The beginning of 2016 was full of so much hope and excitement for the year, and boy was there reason for it, if only to wait until October to reap the benefits of PC-based virtual reality (VR) and see the birth of real mainstream adoption thanks to two recently revealed and soon to be released headsets.
There have been plenty of ups and down, but with some luck there will be mostly smooth sailing as we approach the end of the year (or more accurately, the end of October) there is no doubt in any sane mind that VR will be finally established and planted into the subconscious of most gamers and quite a few industry figures.
Yesterday the big news for virtual reality (VR) was that Google unveiled its Google Daydream View head-mounted display (HMD) that will be supported by its also announced Google Pixel mobile phone. You can really get the feel of how well the mainstream consumer group is taking the news if you look at whether or not is is trending on Twitter, and it was doing just that all of last night.
As a result of the reveal, and in anticipation of PlayStation VR (which also is trending today), SuperData has released its estimations of each of the HMD unit sales for 2016 up until 2020, and – just as you have guessed – the forecast is all sunshine and clear skies.
It is estimated that by 2017 Google Daydream will have sold just over 1.5 million units, which is impressive considering the fact that everyone who wants one will have to purchase a Daydream-ready phone, which is what will hold it back at first slightly compared to the Samsung Gear VR. However, by the magical year 2020, it will have surpassed this nine times over with an estimated 14.1 million units out there.
There is an overview of how SuperData thinks all of the HMDs have done in 2016, and from the numbers you will understand why it is by the end of October in particular 2016 is officially the success year for VR.
The first out of the list to launch was the Samsung Gear VR, and it is estimated to sell 2,316,662 units by the end of the year, which isn’t as impressive when you think it has had many more months on top of each of the other HMDs.
Next is the Oculus Rift, which is estimated at 355,088, followed by the HTC Vive at 420,108. These are both rather respectable, but are completely blown away by the main segment of the show which is PlayStation VR – yet to even launch officially – at 2,602,370.
Let’s just sit back and think about that number.
Over 2.5 million PlayStation VR HMDs are estimated to find themselves in the homes of PlayStation 4 owners by the end of this year. This is what everyone has been waiting for. And what does this mean for the total money put into VR? It means silly money.
Now, put your tongues away. This is of course an estimation, which has been repeated throughout many times, but if this is true – and there really isn’t too long to wait to find out – then 2016 was just as predicted to be the year of VR. When we get to that point, we will all be able to imagine ourselves rocking in that chair, pipe (or e-cigarette) in hand, staring into the distance while we reminisce about the dawn of VR.