Facebook held its Q4 2020 earnings call yesterday and just like previous calls, this one offered an interesting look into how well VR is doing for the company and its plans for the future. As expected Oculus Quest 2 sales have been doing great and there was even confirmation that its successor was in the works.
After Facebook’s Q3 earnings call saw CEO Mark Zuckerberg reveal that Oculus Quest 2 at its cheaper £299 price point managed to achieve 5x the pre-orders of the original, in this recent call he noted its: “on track to be the first mainstream virtual reality headset.” He then went onto say: “I think that Facebook has done more than any other company to help bring virtual reality to the mainstream.”
While there were no actual unit figures released – as per usual – Facebook’s CFO Dave Wehner did mention the positive impact the Oculus Quest2 has had on revenue: “Other revenue was $885 million, up 156%, due to strong Quest 2 holiday sales. We’ve been encouraged by the positive reception of Quest 2 since its October launch.”
What the company considers ‘mainstream’ is unclear, whether it’s looking at purely headsets in customers hands or the amount of revenue generated from content to sustain developers. Way back in 2014 not long after Facebook had acquired Oculus, Zuckerberg said that for VR to be “a very meaningful thing” it needed to hit “50 to 100 million units.” Those numbers have very likely be revised because during Oculus Connect 5 (OC5) in 2018 it dropped to 10 million users as the threshold to hit. The only headset to get near those numbers is PlayStation VR with Sony Interactive Entertainment seemingly in no rush to release a successor.
Facebook, on the other hand, isn’t slowing down. Work on a new headset is already underway and it’ll be a follow up to the Oculus Quest 2 with compatibility with existing content.
“So we’re continuing to work on new hardware as well. The new hardware will kind of fit the same platform. So the content that works on Quest 2 should be forward compatible. And so that way we’re going to build one kind of larger installed base around the virtual reality headsets that we have,” Zuckerberg adds.
2021 may be just as big a year for Facebook’s VR plans as 2020, so keep reading VRFocus for further updates.