Addressing shareholders during Facebook’s Q2 2019 earnings call last week, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that unit sales of Oculus Quest are exceeding the available supply of the headset.

Facebook and Oculus have always been mum about sales figures for their VR headsets, but Zuckerberg confirmed what seemed apparent from the lack of Quest stock at major retailers since launch: supply is struggling to keep up with demand. The comments came during Facebook’s Q2 2019 earnings call last week where Zuckerberg highlighted the launch of Quest in his remarks to shareholders.

This quarter, we shipped Oculus Quest, our first all-in-one headset with no wires and full freedom of movement. It has gotten great reviews and we’re selling them as fast as we can make them. More importantly, we’ve delivered an experience that people keep using week after week, and buying more content.

Indeed, Quest has been difficult to find in stock in North America and Europe, from both Oculus and official retailers, for some two months since the headset’s launch. At times, the headset wasn’t expected to ship for at least a month from the order date.

Road to VR reached out to Oculus for comment on the situation, and while the company wouldn’t speak directly to the circumstances, an Oculus spokesperson said the company is working hard to make sure the headset is readily available.

“We’re thrilled with the reception to Quest and look forward to getting it into more people’s hands,” the spokesperson said.

Image courtesy Oculus

The nature of the shortage is unclear, but three potential explanations seem most likely: Facebook underestimated demand, some factor outside of the company’s control (like a component shortage) is constraining manufacturing, or they chose to suffer an initial launch shortage in order to not ramp manufacturing beyond what would be necessary in the long-term. As far as we know, the Rift S shouldn’t be a factor because Oculus partnered with Lenovo to manufacture the headset.

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Just within the last week or so, Quest stock appears to be returning to healthy levels, with the headset estimated to ship directly from Oculus to North America within three days, and to most European regions within one. Meanwhile, stock in the UK appears to be the most constrained currently, with the headset not expected to ship for a week after ordering. Facebook has refrained from offering any of its consumer VR headsets for sale in China.

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During the earnings call, Zuckerberg further painted Quest as “superior in many ways” to the original Rift, while steering clear of directly mentioning the company’s latest PC VR headset, Rift S, which launched on the same day.

There’s still a lot of work ahead to develop this ecosystem and deliver the future of VR and AR products that we dream of, but [the launch of Quest] is an important milestone. In a few years, we’ve improved the state of the art from the original Rift, which cost $600 and needed to be tethered to a $1000 PC, to now Quest, which costs $400 all-in, and is a superior experience in many ways. There’s going to be even more innovation over the next few years, and we now have the platform we’re going to build on going forward.

He also took the opportunity to reaffirm his belief in Facebook’s long-term approach to AR and VR, assuring shareholders that the company has no intentions to abandon the tech despite the waning interest in a VR platform play from competitors like Google.

The reason augmented and virtual reality will deliver a qualitatively better experience than traditional computing platforms is that they deliver the feeling of presence—that you’re actually there with another person or in another place. The feeling of presence is so important to social interactions and how we’re wired to interact as people. So even if it has taken longer than we expected to deliver this at scale, I continue to believe that this will be one of the most important contributions we make to the way we all use technology over the long-term.

Following Zuckerberg’s comments, Facebook CFO David Wehner overviewed the company’s financial results for the second quarter, saying revenue in ‘Payments & Other Fees’ (which includes hardware products) was $262 million for the quarter (up 36%).

“This year-over-year growth was primarily driven by sales of new products, notably Oculus Quest and Rift S,” he added.

$262 million of course pales in comparison to the company’s tens of billions in quarterly advertising revenue, but it’s notable that sales of the headsets contributed meaningfully to ‘Payments & Other Fees’ revenue despite Quest and Rift S launching more than halfway through the quarter in question (not to mention stock shortages).

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Facebook seems pretty happy with Quest’s momentum thus far, and the headset does seem to be making a strong impression in the broader tech landscape with reviewers on sites like CNET calling it “the best thing I’ve tried this year.” How will we know if Facebook is really happy with sales? If they eventually choose to share official Quest unit sales it would be the first time they ever did so for any of their five VR headsets.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Dariusz Dziewa

    Great news !

  • Bob

    Here come the Facebook haters and conspiracy theorists in three…two…one…

    • Who’s this?

      You can hate Facebook and still be happy about the growth of VR. And it’s not a “conspiracy theory” whatever you’re imagining. Trying to dismiss facts about actual dealings by making fun of them ahead of time is immature to say the least.

