Facebook Says Oculus Rift Unlikely to Release in 2015

By | 1 year ago 

Virtual Reality is slowly on its way back into the mainstream, and it’s all thanks to the Oculus Rift and Sony’s Project Morpheus. Admittedly, the Oculus has been in the public eye longer than the Morpheus, but it’s hard to deny that these two products are making moves to bring VR back. And in a big way.

Both pieces of hardware are still in development, but its been long enough for both that people have to start wondering when these devices will come out. In the case of Oculus’ technology, the dev kits have been available for quite some time, but when it comes to a public release – one that would allow the average consumer to get in on the VR experience – details on release dates have ranged from scarce to speculative. Though, there was once the idea that the Oculus Rift would launch this Summer.

Oculus VR co-founder Palmer Luckey said recently that a 2015 release would be unlikely, alongside the idea that it would be the most affordable headset to come out. And although some out there may have continued to hold out hope for such a thing, today’s news could possibly kill any enthusiasm for a 2015 consumer launch.

If Facebook CFO Dave Wehner’s words during an earnings call are anything to go by (via IGN), the launch of Oculus Rift will skip this year entirely:

“We have not announced any specific plans for shipment volumes in 2015 related to Oculus. I’d just note that Oculus is very much in the development stage, so it’s early to be talking about large shipment volumes, and our expense guidance reflects any volumes that we might do in 2015.”

Oculus Rift Low Latency Head Tracking

Of course, this isn’t a clear answer on whether or not the Oculus Rift hardware will debut this year, but it’s becoming more and more likely that it’ll move to 2016, or later. Say one thing for Oculus, they like to take their time.

Whenever the headset does finally release, however, it’ll have to sell a decent amount to be considered successful. According to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the Oculus Rift has to sell between 50 and 100 million units. One of the biggest social networks may be backing the project, but how well it performs will depend on how it’s marketed, and if it can convince people that it’s worth owning.

Regarding this, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg stated that there are “no plans to work with our marketers in the way you described,” in response to Wehner. Perhaps this particular course of action has yet to be decided upon as well.

Are you excited for the Oculus Rift, or is virtual reality something you have no interest in at this point?

Sources: Facebook, IGN