Virtual Reality this Christmas

Dec 26, 2021

Everyone is getting a Meta Quest 2 for Christmas it seems. More kids are getting Oculus headsets than Xboxes this year. The Meta Quest 2 sales are tracking the iPhone 3G's sales back in 2008 – both were 2nd generation devices. Will this translate into VR being the next platform after mobile?

There's been a lot of pattern matching against history lately – the Oculus vs. the iPhone, crypto adoption tracking early internet adoption, and public equities acting like they did before the dot com bubble. I'm not sure how much causation we can determine from these seemingly correlated events.

Meta's VR ecosystem will probably not evolve how the iOS ecosystem did. The most utility out of my Meta Quest 2 is connecting it over "Airlink" to my other devices. Games available over the web through WebXR aren't as disadvantaged as mobile games through the Safari browser. We've learned a lot from the Apple App Store model and it's going to be difficult to replicate that again (even Steve Jobs originally thought that applications could be built on the web and accessed through Safari).

Meta's accompanying Oculus app is the top downloaded free app on the iPhone. The app is required for onboarding

I wrote about Zuckerberg on Platforms a few months ago, and then again (Founder Vision) after Facebook rebranded to Meta. I do think that its unwise to bet against Zuck, especially since he's so young and still has so much energy.

We'll see if the headsets sold this Christmas convert into daily active users of VR. Not everything is there yet – a small selection of applications, half-working AR, and a large form factor. However, let's not forget that the first cell phones looked like this.