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20 million Quest Headsets Later is VR Useless at Meta?


There was an merchandise within the information this previous week that declared that Meta had offered nearly 20 million Quest headsets thus far.

That form of looks like a win.

I imply, you promote 20 million of any costly digital gizmo with no killer app to drive demand and also you’ve performed fairly nicely.  Proper, as a result of there stay no killer app for VR, no title that folks would throw down for the {hardware} simply to play.

I imply, Beat Sabre is cool, however not that cool.

Time Journal on VR 7 years in the past

It additionally not less than implies that there’s a market on the market, an put in base prepared to leap on board ought to any person lastly discover the candy spot for VR titles.

Granted, there are some holes you may poke in that imaginative and prescient.  How many individuals are nonetheless utilizing these early era items, if they’re nonetheless viable?  How most of the subsequent era items have been bought by die exhausting VR lovers who changed early items?  And what number of have been bought, used for a number of hours, then stuffed at the back of a closet solely to be forgotten.

Nonetheless, a variety of firms would like to have offered 20 million of any of their merchandise.  So the Oculus workforce deserves some credit score.

In fact, if the division that made the 20 million issues ended up shedding $1,200 for each one they offered, which may take a little bit of the sting off of any envy you may really feel for Meta.

In simply 2021 and 2022 the Actuality Labs division inside Meta operated at a $24 billion loss.  And, certain they did much more than simply the VR headsets, however VR is the cornerstone of the entire metaverse VR actuality that Zuck has been championing.  You possibly can blame Horizon Worlds and no matter hare brained schemes that by no means noticed the sunshine of day over in Menlo Park for the losses as nicely, but it surely was all predicated on the concept of VR being the enabling tech.

Now, nevertheless, Zuck is out telling individuals how he’s placing collectively a workforce to work on AI, that being the most recent and best of buzzwords, which has seen Microsoft and Google pouring money into, so Meta goes to comply with go well with.

However the unspoken facet impact appears to be that his ardor for the metaverse has cooled.

Zuckerberg goes to VR France and Spain

There hasn’t been any massive announcement to that impact.  However John Carmack, perhaps the one particular person on the Actuality Labs workforce with the imaginative and prescient and sense to know the place VR must go, has been within the wind, gone from Meta for a couple of yr now.

The layoffs which have hit the tech giants, every shedding not less than 10K employees in a present of one thing, have reportedly hit the Actuality Labs employees notably exhausting.  So now the group is a shell of its former self being run by the VP who labored on the Juicero (and no, I’m by no means going to let that go) to hold on with regardless of the plan is now that AI is the shiny new paste gem within the dime retailer tiara that’s most of Meta.

Will Horizon Worlds customers ever get legs at this price?  That was all promised earlier than the good cuts and the chase after AI.

Not that the Actuality Labs group is useless.  They nonetheless have a roadmap with {hardware} goals together with new VR headset fashions and a few AR gear.  However it appears potential that Zuck’s obsession with the metaverse is likely to be nicely and actually over.  Nonetheless, one thing got here of all that money.  It isn’t like he did one thing actually dumb, like shopping for Twitter for $44 billion.

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