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I'm sceptical of Oculus Rift's mass appeal, says Xbox co-founder

Ed Fries not entirely convinced by wearable tech "after watching 3D TV fail so spectacularly"

Ed Fries, the co-founder of the Xbox business who went on to advise several games industry businesses, is not yet convinced that gaming VR carries mass market appeal.

"Hardcore gamers love new technologies and experiences and are willing to do almost anything to get them, so that's a good market for Oculus," Fries said as part of an Ask Me Anything session on Yabbly.

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After his work at Microsoft, Ed Fries went on to advise a range of games companies, from Ouya to Mixamo
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"General users however are a different crowd. Given how little success the consumer electronics companies have had with 3D TVs with glasses, I am sceptical that general users are going to be strapping this thing onto their face any time soon."

Fries's comments emerge just one week after Facebook acquired Oculus Rift in a deal potentially worth more than $2 billion.

During a conference call last Tuesday, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg claimed that VR is the "next major computing platform that will come after mobile".

Meanwhile, Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney went as far as saying virtual reality devices will become a bigger phenomenon than smartphones".

Fries does not hold the same faith in the wearable computing market

"After watching 3D TV fail so spectacularly the last few years, I'm a bit of a sceptic about VR," he said.

In January, a new study published by Endeavour Partners suggested that about a third of American consumers who have owned a wearable product stopped using it within six months.

Elsewhere in the Ask Me Anything session, Fries was questioned on the landmark Rare acquisition which he helped secure.

"I left Microsoft soon after the Rare acquisition so it's hard for me to answer these questions," he said.

"Clearly things didn't turn out as we hoped when we acquired them."

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