebook, on the other hand, is powering full steam ahead with new hardware launches and developments. Facebook is already working on the successor to the Oculus Quest 2 that was launched just a few months ago. This new headset will be a follow-up to the Quest 2 in terms of both content and compatibility.
In the earnings call released yesterday, Zuckerberg confirmed that Facebook is working on new hardware that “will kind of fit the same platform.” He revealed that the content that currently works on Quest will be forward-compatible with the new hardware that Facebook is currently developing. As a result, Facebook will be developing some kind of one larger installed base around the VR headsets that it currently has.
It’s still the early days but this year may shape up into another big one for Facebook in VR.