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Facebook eyes 100m Oculus Rift sales

"That will take a few cycles of the device to get there."

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hopes that after "a few cycles" of hardware, virtual reality headset Oculus Rift will be owned by as many as 100 million people.

It will need to reach that "before it will really be a very meaningful thing as a computing platform", he said during a financial call last night.

"It's hard to predict exactly," he said, "but I don't think it's going to get to 50 million or 100 million units in the next few years. That will take a few cycles of the device to get there and that's kind of what I'm talking about.

"And then when you get to that scale, that's when it starts to be interesting as a business in terms of developing out the ecosystem. So when I'm talking about that as a 10-year thing, its building the first set of devices and building the audience and the ecosystem around that until it eventually becomes a business."

He has high hopes then, just in case spending $2bn to acquire Oculus VR earlier this year wasn't statement enough.

When Facebook swooped - and Zuckerberg said things like "Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face - just by putting on goggles in your home" - people who championed the device for games became nervous about the direction the tech may be taken in.

I put those concerns to the Oculus team at Gamescom earlier this year, to which they replied, games are "critical". "That's the only focus."

Somewhere down the line that may broaden but for the next few years, at least, it will be games at the top of the agenda. "The only industry equipped to pull VR off, and the only industry crazy enough to really deliver it, is the game industry," Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell said.

Oculus Rift still isn't a finished product. There have been two development kits and a few prototypes, including the recently unveiled Crescent Bay headset that has 360-degree head tracking and built-in audio.

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Robert Purchese

Associate Editor

Bertie is a synonym for Eurogamer. Writes, podcasts, looks after the Supporter Programme. Talks a lot.