The lights are on
Whether you believe that virtual reality is the next entertainment frontier or a passing fad, the recent flood of hardware prototypes has probably caught your attention. We spent a lot of our time at GDC testing head mounted displays (some good, some not so good). Oculus continues to be at the forefront of the movement.
Speaking with TechCrunch, Oculus says that it has sold 25,000 of the new “DK2” units, which feature head tracking and improved resolution and persistence. This is compared with 60,000 of the original kits that were shipped during the lifetime of that model.
Certainly some of these were purchased by enthusiasts who haven’t heeded Oculus’ oft-reiterated warning that these are not intended for consumers. However, a majority will undoubtedly be ending up in the hands of developers who will create software, which is the lifeblood of any hardware platform.
Oculus was recently purchased by Facebook in a deal worth $2 billion. The company has since been fulfilling its promise of intensified recruiting, poaching a number of talented individuals from Valve.
The Oculus headset and its competitors, including Sony’s Project Morpheus, have been tight-lipped about timing related to retail units. For more on virtual reality, Oculus, and the future of the medium, you can check out a feature in the May 2014 issue of Game Informer. You can also read a round-up of what we learned at GDC.
[Source: TechCrunch via Joystiq]
Our TakeThe devkit numbers might seem low against Xbox One and PlayStation 4 sales, but it’s important to remember that the head-mounted displays are not intended for consumers. They aren’t widely available, and there has been no promotion.
It’s unclear how large the potential early adopter market is for virtual reality, but that pump hasn’t been fully primed yet. Until Oculus (or a close competitor) announces a release date, we won’t be able to realistically gauge enthusiasm.