VR headset shipments top 1 million per quarter for the first time

It seems that VR sales are not showing the signs of slowing that were predicted, as headset sales for Q3 2017 broke 1 million for the first time.

According to independent analysts Canalys, Sony took the lead with Playstation VR shipping over 490,000 sets. Oculus followed behind in second place with 210,000 Rift headsets shipped, and HTC took third with 160,000 Vive units sold.

Together, Sony, Oculus and HTC dominate the VR hardware market, taking a up 86% of the total market in Q3 2017.

The widely reported decision by Oculus to cut the price of their headset to $399 seems to have been successful in increasing the number of units sold. “VR adoption in the consumer segment is highly dependent on price, and Oculus’ strategy of lowering prices has definitely helped drive adoption,” said Canalys Research Analyst Vincent Thielke.

It seems that keeping the price of future hardware as low as possible is going to be a priority going into 2018. “Hugo Barra is betting on his next product, the US$199 Oculus Go standalone headset, to reach more users next year,” continued Thielke.

“The Go will excite first-time users, but driving adoption beyond social media will be a challenge.”

Based on the positive effect the price drop had on Q3 sales prompted the company to permanently lower the price in November.

Boost in 2018

The Japanese market in particular seems to be really warming up to VR. Adoption in the land of the rising sun has benefitted enormously from the introduction of VR experience zones across the country.

“Sony is well placed to take advantage of this increasing interest in VR,” said Canalys Analyst Jason Low.

“Sony has dominated the Japanese VR headset market since the release of the PS VR, taking more than an 80% share, and will continue to lead as it increases supply of the PS VR headset with bundles featuring new titles from popular franchises, including Doom, Skyrim and Gran Turismo.”

Canalys believes that 2018 will see the market gaining a “sizeable boost” from new entrants supporting Microsoft’s Mixed Reality platform.

“VR in business can be applied to many industries, such as manufacturing, healthcare and education,” said Low.

“As top-tier PC vendors, including HP, Lenovo, Acer, Asus and Dell, launch their own VR headsets, using their distribution channel efficiencies, one can expect a strong VR uptake in business.”

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