Published: Tue, November 28, 2017
Technology | By Christopher Mann

VR headset quarterly shipments hit one million units for the first time

VR headset quarterly shipments hit one million units for the first time

Robust VR devices like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive require powerful computers to run the virtual reality content funneled through its headsets. The top VR headset makers, Sony, Oculus and HTC, accounted for 86% of the total units shipped in the last quarter.

The major VR headsets on the market sold a combined one million units in the third quarter of the year, and demand is expected to continue over the holiday period. Incumbents and new players entering the market are targeting similar price points. '[Facebook's head of VR] Hugo Barra is betting on his next product, the $199 Oculus Go standalone headset, to reach more users next year.

Thielke pointed to the Rift's discounted price of $399 over the summer as having helped move headsets.

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Sony's PlayStation VR is in a fortunate position; it's far more capable than mobile VR headsets like Google's Daydream or Samsung's Gear VR, but it also relies on Sony's extremely successful PS4, which has shipped almost 70 million units. VR in Japan has benefited immensely from the emergence of VR experience zones across the country, such as in Shinjuku, Tokyo.

Serious virtual reality is getting more serious.

Given the small size of the field at present and Microsoft and PC OEMs more direct relationship with PC users one should expect Windows Mixed Reality headsets to rapidly dominate the field. "'Sony should push VR more forcefully when supply constraints ease, and especially as promising titles such as Farpoint and Golem are launched" they said from the company.

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VR headset shipment data is taken from Canalys' Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Analysis service, which provides quarterly market tracking.

21% of sales went to the Oculus Rift, while 16% went to the more expensive HTC Vive. A basic VR headset is a device serving a specific set of purposes that is created to be worn on the face and not carried, can not run third-party computing applications independently and is generally tethered by cable to a desktop PC.

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