SuperData, a Nielsen company, has released its latest extended reality (XR) findings focused on revenue and projections for the virtual, augmented and mixed reality markets. Based on high consumer interest in Oculus Quest, SuperData expects 1.3 million units will sell this year and annual XR revenue will reach $11.5 billion (€10bn).
Following a robust holiday season, 700,000 PlayStation VR units sold in Q4, followed by 555,000 Oculus Go units, then 160,000 Oculus Rift units and 130,000 HTC VIVE units. PlayStation VR overtook Samsung Gear VR to become the market leader as consumers craved higher-end experiences in console, PC and standalone headsets. Overall, the increase in user adoption pushed annual VR revenue to $3.6 billion, up 30 per cent year-over-year.
“2019 is poised to be an important year for VR with the introduction of the Oculus Quest,” said Stephanie Llamas, Head of VR/AR at SuperData. “Device tethering to consoles and PCs has been an obstacle for consumer adoption, so a standalone headset like the Quest could be a real game changer. Likewise, the introduction of new headset technology like eye tracking in the HTC VIVE Pro Eye is likely to accelerate growth of enterprise usage.”
The product’s ease-of-use and $199 price point made the Oculus Go attractive to first-time VR headset buyers, pushing device sales to 1 million units since its launch in May 2018. PlayStation VR was the headset of choice for gamers during the holiday season thanks to steep Black Friday discounts and the addition of critically acclaimed titles like Beat Saber.
According to SuperData’s findings, games remain the biggest money-maker, accounting for 68 per cent of XR software revenue in 2018. Pokémon GO had a resurgence in 2018 with earnings growing to $1.3 billion, which was two-thirds (66 per cent) of the $2 billion XR games market. Games continue to be the key revenue driver for virtual reality, earning 43 per cent of VR’s $1.2 billion of software revenue.
The increasing popularity of location-based entertainment also contributed to the industry’s top-line growth, accounting for 16 per cent last year. Experiences like Jurassic World VR Expedition at Dave & Busters and Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire appealed to everyday consumers by tying into popular entertainment properties.