      • aasd

        this. I hate fb, but cant ignore that theyve pushed vr a lot faster than others and its helped a lot.

    • Ace of Spades

      Facebook is trash brand, trash company and its head is a danger to society [and traitor] i wish some crazy nutter snipers his head like watermelon.

      I dont mind them investing all the money they scammed from people into VR thou.

      • Chris Blackburn

        I think that’s the hater and conspiracy guy right there that you are talking about, but yeah Facebook is pushing the tech forward at least which means progress all around far as I’m concerned

    • Trenix

      Yes, Cuck got fined $5 billion for nothing.

  • ThinkingWithBrain

    Quest is inferior to original Rift.

    • asshat

      then how come i use my quest more than my rift? retard

      • Adrian Meredith

        don’t take the bait…

    • Zachary Scott Dickerson

      Different price point, different audience, comment is irrelevant.

      • vtid

        Not really an irrelevant comment based on what they were replying to. I agree re different target audience but clearly the cv1 is still the greatest Rift out there in almost all areas. Ok I know it’s subjective, but also its mostly true from a technical standpoint too.

        • Justos

          1. Inferior display resolution and pixel fill
          2. Inferior optics, more SDE and godrays
          3. Permanently tethered to a computer, which
          a) affects your playspace as well as when/where you play,
          b) reduces immersion and willingness to ‘let loose’ IE less fun
          4. More friction, leading to less usage

          this is why the cv1 is inferior in some ways, and theyre absolutely right. I havent touched mine since the day quest has arrived. Waiting on no mans sky, and other games that arent possible on quest

          • vtid

            I think we’re heading into subjective territory. Personally the tether has never bothered me, and the incredible audio of the CV1 is far more important for immersion than the tether that I don’t even notice.

            The power of a PC and far-wider selection of available apps are massive plus-point for the CV1. Look at the visual differences of Robot Recall on the CV1 and the Quest.

            I would be using the exact same playspace whether using tethered or not so that doesn’t affect me either.

            Essentially I was replying about someone who was saying the Quest is better than the CV1. To me that is absolutely not true.

            But as I’ve said, different devices for different audiences. The Quest is perfect for some people and it looks absolutely fantastic for certain things, but after 3 years with my CV1, Quest is very-much a downgrade for a VR enthusiast, in my opinion, and the Rift S….Let’s not even speak of that! :)

          • Bob

            Are you actually making the argument that the Oculus Rift has better visuals than the Oculus Rift S?

            If you are may I strongly recommend an immediate visit to your nearest opticians.

          • vtid

            No I didn’t mention that at all. I think it’s your eyesight that needs checking.

    • OkinKun

      Actually not really. It depends on what you’re measuring. Graphically, sure, the Rift can do more thanks to being powered by a gaming PC. But when it comes to the overall experience, there’s a lot to be said for being totally wireless, and able to setup huge tracking areas. The Quest feels next gen, on a totally different level than most other headsets, thanks to it’s wireless freedom, and ease of use plays a big part in that too. You can make a whole garage a tracking space, or even use a large outside space like a tennis court, if you have enough shade. And it’s a total game changer, lol, for how VR games feel.
      Resolution and even FOV looks better on my Quest.
      I use my Quest a lot more than my Rift these days.. and when I try to use my Rift, I’m always extremely annoyed by the cable, omg I can’t even describe how horrible going back to a tethered headset is!
      Plus, major UE4 and Unity updates are going to make Quest games look even better soon. ;P

  • The Bard

    Great news for VR. I hope Quest 2 will be released within 2 years. It should. With much stronger processor and GPU. streaming from PC.

    • Adrian Meredith

      If the original rift was like the first iphone, the quest is the iphone 3g. Thats where we are relatively speaking with VR. The problem is a lot of people seem to expect fb to go straight to iphone X. We’ll get there, just give it time!

      • asdfasdfasdf

        they dont even need the stronger gpu and cpu if theyre streaming from pc. its insane, idk how people are overlooking that. just make a headset like a terminal thats good with bandwith and now its wireless pcvr

        • Peter K

          but not everyone has the internet speed to stream from pc.

          • Lynx

            You don’t need internet just a fast router which anybody can get. There is now Wifi6 where streaming with Alvr was used on the last gen routers. There is now emerging a superior video compression technology Av1. You can already do it now with a sideloading software to the quest. It is likely the quest will complete against the rift s so oulus is being slow to have it built in.

