Facebook held its Q3 2019 earnings call late last week, and Oculus again found itself in the center stage as one of the company’s most visible of projects. Company founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that although their plans for VR & AR is “taking a bit longer” than they thought to manifest as mainstream products, he’s still optimistic in its future.

Responding to an analyst’s question during the company’s Q3 earnings call, Zuckerberg had this to say:

“On VR and AR, you’re right that this is taking a bit longer than we thought. And I’m still optimistic. I think that the long-term vision and the reasons why I thought this was going to be important and big are unchanged. So we’re seeing a lot of people use these products and love them. And because of that, I think that we’re still going to get there.”

Zuckerberg maintains that while the multi-million-person userbase might still be “a few years further out” and “it might be more expensive to develop,” the company will be funding it until it does regardless.

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Despite its recent Oculus hardware releases and Portal line of video calling devices, Zuckerberg admits that Facebook isn’t traditionally a hardware or operating systems company. As the years go by though, he predicts Facebook will continue to build its brand around Oculus, making the company “better off when [virtual reality] is really ready to be a completely mainstream thing with hundreds of millions of people using it.”

Image courtesy Oculus

To that effect, Zuckerberg says the company is selling Quest, its $400 standalone VR headset, as fast as they can make them.

“The demand has been strong, and the content is starting to pick up, both on the AAA really high-quality side and some of the indie stuff that I think is quite good. I’m just — I’m very excited about what we’re seeing and very optimistic about the future.”

Besides the launch of Quest in May 2019, the company is looking forward to two important product offerings, namely Oculus Link, which will allow Quest to play Rift platform games via a VR-ready PC and USB 3.0 cable, and Facebook Horizon, the company’s latest social VR app that looks to reboot the now defunct Facebook Spaces.

Although the company is funding less exclusive games by sheer number, it vows to bring bigger, more expensive projects to the forefront such as Insomniac Games’ upcoming shooter Stormland, Sanzaru Games’ Asgard’s Wrath (2019), Lone Echo II from Ready at Dawn, and Medal of Honor: Above & Beyond from Respawn Entertainment.

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  • JesuSaveSouls

    Facebook has vision and funding.They need do a epic vr game as the likes of gta5 without the vulgarity and immorality.
    Like grand thriving automated world.A version similar to the former but breaking boundaries into the latter.See gta 5 when modded or injected can look magnificent in vr.

    • Trenix

      Facebook does not care about your experience at all.

    • Foreign Devil

      Yeah GTA would be a real hoot if you couldn’t do anything immoral or break any laws. These simulations are a healthy outlet to play out those fantasies rather than real life.

      • Fred

        Catharsis is bogus concept. With violent games its Monkey See Monkey Do!

        • Clownworld14

          No it isn’t. That’s utter BS.

          • Fred

            Every mass murderer has their favorite violent games and movies. Perhaps the makers of these should be charged a tax for the number of lives they ruin so you can keep your First Amendment that was originally intended for political freedom of speech and not creating psychopaths.

    • Clownworld14

      ” without the vulgarity and immorality.” – you sound like a boring boomer. The whole reason these games are fun is precisely is because you can do stuff you can’t in real life, and its a fun outlet.

  • 144Hz

    Current VR headsets are still too clunky, uncomfortable, and heavy for most people. Stuff the tech into a pair of goggles, make it look cool, and people will buy it quickly.

    • Trenix

      Not going to happen anytime soon. The valve Index is honestly really comfortable though. Surprisingly more comfortable than an Oculus.

      • MeowMix

        Rift S is plenty comfy, thanks to the SONY PSVR Halo design.

    • Jack Liddon

      The Valve Index is pretty comfy…but it’s expensive. The Rift feels so old and primitive compared to it. I wasn’t 100% convinced that that would be the case until I spent a couple weeks using it.

    • Clownworld14

      small steps, we cant jump straight to that tech without having the foundation of proper VR. Same with personal computers, we didnt get to where we are now, without building big bulky machines first.

  • aasdfa

    Let Facebook burn the money they made off of your privacy.

