Study: Three VR Headsets Will Dominate Revenue

The Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive and the PlayStation VR will account for the lion’s share of revenue expected in the virtual reality marketplace this year, but only a sliver of total VR headset unit shipments, according to a new report.

VR headset shipments are expected to bring in nearly $900 million this year worldwide, with those three sets accounting for 77% of the revenue, but only 13% of units shipped, according to Strategy Analytics. Cheaper, mobile phone-based VR sets look to dominate in terms of numbers, accounting for an estimated 11.1 million of 12.8 million sets shipped.

“Consumers will soon be exposed to an incredible diversity of virtual reality options ranging from ultra-low cost to super premium,” said Cliff Raskind, director of Strategy Analytics’ wearable device ecosystems division, in a statement. “Additionally, we believe VR has the potential to fuel a new tech spec race in hardware areas such as display resolution, GPUs, storage and 360-degree cameras.”

The disparity can be found in the cost of the VR headsets tied to game consoles and PCs: while a Samsung Gear VR will run you only $100, the PlayStation VR costs $400, the Oculus Rift is priced at $600 and the HTC Vive comes in at $800.

“Adoption of the more expensive, high-end PC- and game console-based devices will be limited to a subset of early adopter enthusiasts and hard core gamers,” said David Watkins, director of Strategy Analytics’ connected home devices division, in a statement. “The high price of these devices will act as a significant barrier to more widespread uptake. The PC and Console powered virtual reality market is entering the classic chicken and egg phase whereby the major games publishers are waiting on the sidelines until there are enough VR headsets and users in the market for it to make financial sense for them to build a VR library of content.”