Shipments of Higher-End VR Headsets Eclipse 1M in Q3: Canalys

Helped by recent price cuts, shipments of higher-end VR headsets that must be connected to PCs or gaming consoles exceeded 1 million units for the first time in Q3 2017, according to an analysis from Canalys.

Sony, maker of the PlayStation VR, led the way with 490,000 units shipped in the period, followed by the Oculus Rift (210,000), and the HTC Vive (160,000).

The study, which excludes mobile VR headsets such as Samsung Gear VR or Google Daydream View, noted that Sony, Oculus and HTC made up 86% of the total portion of the market studies in Q3 2017.

The rise was aided by recent price cuts, particularly the temporary reduction on the Oculus Rift to $399, Vincent Thielke, research analyst at Canalys, noted in the release.

He also expects the Oculus Go, a standalone VR headset from the Facebook-owned company to help drive further consumer adoption. Google is also pushing ahead with a standalone VR design that runs its Daydream platform, with several hardware partners already on board to build it.

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 “Hugo Barra [VP of VR at Facebook] is betting on his next product, the US$199 Oculus Go standalone headset, to reach more users next year. The Go will excite first-time users, but driving adoption beyond social media will be a challenge,” Thielke said.

Canalys said its VR headset shipment data is derived from its Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Analysis service, which provides quarterly market tracking.