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Palmer Luckey: VR ‘unlikely’ to be ‘hugely mainstream’ by 2020

While there are plenty of virtual reality (VR) fans ready for the consumer launch of the technology early next year, just how well the first head-mounted displays (HMDs) perform on the market remains a mystery. The Oculus Rift, for example, impresses just about everyone that tries it, but the $1,500 USD price range for both the kit and a PC to run it is likely to be a huge barrier for entry. But, in these early days, that’s not necessarily a problem according to the device’s creator and Oculus VR founder, Palmer Luckey.

Oculus Rift consumer headset

Luckey stated as much in an interview with Gaming Business Review. “A lot of what the analysts are saying is pretty optimistic,” he said. “VR is going to take awhile to become mainstream. Mark Zuckerberg confirmed this when he said Oculus was a 5- to 10-year bet on the next major computing platform. Analysts saying that by 2020 VR will be hugely mainstream; it’s unlikely for a lot of those predictions to come true. iPod was considered a huge success, but it took a while to sell 1 million copies. With Palm Pilot they only sold a few million units in the first few years. It took over a decade for that to come about. But people still consider it a success. You don’t need to immediately take over everything to be considered a success.”

Indeed, VR still has a lot of hurdles to overcome before it has true mainstream potential. These range from business factors such as pricing to technical aspects such as convincing input, which is only partially solved with the likes of the Oculus Touch and SteamVR controllers. While many of these issues may be solved in 5 years’ time, some will take even longer than this.

VRFocus will continue to follow the VR industry closely, reporting back with the latest updates on it.