Oculus Rift expects just over 1m VR headsets to sell in 2015

12 Jun 2014

The creators of the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headset have scaled back their sales expectations somewhat, by saying they expect to see “just north of 1m units”.

Speaking to ArsTechnica recently at the E3 gaming conference in Los Angeles, California, the company’s CEO Brendan Iribe has said expectations the company is going to roll out a consumer-ready version of the headset on a global scale from launch is unrealistic. Instead, it will be on a smaller initial scale.

Oculus Rift said the first consumer version will essentially be a testing bed for a much larger-scale consumer version to be launched within a year or two after the first model.

In his interview, Iribe spoke of previous expectations they had placed on the very first headsets and how they miscalculated sales. “We thought that the first developer kit was going to (sell) 5,000-10,000 units.

“Well, at least I thought that. (Founder) Palmer (Luckey) was going, ‘No, it’s only going to be a few hundred. What if this doesn’t work?’ So we had to compromise on our minimum expectation of it. Because VR just hasn’t worked in the past, and even a few hundred for the launch of this early thing would have been great.”

Iribe also went on to discuss what role its owner, social network Facebook, will actually play in the development of the technology and what influence it will have on production, most importantly providing the funding to push it into a mass consumer level.

“It is going to allow us to deliver a much better consumer V2, that’s for sure,” said Iribe. “Hardware-wise, we were pretty locked in already (for version 1) … but (Facebook) will allow us to make consumer V2 totally incredible.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic