At Oculus Connect’s opening keynote today, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg took to the stage to drive home the company’s commitment to the virtual reality space. How much commitment? Some $500M worth.

Amid a flurry of announcements at Oculus Connect 3’s opening keynote, the central message of the event is that content is crucial and, now that the VR industry is moving beyond the initial challenges of delivering hardware that works, it’s the presence of truly groundbreaking and compelling VR experiences that will make or break immersive technology as the next platform.


To drive this message home Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, who acquired Oculus in 2014 for $2Bn, took to the stage to take part in a confident and altogether impressive demonstration of the company’s latest advancements in social VR. After rejoining the real world, Zuckerberg went on to highlight how much money Oculus and Facebook are pumping into the development community to help ensure becomes a lasting phenomenon. “We’re really committed in helping this community build all kinds of [VR] experiences,” said Zuckerberg going on to state that, “we have already invested more then $250M dollars into this community, to fund the development all kinds of content.” Zuckerberg then went on to pledge to developer that Oculus and Facebook will pump a further $250M into future content projects.

Video: Watch Mark Zuckerberg Demo Facebook's Latest Social VR Prototype


Oculus have repeatedly stated that sitting back and waiting for high-quality virtual reality games and applications to appear isn’t good enough. Their strategy since well before the consumer Rift launch has been to actively stimulate and support developers keen to help build VR content in a small, risky marketplace – helping them mitigate that risk. This has led to some controversy over the resulting platform exclusives which have emerged, but it’s an approach that has arguably led to some compelling VR software.

Platform Politics: Inside the Oculus and 'Revive' Dilemma

The approach isn’t unique to Oculus of course. Although Valve have admitted to funding development for VR projects, they are characteristically coy about precisely how, or indeed how much. SteamVR partners HTC – manufacturers of the Vive – recently launched initiatives to inject $100M into help grow the VR industry with its Vive X program.

HTC's $100 Million 'Vive X' VR Accelerator Announces First 33 Investments
Newsletter graphic

This article may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product we may receive a small commission which helps support the publication. More information.

Based in the UK, Paul has been immersed in interactive entertainment for the best part of 27 years and has followed advances in gaming with a passionate fervour. His obsession with graphical fidelity over the years has had him branded a ‘graphics whore’ (which he views as the highest compliment) more than once and he holds a particular candle for the dream of the ultimate immersive gaming experience. Having followed and been disappointed by the original VR explosion of the 90s, he then founded to follow the new and exciting prospect of the rebirth of VR in products like the Oculus Rift. Paul joined forces with Ben to help build the new Road to VR in preparation for what he sees as VR’s coming of age over the next few years.
  • Sponge Bob

    It’s same as early days photography or cinema

    until VR content creation by ordinary people is made cheap and easy it’s not gonna be a household thing

    We don’t need specially trained people and costly equipment to make photos or shoot movies anymore
    Same with VR – easy means of VR content creation by ordinary people, indoors, outdoors, everywhere… not just games, but real life objects (at least not moving objects except for turtles :-)

  • Mastrius0713

    You can have affordable VR easy. There are guides all over the internet that show you how with just a smartphone. I even bought myself a “VR Box” smartphone viewer for $15 on amazon.

    • Mr. New Vegas

      Its not the same thing, what you have there is just a taste of actual VR, but its far from real and complete experience.

      • Mastrius0713

        Just a taste? The phones we have today have G-Sensor tracking just like the Rift, not to mention apps like Trinus VR allow you to link it to and play games on your computer using either USB or Wifi. Not to mention there are apps that let you play sound from your computer to your phone so you can pretty much have a wireless all in one VR headset.

        • Mr. New Vegas

          It all sounds nice on paper. But when you compare both, its not the same thing.
          For starters, VR headsets use 90Hz to 120Hz screens with low persistence, Phones do 60Hz.
          The sensors are not the same quality, that why GearVR has set of sensors inside the headset.
          The whole HMD is optimized for low input lag and delay, Phones cant do that.
          Wireless streaming adds additional delay that makes serious gaming unplayable, thats the reason why every HMD has cables, HTC is working on proper wireless solution (meaning that there is no of the shelf solution with low input lag right now).
          Optics quality is not the same, you cant compare the lenses in 400-600$ device to 15$-100$ devices.
          Game optimization, you might have some Cardboard optimized android games, but when you stream from PC you use a converter, the game is not optimized for your device.
          You have no VR controllers, like the Oculus Touch of Vive .
          Mobile based VR can only do Up-Down, Left-Right, no depth, for Depth you need camera based sensors or inside-out tracking (the last is not yet available in commercial devices)