At yesterday’s Oculus Connect keynote, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg proudly announced that Oculus had completed its first generation of products. A slide splashed three VR headsets across the stage: the casual Oculus Go; the high-end Oculus Rift; and the new, midrange Oculus Quest. But if you’ve followed Oculus for a while, you might have noticed something missing: the cheap, phone-based Samsung Gear VR.
The Gear VR, made in partnership with Samsung, was technically Oculus’ first consumer product. It’s also one of the most popular VR headsets ever made — it had shipped 5 million units by January of 2017, an order of magnitude larger than Vive or Rift sales at that point. But its last major hardware update (a new controller!) was over a year ago, and with Oculus Go released, it’s barely gotten a mention at Oculus Connect so far.
So will there be a point where these two technologies diverge? “I think that might be the case; we’ll see,” Mitchell says. “I think the market will actually tell us a lot there.” In other words, don’t count the Gear VR out yet — but don’t expect big updates soon, at least from Oculus’ side.