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The kind of experiences offered by VR headsets such as the Oculus Rift, Rift, S, Quest, and Quest 2 was once thought to be the stuff of sci-fi movies. But thanks to Oculus VR, more of us are now using virtual reality to enhance our gaming and movie-watching experiences, as well as change the way we socialize. But what is Oculus VR?
Based in California, Oculus VR is a virtual reality hardware and software specialist. It was founded in 2012 by Palmer Lackey, before being acquired by Facebook for $2.3 billion in 2014. This certainly helped to boost consumer awareness of the brand, and the accessibility and popularity of VR have grown ever since.
Oculus VR has also developed partnerships with other big players such as Microsoft and Samsung, further pushing Oculus into the spotlight of the technology industry. Oculus’s current products include the Oculus Rift headset for PC, and the Oculus Go and Oculus Quest that are standalone headsets with integrated mobile computing hardware. This means they can operate without a PC.
In 2021, unit sales of VR headsets worldwide are expected to amount to 6.1 million units, which brings the total cumulative installed base to 16.44 million units. This is set to surpass 34 million units by 2024.
While Facebook tends to keep the sales figures of Oculus headsets somewhat of a secret, as of the beginning of 2021, 55,000 Oculus rifts have been sold.
But the VR superstar so far this year is no doubt the Oculus Quest 2. Of all the VR headsets sold worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2020, the Oculus Quest 2 stormed ahead of its rivals with more than one million being sold.
While Facebook never shared unit sales of their VR headsets, it’s no surprise they wanted to let everyone know how well the Oculus Quest and Quest 2 have been selling.
In 2019, Oculus released a new sales figure for their Quest headset – just in time for its 1 year anniversary. While unit sales weren’t revealed, Oculus did tell us that they’ve sold $100 million worth of quest content in its first year. This just proved that while Quest was still a burgeoning platform, developers were doing something right.
Of that $100 million, Facebook reported that 20 titles pulled in at least $1 million each, with 10 even surpassing $2 million in sales. In October 2019, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that the Oculus virtual store had surpassed $100 million worth of content across all devices. This revelation indicated that Quest titles were selling at a much quicker rate than content made for the Rift and Rift S.
In 2020, most of Oculus’s headsets – including the Quest – were sold out, due to Oculus struggling to keep supply chains open over a space of several months.
But while this growth is incredibly impressive and promising, it is clear that the Quest is still a niche product. On an earnings call in 2019, Facebook revealed that the 80% year-over-year quarterly growth of its quarterly ‘other’ revenue ($297 million) was “driven primarily by Oculus products.” Zuckerberg said of the sales of the company’s flagship VR device: “Quest has surpassed our expectations. I wish we could make more of them faster.”
It’s safe to say that 2019 was a great year for Oculus. It was successful in pushing developers to downscale titles optimized for PC-based headsets to the Quest and many of the platform’s most high-performing titles included titles that originally launched on Rift several years ago, like Superhot VR.
However, Oculus did miss out on a handful of hits in 2019 that instead landed up on Steam’s VR storefront. Most notably, Valve’s much-anticipated ‘Half-Life: Alyx’ was sold on its own Steam VR store.
There was understandable excitement about what was next for the Quest headset, and as we have seen the Quest 2 exceeded everyone’s expectations. Let’s take a look at the success story of Quest’s recent iteration: The Quest 2.
The numbers speak for themselves. The Oculus Quest 2 has sold more total units than all other Oculus headsets combined. The news was broken by the Vice President of Facebook Reality Labs, Andrew Bosworth, and this milestone proves that VR is becoming mainstream. Speaking to Bloomberg, Bosworth described the Oculus Quest 2’s sales as: “A tremendous indicator that we are now at that point where we have broken through from the early adopter crowd to an increasingly mainstream crowd.”
In just over five months, the Quest 2 has outsold the Oculus Rift that has been on the market for five years. This will no doubt provide the model for other VR device manufacturers. We could soon be seeing the rumored wireless Valve Index 2 and wireless Apple headset, and we’re sure they’ll be paying very close attention to the Quest 2’s success.
Customers were very impressed by what Facebook had to offer with the Quest 2. The device was easy to use, comfortable to wear, and the VR experience was incredible. What makes this even more impressive is that the Quest 2 is less expensive than almost every other VR headset on the market. While you could hook up the Quest 2 to a PC for an even more immersive PC VR experience, another aspect that drives down the price of the Quest 2 is that you don’t need a powerful PC to operate it.
Taking all of that into consideration, it shouldn’t be a surprise at all that the Quest 2 was such a huge success. It’s also not a surprise that the Quest 2 was released during a year where everyone was confined to their houses, and VR experiences were the only way for us to experience different places.
There is no word yet of an Oculus Quest 3, but if it’s anything like the Quest 2 we’re in for one incredible experience!