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VR/AR ‘Taking A Bit Longer Than We Thought’, Still Optimistic


It’s been a big year for VR at Facebook, launching the Oculus Quest, Rift S and announcing several new features and services at OC6 a few months ago. However, Michael Abrash also made it clear that the arrival of true next generation VR headsets is “not any time soon.”

In Facebook’s Q3 2019 Earnings Call this week, CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded to a comment from a stockholder indicating that they feel Facebook’s vision for VR and AR “has taken a bit longer than expected to materialize.”

According to a transcript, Zuckerberg’s response to the question was as follows:

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.

Obviously, the fact that it’s taking a little longer than we’d thought, it cuts both ways. On the one hand, that, of course, means that the future might be a few years further out and that it might be more expensive to develop because we’ll be funding this for a bit longer until it gets there.

But on the other hand, from our perspective, we’re not a company that has traditionally done hardware or built operating systems or these kind of products. So every year that we get to practice and get better and build our brand around Oculus in terms of in terms of building the best products that we can in the space, I just think that we’re going to be better off when this is really ready to be a completely mainstream thing with hundreds of millions of people using it.

You’re right that Quest is growing and doing quite well. We are — we’re selling them as fast as we 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 Indy [sic] 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.

Some of the comments echo what we’ve heard Zuckerberg say in previous earnings calls.

It is also notable that at the beginning of the call some Quest-related sales information was given. “Payments and Other Fees revenue was $269 million, up 43%. This year-over-year growth was driven primarily by sales of new products, notably Oculus Quest.”

To see what else Zuckerberg has said about VR over the years, you can read this summary. The full Facebook Q3 Earnings Call transcript and audio files are also available to view online.

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