Virtual Reality Not Reality Quite Yet for Facebook

virtual reality vr
AP Photo/Eric Risberg

It is not clear whether Oculus VR, sold to Facebook for $2 billion in 2014, will release its flagship virtual reality headset named the Rift this year.

On one side is Facebook’s vice president of engineering, Mike Schroepfer, who was recorded speaking to Facebook’s F8 developer conference about a new game called Eve: Valkyrie and asserting, “You’re going to be able to do this this year in VR. This is going to be incredible. And you’re going to be doing it in something shipped by Oculus.”

Schroepfer’s remarks followed statements in March by two Oculus officials that two products would be delivered in 2015; Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus, said that he was “pretty confident” that the Rift would be released in 2105; John Carmack, Oculus’s chief technology officer, informed game developers that there would be a huge release of the Gear VR in the fall of 2015.

After Vindu Goel, writing for The New York Times, reported Schroepfer’s comments, Schroepfer tweeted that there had been a mistake, writing that they “did not announce anything regarding shipping just said pc hardware available this year can create these experiences.”

That prompted Tim Bradshaw of The Financial Times, to respond on Twitter that he heard Mr. Schroepfer say, “You’re going to be able to do this THIS YEAR… & going to be doing it in something shipped by Oculus.”

Schroepfer then said he had made a mistake, tweeting, “I know what I meant to say was just this tech is here this year – *not* announcing this game or oculus shipping this year.” He added, “sorry if it was confusing but don’t know exact dates on these things yet.”

Facebook then muddied the waters further, stating, “Schroepfer said that the technology is ready today, like GPUs, CPU and 3d engine technology, to make Virtual Reality happen in the future.”


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