Gamasutra: George Jijiashvili’s Blog-6.4 million consumer VR headsets will be sold in 2020, with content spending in excess of $ 1 billion, Omdia’s new study shows.

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• By 2025, 45 million VR headsets will be actively used by consumers, who will spend $ 4 billion on VR games and other media.
• The total value of hardware and software in the consumer VR market will increase from $ 3.2 billion in 2020 to $ 10 billion in 2025.
• In 2020, a 3.3m standalone headset will be on sale, and the smartphone and tether VR headset combination will be outselled for the first time.
• Spending on VR content will increase from $ 11 in 2020 to $ 4 billion in 2025, being overwhelmingly driven by games.
• VR will continue to be a niche, but it is a growing consumer entertainment market over the next five years.

The consumer virtual reality (VR) market is worth $ 10 billion by 2025, according to a new study by Omdia. The latest outlook comes from Omdia’s Consumer VR Headsets and Content Revenue Forecast 2020-2025 Report, which delves into the VR market with individual forecasts. For 32 countries. By 2020, 6.4 million headsets will be sold and spending on VR content is projected to reach $ 1.1 billion.

After being caught up in industry hype and proving to fail to meet the unrealistic expectations set in 2016, VR is currently undergoing a period of highly needed readjustment. The VR installation-based product mix is ​​changing rapidly. From the rapidly abandoned smartphone VR headset to the more attractive standalone and tethered VR headsets.

Despite the constant tragedy of the future of VR, Omdia believes that the VR market will continue to grow, albeit at a slower rate than previously expected.

The blockade of Covid-19 will boost the VR category in 2020, but mass adoption remains more than 10 years ahead

Similar to the broader gaming market, the consumer VR segment saw spending increase during the 2020 Covid-19 blockade, with content spending just over $ 1 billion. However, manufacturing challenges in the first half of 2020 and the November launch of a next-generation console that distracts gamers’ attention and budget have severely limited that possibility.

Without considering multiple ownership of VR headsets, household penetration at the end of 2020 will be only 1.2% across the 32 major countries predicted by Omdia’s report. This will only grow to 3% in 2025, highlighting the long road to mass adoption of VR.

Standalone headsets are expanding the appeal of VR, led by Oculus Quest

Facebook’s Oculus Quest headset has been able to strike a good balance between an all-in-one form factor and a high-quality immersive VR experience at an attractive price. Starting at $ 299 for Quest 2, Facebook makes high-quality VR more accessible than ever. As a hybrid headset, Quest spans categories connected to both standalone and PC, giving owners flexibility and access to a wide range of content. Omdia predicts that 1.2 million Quest devices will be sold in 2020 and will grow to 5.6 million by 2025.

Facebook’s aggressive loss leader strategy simply means that other headset makers can’t compete, and many are shifting their focus to the adjacent enterprise VR category. Still, we expect more successful consumer standalone VR headsets to emerge in the coming years, especially from China. Omdia predicts that Facebook’s share of global standalone VR headset sales will decline from 48% in 2020 to 35% in 2025.

Valve has been successful with PC gamers and HTC continues to lose market share, but PlayStation VR requires a gap year

Valve’s PC Tether Index headset resonated well with enthusiastic PC gamers looking for the best VR offers.High-definition display, innovative “knuckle” controller combination, and proximity to the long-awaited launch Half-life: Alyx VR games were the main success factor. However, its high starting price of $ 999 and the requirements for a powerful PC limit its appeal beyond this niche.

HTC is rapidly losing its position in consumer VR Oculus and Valve as it failed to replicate Vive’s initial success with the new Vive Cosmos headset. Now that Facebook has abolished Go and Rift headsets and integrated its efforts into a single device (Quest), HTC is expanding its product range in the hope of appealing to a wide range of consumer and enterprise segments. I keep doing it. While a broad portfolio strategy is appropriate for mature markets such as smartphones, Omdia believes that HTC risks spreading too thinly in the early VR category.

Sony recently confirmed that PlayStation VR (PSVR) follow-up will not arrive in 2021. This is a logical decision given the focus on manufacturing and selling the recently launched PlayStation 5 (PS5) console. Omdia now believes the PSVR 2 will be available in late 2022, with inside-out tracking and, in some cases, wireless tethering capabilities. Until then, the use of existing PSVR is expected to decline. PS5 console owners must order a free adapter to use the PS VR. It’s a small but big barrier. On the other hand, the flow of new VR games may slow down in anticipation of PSVR 2. Omdia predicts that 900,000 PSVR 2 headsets will be sold within the first three months of its 2022 launch, achieving higher console connectivity than ever before. generation.

The game is set to further control spending on consumer VR content

VR content revenue will increase from $ 1.1 billion in 2020 to $ 4 billion in 2025, when games account for 90% of total spending. Initially, 360-degree interactive video content offered a lot of potential, but companies struggled to effectively monetize their content due to the low installation base of headsets and sluggish demand. This has resulted in some significant casualties in VR video production spaces such as the BBC VR hub, Google Spotlight Stories, Jaunt and Oculus Story Studio.

In the future, Omdia hopes that interactive video monetization will be driven by advertising and media subscriptions, as illustrated in YouTube and Netflix’s approach to VR. Social VR, another category of potential, is experiencing challenges similar to interactive video. Facebook continues to focus on the long-term vision of the Horizon platform, but it’s still unclear if VR can create a truly engaging social experience.

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