It’s no secret that sales of PC-based Virtual Reality Headsets slowed down earlier this year. Some even began to speculate that the VR experiment was going to be over before it even started. However, new sales information has surfaced that would challenge this. New York-based research firm SuperData Research has published their latest year-end projections for sales of VR headsets. Unsurprisingly, the PlayStation VR has come out on top. Sony’s console-based headset is on track to sell more than double both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift combined.
PlayStation VR triumphant? Breaking down the numbers
SuperData Research’s report, initially published in UploadVR, has a lot of information to take in. First and foremost, the PSVR has sold the most units, over 2.6million. Superdata puts this down to having an install base of over 40million PlayStation 4s around the world, the lower cost and the access to the Asian market. This is more than the Samsung Gear VR, which is projected to sell 2.3million. This is despite the headset being given away for free to drive up interest in the Samsung Galaxy 7. Google’s Daydream View is expected to manage around 450,000, still more than the closest PC headset, HTC’s Vive, which is projected to reach 420,000.
However, even though sales are very much in Sony’s favour, the share of revenue is firm with the PC. SuperData Research is projecting the share of income of PC VR to be 41% by 2020. Console VR is expected only to manage 21%. How this will change when Microsoft begin developing VR for the Xbox is not made clear.
UploadVR reached out to SuperData Research for how they reached these conclusions. This is the reply: “SuperData’s approach to the market for consumer-centered virtual reality includes retail checks, executive interviews with decision-makers from all of the relevant firms in the marketplace, pricing data, our survey-based consumer tracking panel, and digital content purchases collected from our data providers. We combine both proprietary and public data sources to arrive at an objective reading of the market, including financial information obtained through our client network. Analysts are expressly forbidden to buy, sell, hedge or otherwise deal in the securities of any of the following public companies whose primary revenues come from the creation, selling, or distribution of video games.”
What the numbers mean
It would be easy to think that these figures mean that PC-based VR is struggling. However, as UploadVR mentions and as is commonly known, electronic sales experience growth after launch. The Xbox 1, for example, had a poor start, but strong game support and time has let the console almost reach par with the PS4. Right now the only data available are these projections, as all headset manufacturers have been unwilling to release any figures. This might change come holiday season, but we will most likely see the most significant change next year. Microsoft’s new VR headset will most certainly have an impact on these numbers.