Speaking on Facebook’s first quarter earnings call this week, Zuckerberg said that virtual reality (VR) is going to be “the next big computing platform”.
However, chief financial officer David Wehner cautioned that, despite Facebook’s investments in this space, VR is still “very early” and will not have a “material impact on revenue in 2016”.
“Gear VR started shipping late last year, and the response so far has been great. There are now hundreds of apps built specifically for Gear, and people have watched more than 2 million hours of video on it,” said Zuckerberg.
“In Q1, we also started shipping Oculus Rift. We’ve got a lot of great content, with more than 50 games and apps built for Rift. Again, this is very early, and we don’t expect VR to take off as a mainstream success right away – I really want to emphasise that. “Most Rift early adopters are gamers and developers. But eventually, we believe that VR is going to be the next big computing platform, and we’re making the investments necessary to lead the way there.”
Facebook closed its US$2 billion acquisition of VR headset maker Oculus in 2014. The Gear VR headset is designed to be used with Samsung Galaxy smartphones, while the Rift headset can be powered by compatible Windows PCs.
Facebook reported Q1 revenue of US$5.38 billion, up 52% year-on-year. Net income was up 195% to US$1.51 billion.