Re-Thinking VR Market Adoption in 2017

The next 12 months could be the year of VR.

2016 was supposed to be the year for VR. As many of us who work in the VR industry know, it most certainly wasn’t.

Headset sales were much lower than every research report ever made on the subject, the killer VR app was not discovered by an eccentric band of game designers, and VR was not a mainstay in the marketplace. Which is why a recent Wall Street Journal article caught my eye.

The piece titled “Facebook Again Cuts Price of Oculus Rift VR Headset,” highlights how the Oculus Rift headset is falling behind in sales. But more importantly, the article cites a graphic from research company SuperData showing the estimated sales of each high-end headset (Vive, Oculus, and Playstation VR).

As a self-proclaimed VR stat geek, I was blown away by one of these numbers. Particularly that Playstation VR had more than 1.8 million sales.

To a non-VR insider following the industry, that might seem anemic and a particularly low sales number. But let’s put that into perspective.

The Playstation VR system was launched in October of 2016, and before it’s one year mark it has made over 770 million dollars. In the history of video game accessories, the Xbox Kinect was the fastest growing accessory in history. If we calculate that everyone paid full price at $150 (which they didn’t) the Kinect grossed 1.5 billion dollars it’s first year. Think about that. The Playstation VR headset has grossed at worst half of what the Xbox Kinect made, and it still has at least 3 months of sales left! Even at a much higher price point than Kinect, there is still tremendous monetization coming just from the hardware side for Playstation VR.

What is equally as impressive is that Playstation VR has managed to grow close to 100 percent in two quarters of sales.

Numerous public figures noted that by the end of 2016 there will be close to a million playstation VR head sets in circulation. If this growth rate holds true, by Q3 of 2018 Playstation VR will have 10 million VR users.

Let that sink in too. In a year and a few months Playstation could have 10 million VR users. I mention this because this is the general statistic that numerous AAA companies mention they would need to invest in building VR games.

We don’t have any VR crystal balls. Almost every research report has punted on VR growth over and over. But, if these numbers coming from SuperData Research are correct, they are extremely promising. We know the VR market is growing, but if it stays on course at this pace, the next 12 months could be the year of VR.

Image Credit: Playstation VR “Leave The Nest”

About the Scout

Andrew Goldstein

Andrew Goldstein is an award winning game designer, teacher, interactive media producer, and market analyst. He is the CEO, co-founder, and resident statistical geek of Otherworld Interactive, a premier content studio for consumer facing virtual reality and augmented reality content. Known most for the Sister's franchise, Otherworld Interactive's work has been shown all over the world with millions of downloads for their consumer facing projects.

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