Why Facebook can't wait any longer for the release of a new virtual reality headset

Facebook finally told us when the Oculus virtual reality headset will go on sale: the first quarter of next year.

This opens up a huge untapped market for Facebook. According to BI Intelligence, the virtual reality headsets market is set to explode. While only 825,000 units are expected to ship globally this year, that number is set to reach 26 million by 2020, BII says. That’s roughly 99% compound annual growth in the next five years. By comparison, the PlayStation 4 sold about 20 million consoles in a little over a year, which makes it the fastest-selling console Sony’s ever launched.

BII says gaming will be the biggest driver of demand for VR headsets, and Facebook seems to be aware of it too — Facebook has partnered with Microsoft to allow XBox users to stream games through Oculus headsets.

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