During a speech to open the 2017 Vision Summit, Unity CEO John Riccitiello told the audience how developers were using opportunities created by Oculus, HTC and others to create the virtual reality (VR) industry, and what this could mean for the future.
Many analysts have spoken about the alleged ‘disappointment’ over sales in the VR industry over the past year, with many saying that growth had fallen short of expectations. Riccitiello pointed out that the VR industry grew to generate over $2.5 billion in its first year, from a standing start of zero: “That’s absolutely staggering,” he said, “Can you think of any industry that’s done that? The opportunity is huge.”
He also said it would be a mistake to assume that VR, and indeed the related augmented reality (AR) industry would be dominated by large companies such as Disney. Riccitiello pointed to the mobile videogames industry, where previously unknown companies such as Supercell and Machine Zone came out of seemingly nowhere to become giants of that sector. He therefore believes that VR offers similar opportunities for new firms to “be that next-generation company.”
Riccitiello remarked that there were three things required to push VR into the mainstream: Firstly, the prices need to come down, secondly, VR will need to be completely portable and thirdly, much more content generation. He said that he believes that if these conditions are met and VR/AR continues on its present course: “It will rival the internet. It’s going to be the size of everything,” he said.
Finally, Riccitiello predicted that the market will begin a much higher rate of accelerated growth in roughly 12-24 months and that it was: “Going to satisfy all of our greatest ambitions.”
VRFocus will bring you further VR updates on predictions from industry figures and market growth as and when it becomes available.