It has been almost two years since Facebook (FB) dropped $2 billion on Oculus VR, a virtual reality company operating independently of its parent since the acquisition. At the time, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg told consumers and investors that immersive gaming — an area where Oculus already had “big plans” — would be the first focus before other applications in entertainment, education, healthcare and more were explored.
Meanwhile, Daniel W. Rasmus, the founder and principal analyst of Serious Insights, says Oculus isn’t going to fundamentally shape FB stock’s income statement. Instead, it will be more like a positive footnote, as the launch is symbolic more than anything else. “The PR value,” he added, “is very large as it is really Facebook’s first foray into hardware.”
While Rasmus sees Oculus as the darling of the entertainment side of the industry, for example, it remains to be seen if the company can capitalize on the business markets Zuckerberg nodded to in his original announcement. And with regards to entertainment, question marks remain around content.
“Investors should look most pointedly at the availability of content,” Rasmus explained. “If there aren’t good, positive experiences for Rift, then the platform won’t have the momentum it needs to be a sustaining component of the Facebook portfolio. And I don’t mean just a few titles. All failed platforms had a few titles. Massive, bottom-up and top-down content will be required.”
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