Thanks to sources familiar with the matter, we anticipated that the Oculus Rift would finally reach consumer households next summer but only in beta form and in limited quantities to gauge public interest.
This seems even more likely after hearing what Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg discussed during the company's recent earnings call.
Apparently Zuck and co., have a long term plan set in place for the Rift headset but it will take awhile before it becomes a household name:
"It needs to reach a very large scale - 50 to 100 million units - before it will really be a very meaningful thing as a computing platform, so I do think it's going to take a bunch of years to get there. Maybe, I don't know - it's hard to predict exactly - but I don't think it's going to get to 50 or 100 million units in the next few years, right? That'll take a few cycles of the device to get there."
The development kits have also seen various iterations - from SDK 1 to Crystal Cove and so forth - and will likely continue to improve once the beta releases. But again, virtual reality is still a fresh space and you won't see the 100 million units just yet.
Zuck further elaborates his vision:
"And when you get to that scale, that's when it starts to be interesting as a business, in terms of developing out of the ecosystem. So when I'm talking about it as a 10-year thing, I'm talking about building the first set of devices, and then building the audience and the ecosystem around that, until it eventually becomes a business."
The in-house Oculus game dev team is probably helping accelerate the pace, and the funding provided by Facebook may explain the impending beta.
There are plenty of other VR fish in the sea, but right now Zuck states, "It's still early for Oculus."
- We've seen all of the Oculus Rift headsets, and so far we're pretty excited.