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Facebook Aiming For Virtual Reality Dominance

Zenbane
Level 15
Great article that presents things quite fairly.

The quick version:
  • Sony is still leading the VR Market in terms of "total units sold."
  • HTC and Facebook are fighting to replace Sony in the Number 1 spot.
  • Facebook is currently more strongly situated for dominance due to its untethered offerings (GearVR, GO, and soon-to-be Santa Cruz).


Sony is in the driver's seat right now, but Facebook is the company to watch in VR.

Virtual reality is still in its infancy, but the companies who can capture a significant share of the market could become leaders in the next major computing market. According to SuperData Research, VR is going to grow from a $4.5 billion business in 2018 to $19.0 billion of revenue by 2021. Early movers see the opportunity in VR and are eager to capture market share.

As big as the VR market is expected to be, there are only a few companies in a viable position to build a platform the industry will grow from for years to come. So far, it's Sony's (NYSE:SNE) PlayStation VR that has a big head start in virtual reality, with over 2 million units sold. But HTC's Vive and Facebook's (NASDAQ:FB) Oculus Rift are trying to catch up quickly.

What could reshape the VR landscape in 2018 is Facebook untethering itself from PCs and gaming consoles to make VR mobile.

Why Facebook is behind Sony in VR today

To understand why Facebook is behind in VR and how it could catch up, we need to lay out the VR landscape today. Sony has sold over 2 million PSVR headsets, more than doubling both HTC's Vive and Oculus Rift platforms, which both are arguably higher-quality products. The biggest advantage Sony has in VR is that 76 million PS4 consoles are already installed in people's homes, so adding VR isn't expensive or cumbersome. Vive and Rift still require expensive gaming computers that aren't floating around the average home.

The next generation of headsets will likely eliminate the need for a console or PC, and at that point we should see wider adoption of VR and technology companies like Facebook differentiating themselves.

Facebook's big VR move

The first step beyond tethered VR headsets is the Oculus Go, which is the first stand-alone (no PC or console required) VR headset to hit the U.S. market at a mass-market price point of $200. Oculus Go isn't considered a high-end device because it can't track a user's movement through space like a Vive or Rift can, but it's still a big step forward for the VR industry. What it's perfect for is watching 360 videos and playing simple VR games.

This month, Facebook has shown how it will display the power of Oculus Go by bringing World Cup games to the platform. Users can watch from the stands or near the goalpost, a perspective that would be impossible without being in VR. The company is also adding MLB, NBA, music, and other content to apps like Oculus Venues and Oculus TV.

Just the beginning for Facebook in VR

Oculus's next step is a high-end stand-alone headset it dubbed Santa Cruz, which is expected to be available within the next year. This headset won't require a computer or gaming console, but will allow users to move through a virtual space, like Vive or Rift. It could be a game-changer in VR's adoption in the mass market.

The stand-alone VR market will be key because it expands the universe of customers beyond those with gaming consoles or high-end gaming computers. That's when VR could go truly mainstream and become the $19 billion industry tech companies hope it can be. Facebook certainly looks like it's in a leadership position today.

https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/07/08/facebook-aiming-for-virtual-reality-dominance.aspx


I'm a fan of Sony's VR efforts. I love that they launch both long-term exclusives (Resident Evil) and short-term timed exclusives (Robinsons, Moss). I also love that they partake in bringing the times exclusives to PCVR. I enjoyed spending over 12 hours in Robinsons, and I look forward to Moss - all in my Rift.


I'm still a bit sad to see that Microsoft hasn't done much yet. I have no real interest in their WMR Headsets for Entertainment purposes. I'm only looking forward to their potential to reshape the workplace (true CommercialVR) through their Office Suite approach (PowerPoint, SharePoint, Excel, Word, etc).


Overall though, it seems that the race between now and 2021 comes down to Facebook-Oculus and Sony. With HTC's ongoing financial troubles (although it is more of a "crisis" at this point), everyone else will be battling for third place in the global market. Personally, I have been impressed with some of the information about "mind reading" from HTC (controlling VR interaction with human thought). So I'd like to see them come out of their financial ruin. No one else seems to be openly thinking the way of mind-control for VR. Sony is all Entertainment, and Facebook is balancing Entertainment with Social Media. All noteworthy efforts, but I do want to reach The Matrix, na' mean?


For us consumers though, this level of competition is grand! And if you're an entrepreneur: Now is the time to start pitching your VR business concepts. Go get that startup capital!

40 REPLIES 40

bigmike20vt
Level 14
Whilst I have no doubt mobile vr is the key to bringing vr to the masses I still hope oculus keep pc high end vr as an equal priority. Candy crush may have more users than elite dangerous but I know which one interest me the most. I totally agree accessible vr is an important piece of the jigsaw however.

Also I have no issue with timed exclusives but the more games which eventually come out cross platform the better imo (I just can't justifyore than ,1 hmd)
Fiat Coupe, gone. 350Z gone. Dirty nappies, no sleep & practical transport incoming. Thank goodness for VR 🙂

Zenbane
Level 15

Rubin has confirmed repeatedly that the Rift is a huge focal point. They are investing millions in the Software experience to give us several years of goodness to come, on top of what we have now seen with the Oculus Gloves and Dome prototype(s).

Plus... Zuckerberg has a LOT of money to play with now that he became the Third Richest Person in the damn world:

Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of Facebook has just become the third richest man in the world. Yes, the social media guru has past Warren Buffett for this coveted position and now controls an enormous amount of wealth.