    • Trenix

      I’m certain they aren’t losing a single cent. They can sell headsets at a loss and still earn it back with the data you unknowingly gave them. Remember, facebook is free for a reason. Sure they can make money from other ways, but it’s mostly from your data.

      • Brian (Suitch)

        Actually, it is mostly from Ad revenue.

        • Ohni Starfall

          That’s exactly how lots of the data harvesting works. They see your interests, sell that data to companies so those companies can push ads to you that are usually in line with what you seem to be interested in.

  • slumsale

    I guess Quest didn’t sell as well as he was hoping.

    • Trenix

      Been saying that quite a bit around here and been downvoted and insulted for it. Fans keep saying sales were impressive, well it’s all been a lie. Facebook did not meet their goals in sales. While I thought it’d be good to have more VR users, they also brought in developers that are making watered down video games. The link thing might improve the steamvr experience, with increased sales, players, and potential developers. Aside from that, Facebook ruined Oculus. If Oculus Rift 2.0 was out, it would of dominated the market and probably drawn in more dedicated customers. I might have even bought it, despite hating Facebook.

      Sales also could of been effected because Facebook is a sketchy company. Pretty weird how Oculus switched into have cameras that record your room rather than the previous tracking. Sounds way too suspicious as they’re being sued for billions. You really think Mark got involved in VR because he really enjoyed it and believe he was going to profit from it? I doubt it. Bet the headsets pay for themselves with the data they steal from you.

      • CURTROCK

        Maybe the reason you are getting downvoted & insulted, because you call people “scumbags” and you pedal in conspiracy theories, and don’t really seem to have a clue about what bringing VR to the masses actually entails.

        • Trenix

          Mark is a scumbag, he referred to his users as dumb fucks for sending private and personal messages on his social media platform. To be fair, he’s actually right. You’re the same dumb fucks that bought his VR headset and are now sharing even more personal data to him. Dude, I had websites being removed in my private messages. These are my messages, how is a company going to regulate what I say to others?

          You can call everything a conspiracy that you can’t comprehend and confirm online in a matter of seconds, like the fact that he was sued and paid 5 billion to resolve us investigation in privacy violations. But that doesn’t automatically mean you won the argument or that you’re right. I can careless of how many facebook fans bandwagon in attempt to debunk something that’s widely known as fact. Maybe take the headset off and go educate yourself, do a little research.

          • Dude

            You’re using Disqus while complaining about people being ‘dumb fucks’ for ignoring problematic data-sharing TOS ffs.

      • Justos

        Mark literally said they are selling quests as fast as they can make them. This is cognitive bias at best. Just because we have years to go for mainstream adoption doesnt mean it isnt doing well.

        You’re being downvoted for being an asshat

        • Trenix

          Can people really be this stupid? They had a target of selling over 1 million by the end of the year, it’s widely known and available all over the interent. They’ve yet to reach half of that. For crying out loud, anything Mark would say, you guys would mindlessly believe it. I’m truly concerned with our generation. What do you think Mark was gonna say, “Sorry guys we fucked up”? Are you mentally retarded? Do you know business at all? What a great statement to make for current and future investors!

          If Mark estimated that he would sell one million by 2020, I’m sure he’d make sure that he was able to manufacture that amount in the given time, fucking basics. If Mark didn’t figure that shit out, he’s a shit CEO. Now go brown-nose some more to Zuck, “dumb fuck” as he calls you.

          • ComfyWolf

            I can’t find anywhere that they had a target of 1 million by the end of the year, I can see other people estimating 1 million, but not Facebook or Mark themselves. The closest thing I could find was Mark saying he wanted to get 1 billion people in vr. So I don’t know what you mean by available all over the internet.

            I don’t know how you can’t see the importance of getting vr more accessible to the masses, and Facebook is currently the only company trying to do it. I don’t like Facebook at all, they don’t care about privacy, they do sell user data, they’re terrible, but I’m not going to disregard the positive impact they’re having on vr. Just because it hasn’t sold a million headsets yet doesn’t mean that it’s not having a positive impact, especially over a longer term as more people start to take notice and become aware of it. Currently most vr users already have pcvr headsets with little reason to switch to the Quest, it’s all about getting it to appeal to new users as a cheaper more accessible option, and that takes time.

