Canalys Research has been giving us some rather good sales forecasts over the past year or so, which is why when we saw this report today, we could not help but be very encouraged by the numbers they are advancing! Always good to end the fiscal year with positive predictions for the year to come!
According to their latest study and sales forecast, Standalone VR Headset shipments will pass 1.5 million in 2018, and grow with a CAGR of 140% to reach 9.7 million units in 2021. Standalone VR headsets are expected to help push the VR headset market to 7.6 million units in 2018, twice the shipments forecast for this year.
Facebook’s Oculus made waves by unveiling the Oculus Go, its first consumer-ready Standalone VR headset during Oculus Connect 4 on 11 October 2017. This would be the 1st mass-marketable Standalone VR Headset, and priced at $199 USD, could be a game-changer for the VR Industry, despite only providing 3 Degrees of Freedom (3DoF).
This seems to be a small issue according to Canalys Research Analyst Vincent Thielke: “Oculus Go, while a great move by Facebook to mobilize VR, will fail to get consumer attention when launched. The extra cost of the headset and the fact that a smartphone-based solution, such as the Gear VR, can offer a similar experience will inhibit initial consumer uptake. Also, missing the holiday season is a lost opportunity for Oculus to gain a strong base of early adopters. But there will be excitement for this new category of VR headsets, and Oculus must ensure that its next mobile VR prototype, Project Santa Cruz, succeeds in attaining a high quality level to remain relevant in VR.”
Standalone VR Headsets with the ability to provide 6 Degrees of Freedom (6DoF) is the Holy Grail of the Virtual Reality industry, and from what we are seeing lately, they are coming sooner than later. The HTC Vive Focus was recently launched as an exclusive to the Chinese market, and according to this Hands-on review by EnGadget’s Richard Lai, it is amazing. Watching him do cartwheels in VR is kind of hilarious. And jealousy inducing… lol!
The Vive Focus retails from CNY $3,999 (approximately $600 USD) in China, which is the average cost of a premium smartphone there. According to Canalys Analyst Jason Low “With its new Vive Focus, HTC is well placed to attract high-value consumers and, more importantly, businesses to its VR platform.”
While most thought 2017 would be “the” year for VR, and that some of the sales figures we are seeing may have been disappointing to some, we knew that it all would depend on the available tech and content, which were both lagging. This is why we believe that 2018 and 2019 have the potential of being the Defining Years for Virtual Reality.
What do you think about this?
VR headset forecast data is taken from Canalys’ Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Analysis service, which provides quarterly market tracking.