        • If it’s meant to do both (standalone and PC streaming) the GPU and CPU on future models should be upgraded.

    • Smokey_the_Bear

      I would bet the Quest II will release in 2022, 3 years after the original. I would bet it will use tech like google’s Stadia, to stream the high res game straight to ur face. It will of course have a much higher resolution & field of view.

      • Nostrildumbass

        Just wanted to drop in and say we are now 5 years past this comment and have Quest 3 with VERY good wireless PC streaming and WAY better visuals and power.

    • Nostrildumbass

      Just wanted to drop in and say we are now 5 years past this comment and have Quest 3 with VERY good wireless PC streaming and WAY better visuals and power.

  • Zachary Scott Dickerson

    We love our Quest. I have Index, Vive and Oculus Rift. All are good, but many games I prefer the lightweight quick bootup wireless option. In depth games I prefer my index, but it’s a hell of a lot of money, so Quest is our best hope to grow VR.

    • Foreign Devil

      Since you have “Index” best of current high en VR. . what do you like to play on the Quest over the other platforms?

      • gothicvillas

        I’m curious too. I have Index and can not imagine what would I prefer on Quest.

        • Ender772

          he just said…wireless games…like beatabser im guessing

          • gothicvillas

            But beat saber on Index at 120/144 frames and wider FOV + the audio… to each his own I guess

          • asdfasdfasdf

            yupp the cables, the set up, the ability to only play it at your house by your pc are all weighing it down. I can bring my quest to my parents and everyone can play. its nuts

          • Ace of Spades

            Its not graphical game, Wireless beats Wires.
            Thats why I have the S, its in the middle, no idiotic sensors, just one cable.

          • dsadas

            Quest has OLED screens instead of LCD, No god rays and it’s WIRELESS.

  • Ender772

    facebook makes the quest? strange….since facebook is one of the few things you cannot do with a quest

    • Justos

      huh? There are multiple ways to use fb on quest.

      Oculus Browser
      Sideloaded mobile app
      Facebook watch

  • Tailgun

    “Zuckerberg further painted Quest as ‘superior in many ways’ to the original Rift, while steering clear of directly mentioning the company’s latest PC VR headset, Rift S.”

    People lose their minds when I tell them the Rift S will be an abandoned product by the end of the holidays 2019. But there’s no doubt in my mind FB only put out the S as a sop to PCVR diehards before closing it down for good. The future for FB is a wireless, closed ecosystem just like a traditional gaming console.

    I sent back my Rift S and bought an Index and am happy with my decision — and I still enjoy my Quest, as well.

    • Bob

      ” Rift S will be an abandoned product by the end of the holidays 2019″

      Unlikely, very unlikely. Jason Rubin has already stated in an interview, although I’m not sure which one, that they intend to use the Rift S ecosystem as a test bed in order to launch games on the Quest. Currently gaining approval for Quest directly as a developer is difficult because a lot of requirements must be met therefore the easiest way to create for the Oculus platform is to get it on the Rift first. This means content can be carefully curated and adapted from the Rift ecosystem for the mass market device Quest in order to ensure the Quest ecosystem contains content that Facebook deems acceptable for mass market user. Essentially Facebook gather data of what works and what doesn’t with various pieces of content from the Rift and then approach the developer to port it down to the Quest.

      For this reason the Rift S device is needed at least until their next generation of device launches in a few years time which will most likely be one SKU that encompasses best of both worlds from both devices i.e wireless capability of the Quest, and the performance of the Rift S.

  • oompah

    Thumbs up
    Quest is great design, independent , VR thats the way to be.
    However I am looking forward to a more powerful implementation in future
    (that can run TES Skyrim like games)
    or quest can go the route of game streaming , as a thin client
    (similar to human brains that run on 10 watts but do exascale computing)
    so that big games (or matrix) can reside on the supercomputer/servers and make everyone believe to live in that.
    But still , the best design of quest would be one with waveguide optics.
    Mabbee Zuck will use some of his money to ‘procure’ waveguide optics tech.
    because , though quest is great, no one really likes a box on ur face for more than one hour and in office it looks so awkward.

  • MW

    Great but not for long. Mobile VR cannot go much further, and that’s the pain for VR users. Gpu/cpu development slows down, prices are higher every year. If decent gpu costs 500+ USD, needs 300+v of power and barely can go 4k60fps than where mobile VR can go…?

