IHS Technology have a new report out titled ‘Virtual Reality and Entertainment’. The report represents IHS’ first in-depth analysis of a new generation of virtual reality technology and entertainment. It examines the positional strategies of emerging virtual reality platforms, includes sales forecasts of virtual reality headsets by brand, country and platform type and analyses the content opportunity across games and video. The report also predicts how successful VR will be, one of the main takeaways being IHS expect the PlayStation VR to outsell the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive combined by the end of 2016.
The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are both expected to launch in early 2016 promising to push the boundaries of VR technology. Despite the early in the year launch the firm only predicts a combined sell through of 1 million units with the Oculus Rift totalling 560,000 and the HTC Vive slightly lower at 440,000. The PlayStation VR is expected to sell around 1.5 million units, as is Gear VR. Google Cardboard is expected to be the leader with an install base of 2.1 million units by the end of 2016, this will mainly be down to the low price and availability of the Google Cardboard viewer. IHS also expects price to play a part in the success of PlayStation VR as they expect the PS VR to cost less than the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive and they also believe the start up costs will be much lower with gamers only needing to spend $299 on a PS4 rather than $1,000 on a brand new PC.
IHS forecast that a total of 7 million VR headsets will be installed by 2016 leading to a total of 38 million by 2020 with annual hardware spend increasing to $2.7bn compared to $1.1bn in 2016. However IHS did say that VR will be fairly limited to a niche audience of early adopters and gamers during the first 5 years and that VR will not be adopted as fast as Blu-Ray players or even 3D TV sets. “Conditions are more suited to virtual reality technology and content adoption than ever before,” IHS said in its first in-depth study of the market, while adding: “It is neither a bubble nor the next big thing.”