The annual Oculus Connect developer conference is mainly, as the name implies, for developers within the Oculus and Gear VR ecosystems, but the general attitude of the conference and the people there tends to favor addressing virtual reality more holistically. At this year's conference, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg demonstrated that by letting loose with the news that VR in general sees over one million unique users per month, though he did not say where exactly he got that data from. Those huge numbers and the fact that high-end VR is making its way to the masses with Playstation VR, Gear VR, and Daydream, can mean only one thing; VR is finally well and truly mainstream, and it's going to experience incredible growth and development as the market expands.
This comes on the heels of news from Oculus that the Gear VR platform had over one million unique users this past April, leaving the lingering question of distribution. Namely, how many of these one million plus VR users per month that Zuckerberg mentioned are getting a truly premium experience, how many are somewhere in the middle, and how many are happy to use YouTube, emulators, and PC streaming apps with Google Cardboard compliant headsets. The number of different VR ecosystems and players in the industry is already staggering, and is growing. Zuckerberg even acknowledged as much on stage at the Oculus Connect conference, mentioning the likes of Google, HTC, and Valve.
Coinciding with growth and evolution elsewhere in the VR space, Zuckerberg went on to mention new social features for the Oculus ecosystem, as well as a brand new headset with groundbreaking new features like a revamped tracking system. Other players, obviously, will be innovating, investing, and developing at breakneck speed. Playstation VR and Daydream, meanwhile, are set to occupy entirely new spaces in the VR market, essentially serving as market tests sitting somewhere in between existing options; Daydream is touted to trump both Cardboard and the Gear VR, while the Playstation VR is meant to surpass almost any mobile experience, but early reviews note a clear gulf between it and its PC-based contemporaries. With prices and experiences all over the place, it seems like the VR market is at last ready to begin its race toward maturation.