    • Ace of Spades

      You are completely wrong.
      1) For starters we already have “wireless HDMI” High Bandwidth short range wireless band that can do 4K streaming, so who said that portable VR has to be just Portable VR? Next iteration can add streaming from PC and that opens up portable VR HMD to be ultimate All-in-one device.
      2) Quest uses old Qualcomm chipset, they already have a much better one and they releasing a new updated Chipset every year.
      3) 5G Integration to enable mobile play and game streaming both your own games from home PC and paid games like Google wants to do.
      4) Reverse Integration: Connecting your HMD to TV and using it as “Android Box” to play 2D Games, Movies and TV series on TV/Monitor. [All they need to do is to add HDMI out on next iteration, mouse, keyboard, gamepad are all Bluetooth/Wirless or they can have USB 3.0 port that you attach a USB hub to it]

      • MW

        You don’t understand. I’m talking about high cost (money, power) of rendering hi res 3d images, and you about wires/no wires.
        And if I need powerful and expecive PC to power your HMD than we are not talking about mobile VR:) just normal PC HMD with/without cable.

        • Nimo

          5G is going to be amazing.
          In the meanwhile, I think I will buy a Quest because I want to play PCVR wirelessly so I’ll be using virtual desktop, and for games I care too much about a small latency, I can use a USB cable anyway.
          The standalone games are great for kids and casual gamers, and allows us me bring the Quest to my friends’ place and stuff like that. This is also awesome and I’m looking forward to it! Either way, I don’t think anyone needs standalone Quest games to have super powerful graphics, as long as it can be used as a PCVR headset (if the standalone games are fun, that’s enough!)

    • Oh yes it can. There is still a lot of room for mobile GPUs to expand (and Quest is using old tech to be honest). Upgrade the RGB cameras, add some depth cameras and you get into some AR territory and with 3d scanning and hands detection you won’t even need the touch controllers for some lightweight apps and games.

  • kool

    I’m not buying one until they get high end streaming over a 5g connection or at least a wifi connection. I’m good with the psvr until they figure everything out.

    • Etailer

      Quest has a WiFi connection

      • kool

        I hope they add some streaming capability to it so they can get high end graphics on it. I tried it recently and the graphics are way better than I expected.

        • Etailer

          Like the wireless adapter that the Vive had would be pretty cool. Also allow it to play all the Steam games.

          • kool

            Well was thinking of streaming a virtual PC over the net. Something like shadow gaming for vr. I heard people are already using WiFi to stream pcvr games with some side loading magic. I hope occulus makes an official program to extend the quests lifespan.

  • Jarilo

    So no sales numbers but just that quote? I mean the HP reverb is sold out as fast as they can make them too. lol Who cares.

    • Chris Blackburn

      But you do hear the reports of the constant problems plaguing the ho screens so they probably are staying sold out of their batches on purpose to fix and then re release

      • dsadas

        leave the retard alone, it’s cool to be negative these days.

        • Jarilo

          Yea, but you couldn’t. I love my haters.

      • Jarilo

        That’s right, my point being that products have many reasons to be sold out.

    • Dllemm

      Endless demand is every manufacturer’s dream. If you look around you’ll see that inventory is becoming available for both the Valve Quest and Steam Index. So initial demand has been met. Sales numbers will start to decrease.

      • Jarilo

        That’s right.

  • iThinkMyCatIsAFlea

    Z “…and we’re selling them as fast as we can make them.”

    Roadtovr “Indeed, Quest has been difficult to find in stock in North America and Europe, from both Oculus and official retailers, for some two months since the headset’s launch.”

    Zuckerberg is lying. Ok, the few headsets that they did make have sold. But Zuck is saying they are selling like hot cakes when in reality, they haven’t made any since the initial run. What a lying swine!

  • this is great news for oculus owners. if this keeps up by the end of the yr oculus platform will be the lead for most vr games which means far more games for us going forward. big 3rd party devs who hasn’t been willing to risk making a vr game now has a console style jump in point. by this time next yr we’ll see a lot of games coming to the platform from the bigger devs. not sure why people are focus on future hardware. when we currently need more games. I don’t care when the rift 2 or quest 2 comes out i’m glad oculus is giving devs more reasons to make vr games i’m in no rush for a new hmd but we need way more games

  • draez

    This is subjective. I mean, if it’s 3 grandmas in a sweatshop putting them together then ‘as fast as we can make them’ isnt that fast. ;)

  • oompah

    we make them
    whenever we sell them
    hah ha

  • Elvin Huntsberry

    I am sure they were happy with their sales. It’s obvious. It’s good to read this article.