Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted how he doesn't think "good virtual reality is fully there yet." The head of the Menlo Park-based social media giant made his admission on Tuesday while he was testifying in federal court over allegations that the Facebook-owned Oculus conducted a "technology heist" in 2013. Facebook paid around $2 billion for Oculus a year after Oculus' CTO John Carmack allegedly stole trade secrets from his former employer, the ZeniMax-owned id Software. Zenimax claims that stolen property was later used to create the Oculus Rift, a popular consumer-grade VR headset. Zuckerberg not only denied all accusations but also claimed he never even heard of ZeniMax before the company filed a lawsuit against Oculus and Facebook in 2014.
During his testimony, the co-founder of Facebook said how it will probably take another five to ten years before great VR hardware becomes commercially available. While Facebook already invested billions into developing this emerging technology, Zuckerberg said how the company will likely have to invest around $3 billion more over the course of the next decade. His admission that VR still isn't as developed as he had hoped it would be by now was a reply to a question asked by his own lawyer, which is why it was likely intended as a defense strategy. ZeniMax claims that Carmack stole trade secrets that allowed him to create a VR headset with mass appeal, which is why the company is looking for $2 billion in damages. On the other hand, Facebook and Oculus are now seemingly trying to present their accomplishments as being far from a finished product.
In the long run, Facebook sees VR as a new computing platform that's likely to enjoy a mass audience, which is why it's still pumping billions into developing it with little returns. While lawsuits alleging theft of intellectual property are nothing uncommon in the Silicon Valley, the case of ZeniMax versus Facebook is somewhat unique as it didn't end with an out-of-court settlement that most industry watchers were expecting back in 2014. Oculus' founder Palmer Luckey is scheduled to testify in the case later this week, so more information is bound to follow soon.