The year 2018 has not been overly successful for the virtual reality industry. Not entirely surprising, as all manufacturers struggle to move units. It is expected the VR device market will decline by the time 2018 comes to a close. A worrisome trend, although one that was also completely to be expected.
The VR Device Demand Isn’t There
Although there are still four weeks in the year 2018, VR-related forecasts are not looking great. Research by CCS Insight confirms there will be a total of eight million headsets to be sold throughout 2018. This number combines both VR and AR units, which further confirms the VR industry itself may face a bigger uphill battle than originally assumed.
This total figure is down by 20% compared to 2017. While one would assume sales figures to rise as more content is produced, the opposite is coming true. Further growth will occur in 2019 and beyond, according to the research. CCS Insight confirms 52 million units will be sold in 2022. Whether that favors VR or AR, is difficult to predict at this time.
CCS Insight chief of research Ben Wood adds:
“We continue to believe that content is the key to unlocking adoption of VR. Although some games companies and adult content creators have embraced VR technology, much more needs to happen to persuade consumers that VR devices are a must-have item. We believe the device market has now shifted away from the early wave of cheaper, less-functional cardboard and plastic smartphone VR viewers. We expect the next wave of adoption to come from dedicated devices that offer a more compelling, wire-free experience.”
This research further confirms standalone VR headsets are the way to go. This trend has already become visible in 2018, although no impressive sales figures have been recorded so far. Consumers do not want to be connected to any other device, as that only disrupts the immersive factor of virtual reality. Whether or not untethered devices will be sufficient to drive VR adoption, is a different matter altogether.
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