It appears that Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) isn’t ready to ship a finalized variant of the Oculus Rift VR headset, and that the tech is “still very much in its early development stages”.
Gamasutra reports that in a recent earnings call, Facebook CFO David Wehner delivered an interesting answer to a specific question related to the Oculus Rift’s possible availability in 2015.
Oculus Rift release date
Will consumers be able to get their hands on an official Oculus product this year, or is it still too soon for the breakout tech?
“We have not announced any specific plans for shipment volumes in 2015 related to Oculus,” Wehner answered.
“I just note that Oculus is very much in the development stage, so it’s early to be talking about large shipment volumes, and our expense guidance reflects any volumes that we might do in 2015.”
This news really isn’t surprising, considering both Facebook and Oculus VR have been tight-lipped about any official release dates.
Right now the Oculus Rift exists in an unfinished development kit capacity–the second such iteration, the Crescent Bay, can be purchased for a cool $350 from the company.
While Facebook stalls and deflects release date info, the Rift’s competitors have been busy taking full advantage of the titan’s situation. Sony (NYSE: SNE) has announced its own VR contender, the PS4-powered Project Morpheus headset, will be ready in “early 2016”.
Valve has also bolstered its stance by offering free Vive VR dev kits to content creators via an online application process.
Meanwhile VR continues to progress in the mobile sector, with Samsung’s (LON: BC94) Gear VR leading the charge. Harnessing the power of the Note 4 smartphone, the Gear VR simulates a virtual reality environment and gives consumers a taste of the interactive space in an accessible price point.
Read More: Will Virtual Reality Take Off In 2015?
But being the first out of the door isn’t everything. Being backed by Facebook means that Oculus VR has a suitable funding cushion for a long-game approach.
The Oculus Rift could actually benefit from being last out the door, as other peripherals and hardware would serve as experimental tests and further allow the developers to work out the platform’s kinks. Plus other companies could test the market and arm Facebook/Oculus VR with valuable sales knowledge.
Interest in VR won’t wane any time soon, and it’ll likely be perhaps as long as half a decade before we start to see major strides in the technology. In the meantime gamers, developers and scientists alike are finding new ways to enjoy and adapt the technology, and hype for virtual reality will certainly continue to crest.