          • Arek A

            You assuming things? or using facts for you theories?

      • Clownworld14

        Im kindda hoping that facebook is failing, because they are not a dedicated gaming industry, but a social media company with their crappy mobile apps that no serious gamer bothers with. & they’re trying the same cheap apps crap with vr leading to an unpolished experience.

        I’m putting my money on Valve Index.

  • dfffffff

    There is no money to make for the average developer in VR right now. That’s the problem. Meaning we are gonna keep starving in VR content that rivals the upcoming PS5/XBONEX. Zuckerberg is just trying to coat the crock of shit with whip cream for investors.

  • Mateusz Pawluczuk

    Considering FB prior to Oculus had no foothold in hardware any userbase will be considered a progress (assuming it doesn’t stagnate and keeps growing).

    • Mike Porter

      FB gets third parties such as Xiaomi (Quest, Go), Lenovo (Rift S) and Goertek (Rift) to manufacture the headsets. They just provide some designs and the Facebook and Oculus brands to slap on the hardware. Facebook is not a hardware company either. Oculus DK1 and DK2 had pretty decent build quality, Facebook was the last company needed for better hardware.

      • Immersive Computing

        Valve use similar ODM in China (rumoured to be Goertek) to build Index headset and controllers. Only base stations are built in USA by another ODM “Flex” in buffalo grove Illinois.

        Many “brands” do not have their own manufacturing facilities, but partner with ODM

      • MeowMix

        Oh come on, Oculus still has hardware designers and engineers. The actual manufacturing by Xiomi, Lenovo, Goertek is the last rung in the process. The hardware design process is still something FB largely lacked until they acquired Oculus.

        Next your gonna tell me every US electronics company isn’t in the hardware business.

  • Matilde Constance

    Things will not change until there are quality glasses.
    Light, comfortable and with good image quality

    • Rex the Runt

      The problem is – every headset does ONE feature well but none of them tick every box – Resolution: HP Reverb, Frame rate: Index, FoV: Pimax, Lightweight: Quest, Library: Vive & Rift, Easy setup: WMR, the next gen headset that brings all those key specs in one unit will crush it.

      • Brian (Suitch)

        Quest is one of the least lightweight, actually. It excels in its freedom. Wireless and ease of set up are what makes it so strong a contender for mainstream VR. I have an Index, Rift, Vive, and Quest, and I play my Quest the most. It still blows my mind I choose it so often over my Index to play games that are on it.

  • Mike Porter

    I don’t want sound pessimistic, but I think it’s realistic to say anyone who would have their company invest 2+ billion USD on a project would have to keep justifying it whether they personally really believed in the justification or not.

    • Trenix

      How does facebook make money? Hmm…. data. How can we get more data from people without them knowing? Oh lets hook them up to headset, record them, and record their surroundings. Hell, if I was a scumbag like Mark, I’d do the same thing. Everything is working as intended, Mark lost nothing, investors lost nothing.

      • Mike Porter

        Except if almost nobody (<1million is almost nobody) buys that your theory becomes moot.

        • Trenix

          That’s what they aimed for, but instead got around 400,000 units sold instead. Data is also different, it’s not just browser searches and user input, but rather audio and video. That’s a lot of money to make off of the data they’re getting from 400k users.

          • Clownworld14

            what data are they selling you say exactly? What movies I like to watch? What my fav series are? Who my family is? This is worthless data. They make most of their dosh on ads.
            If they sell emails, then fine, but who cares, most emails have spam filters now.

            Edward Snowden pretty much exposed that anyone and everyone who has a mobile phone is being monitored, anyone with a webcam, or microphone can be recorded by the powers that be. In this world, its impossible to avoid.

            Unless you’re telling me you live off the grid… clearly you don’t, because they monitor the websites you visit too if you use Firefox or Google Chrome.& internet explorer. Its all at their finger tips.

