It is the virtual reality product that will supposedly transform Facebook into the Meta(verse). Meta Inc., then called Facebook Inc., began its venture into virtual reality in 2014 when it bought VR headset maker Oculus. With the release of its latest headset, the Oculus Quest 2, the company was able to capture an increasing share of the nascent market previously dominated by Sony and its PlayStation VR headsets. According to Counterpoint Research, the new goggles helped the company gain a share of 75 percent of XR headset shipments in Q1 of 2021, up from just 34 percent in Q1 of 2020. In 2018 and 2019, Sony's market share at around 40 percent had still exceeded that of Oculus at the time.
The virtual reality business is still a small market but one that Mark Zuckerberg and his company are betting on big time. Annual XR headset shipments tripled as of Q1 of 2021, with the Oculus Quest 2 becoming the best-selling XR headset at 4.6 million units shipped. It is still not entirely clear how the metaverse envisioned to bring together Facebook platforms and virtual reality will function, but Oculus gear and technology can be expected to play a major role.
XR headsets include those geared towards virtual reality (VR), those offering augmented reality (AR) and those combining virtual reality with the real world, so-called mixed reality (MR).