There was a time when virtual reality was a technology that was deemed too hard for mankind to produce; however, times have indeed changed and technology has brought us with many advancements, including ways to immerse ourselves in the virtual realm. The technology is now poised to finally be a major hit this 2016 as IDC estimates that VR headset manufacturers will be able to ship 9.6-million units and generate $2.3-billion for the year.
Virtual Reality is Going to Hit it Big This Year
Virtual reality is now being well received primarily due to big names within the industry namely Oculus, Sony, Samsung, and HTC. VR headsets made by these known tech manufacturers have caught all kinds of attention, but mostly from gamers and tech enthusiasts.
“While there have been some launch window hardware shipment hiccups that must be addressed near-term, I’m confident that they will be ironed out before the holiday season,” research director of IDC gaming Lewis Ward said in a statement.
The now Facebook-owned Oculus had already begun delivering their Rift headset since last month. However, due to an “unexpected component shortage” which has caused delays, it forced the company to waive shipping fees for a number of their customers. Nevertheless, and even with those delays, it doesn’t change the fact that the Oculus Rift VR Headset will assist in driving combined shipments of over 2-million units in this year alone, as per IDC Vice President of Devices and Displays Tom Minelli.
“When you combine this with robust shipments of screenless viewers from Samsung and other vendors launching later this year, you start to see the beginning of a reasonable installed base for content creators to target,” he said.
In addition to screenless viewers and tethered devices, IDC’s data includes standalone headsets which are able to integrate processing towards the device itself. Such products include that of Microsoft’s HoloLens. However, the data does not include Google Cardboad-based products, which are considered to be quite basic for the sector.
Ward states that video games will “clearly be the lead rationale” for people to purchase a virtual reality headset this year. “The addition of exciting new titles will lead to a new wave of VR HMD hardware interest among those buying for themselves or family members and friends,” Ward said. VR games, such as Eve: Valkyrie, will be able to support cross-platform play between that of the Sony PlayStation VR, HTC Vive, and the Oculus Rift.