            Freaking out about Mark exclusively, when all big tech giants can and are doing the same shit….is futile.
            Ed Snowden told us the truth.

          • Mike Porter

            So the different kind of data from only 400K people is profitable? Okay, got any evidence to back that up?

        • mepy

          But he’s exactly right. Unless you press the “privacy” button in the Oculus Quest web browser every time you open it all your search data goes to Facebook.

  • Skippy76

    I think what is slowing down VR progression is the complexity of it all.. People are lazy and want simple tech.. Like turning on the tv and grabbing the ps4 controller.
    The Quest probably could have launched better if it supported more games and didnt force people to repurchase their library at a much higher peice for a crappier version.

    Everyone I show my HTV Vive to are amazed at it and want to get one.. But then they quickly forget it when they find out how much it costs to have a setup. Its a really huge investment just to play video games. I find its totally worth it but your average Jo and Jane doesnt….

    • Clownworld14

      THIS. I find everyone i show, loves my HTV Vive, but don’t want to invest so much into a complex machine they wouldn’t know how to use or even acquire.
      I love it tho, being part of an exclusive VR gaming community. Pavlov and even PokersuperstarsVR, are incredibly worth it!

  • MeowMix

    This should be updated to ‘FACEBOOK CEO’

  • Considering the fact that in Q3 they sold 2-300,000 Quests, they are not that fast at manufacturing hardware…

  • MW

    He’s right. From my observation problems of mass entertainment VR:

    – too high cost for to little.
    Cost of money, rendering power, room space, uncomfortable headset is still unjustified by experience for most of the market

    – we still don’t know how to create competitive VR content.
    Especially now, when people are so distracted by many things, they don’t have time,and they get use to fast-food-entertaiment slow, passive and shallow VR content is doomed.
    Traditional games/movies are too high quality and mature to compete with them by silly simple ‘experiences’.

    – unresolved problem of movement in VR
    HMD is just not enough. Most of immersion is lost when you cannot move in natural way.
    We have to find out how to use our legs in VR.

    • nejihiashi88

      this will be solved when foveated rendering is implemented the performance gains will make vr headset more convenient than tvs with much better visuals and experiences

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  • dota

    ‘I will put wool over ur eyes’ unquote
    After quest he should now target Spiderman like glasses
    based on optical waveguides which would work with
    pocket based cell phone connected with USB 3

  • PJ

    Games, the content needs to be there, and big IP’s sell hardware, Oculus need to get some developer to port some older games to the Quest, imagine playing Battlefield 2 on the Quest! Epic!

  • Ombra Alberto

    I’m sorry that Facebook has not yet realized that if it opened its doors to all VR viewers on its Home at this time it would be an undisputed leader of the VR scene. Accelerating the spread of virtual reality.

    But the main mistake is not to release a CV2 for 2020.

    Many people are waiting for the second generation of VR devices.

    • Ohni Starfall

      The existing player base of VR will continue to wait beyond 2020. Valve index just released and it’s still considered a Gen 1 Headset. Far more people are waiting to get into Gen 1 but the cost is still keeping them at bay. Quest and Rift S aims to cut the cost down especially when strategic price cuts over the next couple of years make things like Quest & Rift S much more affordable.

    • mepy

      I agree with you, Oculus needs a quality headset also, something much better than the Rift S or Quest. Some competition in the high end market would be good for VR overall.

  • Ardra Diva

    I remain convinced that Zuck invested in this because he believes they can glean way more data about us in a 360-degree VR share than a 2D picture.

  • mepy

    Oculus needs to seriously reconsider their business model. Nobody likes such a constricted and unfree system, either they are Facebook or they are Oculus, they can’t be both without people feeling they have too much control over their life and experiences. e.g. with the Quest where;

    1. Games and software is locked to their brand of headsets through Oculus Home.
    2. Oculus decides what games and apps are released and available for purchase.
    3. Browsing data is collected in their web-browser, and there are no alternative web-browsers etc. while turning off into private mode is made complicated.
    4. Who knows what other data they collect on and in other software?