VR market forecast downgraded

According to Bob Raikes, editor of Display Daily, the VR hype is not quite reaching consumers. He admits that the bandwagon has attracted Sony (PlayStation VR), HTC (Vive), Google (Cardboard) and impressive devices from Samsung, LG, Microsoft, Intel and Alcatel, but the offering are not being embraced by high street consumers despite plenty of stores providing expensive demo areas for VR equipment.

Display Daily quotes data from SuperData which has just significantly downgraded its forecasts for the VR market. “The reality seems to be that there is very limited demand for VR from buyer,” states Raikes. The SuperData comments are worrying: “Notably fewer units sold than expected [on the Black Friday/Thanksgiving weekend] due to a relatively fragmented title line-up and modest marketing effort.”

Their forecasts are potentially devastating. SuperData’s revised forecast for 2016 calls for under 750k PlayStation VR units sold (their previous estimate was 2.6 million) with Google’s Daydream selling just 261,000 (down from an expected 450,000). Samsung’s ‘Gear’ viewer is still expected to sell – as forecast – around 2.3 million units this year in total, according to Statista.

Set against this picture of doom and gloom there’s positive news from Fox Sports, never slow to miss a trend, which on December 3rd (partnering with LiveLike) showed a Big Ten championship college football game live, complete with a GoPro from the referee’s point-of-view (similar to that enjoyed by European viewers to a rugby ref’s chest on championship games).

Of course, the year is not quite out. There’s Christmas to come. But as Raikes says, is VR on its way to be this year’s 3D TV non-event?

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