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.
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.”
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.