Facebook mum on large-scale Oculus Rift shipments for 2015

"Oculus is very much in the development stage," says CFO David Wehner, when asked by an analyst whether or not we can expect a product soon.

It doesn't sound like Oculus will ship the consumer version of its Oculus Rift VR headset this year, or at least not in very large quantities.

That insight comes of Facebook's latest earnings call, which Gamaustra listened in on this afternoon. "We have not announced any specific plans for shipment volumes in 2015 related to Oculus," CFO David Wehner said, in response to an analyst question. "Oculus is very much in the development stage, so it's very early to be talking about large shipment volumes."

One Oculus Rift competitor, the Sony Morpheus headset, which will work with the PlayStation 4, is shipping in the first half of next year. The Samsung Gear VR headset, which uses a Samsung phone and Oculus tech, is already in the world in an "innovator edition" aimed at developers and hardcore gadget-heads. The HTC Vive, developed in collaboration with Valve, is due to ship in 2015.  

In his prepared comments, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg completely glossed over plans for Oculus -- whereas in the past he's spoken at length about the 2014 acquisition.

For the first quarter of 2015, the company's R&D expenses jumped up dramatically year-on-year -- but that's not necessarily entirely attributable to Oculus, and Facebook did not break out Oculus-related expenses.

For clarity, the entire exchange as related to Oculus is reproduced below:

Q: Mark, does the opex [operating expense] guide assume an Oculus product for consumers this calendar year? And will the initial product focus on gaming, or more around the experiences you showed at F8 around non-gaming, like that Saturday Night Live demo?

A: Ben, let me take the opex guidance question. So we have not announced any specific plans for shipment volumes in 2015 related to Oculus. 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.

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