Above Zuckerberg are Amazon Inc. founder Jeff Bezos (reported $142 billion) and Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates (reported $94.2 billion). Zuckerberg finally hit the third spot today as Facebook shares climbed to 2.4% according to Bloomberg’s Index. It is reported that he is now worth $81.6 billion at age 34 and is one of the youngest billionaires in the world.

Zuckerberg currently owns many social apps and tech companies through Facebook. Some of these companies include Instagram, Oculus, and Whatsapp which are all popular within their vertical.

Oculus is one of the leading companies in the VR front that has provided hundreds of thousands of people with quality VR experiences through the Rift, Gear VR, and Go HMDs.

Instagram provides a place for users to upload and share their life stories via pictures, videos, and livestream. Users are able to connect with one another through sharing media content.

Whatsapp helps one another connect via the Internet. It is an alternative solution to signing up for a phone line which has helped millions around the world stay connected with one another.

https://www.vrandfun.com/mark-zuckerberg-becomes-third-richest-person-topping-warren-buffett/


Buckle up folks, the trawls are only gonna get stronger with each passing year now that VR is being lead by vast wealth. Not to mention that the only 2 people above Zuckerberg are the 2 organization's that are also driving VR in ways that the world can benefit from beyond mere gaming/entertainment.

Amazon has Sumerian and Windows has WMR business apps.

Sheit is getting real!

LZoltowski
Volunteer Moderator
Volunteer Moderator
In all honesty, the only real contender will be if Valve decides to make their own VR hardware and not just "licence" it ... like Oculus/Apple etc they will have a Software + Hardware synergy.

Until then HTC is in trouble, and other Kickstarter manufacturers are going to go into the enterprise market first to even hope to be sustainable and have any hope at making the money back spent on R&D to investors.

  • Oculus operating costs are absorbed by Facebook until fully profitable allowing for a sizeable R&D buffer and plenty of room to fail
  • HTC's costs are no longer sustainable since their mobile division is now part of Google, plus 80% of the tech in the Vive is licenced from Valve.
  • Pimax only has investor money, for now, nothing to subsidise the costs with, no room for failure, none at all
  • When Apple enters the space, all of the above could be royally buggered
  • If Valve decides to make their own hardware .. BOOM ... things will get super interesting

This fully supports the theory that Oculus/Facbook is the only company at the moment with any real advantage
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Be kind to one another 🙂

LZoltowski
Volunteer Moderator
Volunteer Moderator
Updated the statement a bit 🙂
Core i7-7700k @ 4.9 Ghz | 32 GB DDR4 Corsair Vengeance @ 3000Mhz | 2x 1TB Samsung Evo | 2x 4GB WD Black
ASUS MAXIMUS IX HERO | MSI AERO GTX 1080 OC @ 2000Mhz | Corsair Carbide Series 400C White (RGB FTW!) 

Be kind to one another 🙂

Zenbane
Level 15

When Apple enters the space, all of the above could be royally buggered




This was my favorite line! So true.

LZoltowski
Volunteer Moderator
Volunteer Moderator
Oh, I didn't include Sony in this, they took some old tech that failed from their previous endeavour (years old camera and two plastic cucumbers with glowing balls), slapped a HMD together and called it Next Gen VR. They are dead to me
Core i7-7700k @ 4.9 Ghz | 32 GB DDR4 Corsair Vengeance @ 3000Mhz | 2x 1TB Samsung Evo | 2x 4GB WD Black
ASUS MAXIMUS IX HERO | MSI AERO GTX 1080 OC @ 2000Mhz | Corsair Carbide Series 400C White (RGB FTW!) 

Be kind to one another 🙂

bigmike20vt
Level 14

Zenbane said:

.

Plus... Zuckerberg has a LOT of money to play with now that he became the Third Richest Person in the damn world:



Wow!  Did not know that.  lucky bugger!

i totally agree about valve. They have the clout to really make things interesting in the pc vr space if they made their own hardware.  Like oculus they could be super agressive on hardware prices because they make the money off software. it is another reason why Sony do so well imo.

I would really like to see it happen. I truly believe competition keeps all players honest
(I am convinced without the vive we would be all playing on rift with our forward facing 2 camera setups, and perhaps with some trying the diagonal full room... but it is HTC / vive which pushed full room and make oculus take note imo.

And on the other hand i am equally convinced without oculus vive users would be stuck with their vive wands with no pressure to do anything different but now soon there will be knuckles.

BUT - and i know some like zenbane disagree, and that is fair enough - but i equally believe their can still be agressive competition between hmds but at the same time allow all PC VR devices to play all PC software.

Yes i am biased because i got stung, with a videologic PVR card.. butr when you had that, 3DFX and direct 3d cards like the S3 Virge all offering 3D which was incompatible with each other... .they were bad times - unless you were the one with the 3D FX of course!.

Fiat Coupe, gone. 350Z gone. Dirty nappies, no sleep & practical transport incoming. Thank goodness for VR 🙂

snowdog
Level 15
Pah! Only $81bn? I don't get out of bed in the morning for less than $100bn 😮 B)
"This you have to understand. There's only one way to hurt a man who's lost everything. Give him back something broken."

Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever

Notnamedfred
Level 3

Zenbane said:


When Apple enters the space, all of the above could be royally buggered




This was my favorite line! So true.

You mean apple will **** it up for everyone like they have with the phones. If apple get involved then its going to cost me money every week! Ive noticed there are a few vr games coming through that state in app money laundering required. We must stop this happening because we end up poor and they end up richer