Quarterly VR headset shipments topped 1 million units for the first time in Q3 2017, with the market dominated by Sony, Oculus and HTC, Canalys said.
Sony shipped more than 490,000 PlayStation VR sets, followed by Oculus with 210,000 Rift headsets and HTC with 160,000 Vive VR units. Together, the three made up 86 per cent of the total market.
“VR adoption in the consumer segment is highly dependent on price, and Oculus’ strategy of lowering prices has definitely helped drive adoption,” said Vincent Thielke, research analyst at Canalys.
Oculus increased shipments by cutting its price to $399 for a limited time, matching that of PlayStation VR. Oculus subsequently made the lower price permanent, and Canalys said incumbents and new entrants are now targeting similar price points.
“Hugo Barra is betting on his next product, the $199 Oculus Go standalone headset, to reach more users next year. The Go will excite first-time users, but driving adoption beyond social media will be a challenge,” Thielke said.
The market is expected to gain a boost in 2018 from new entrants using Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality platform: a number of devices were announced at IFA 2017 earlier this year.
“VR in business can be applied to many industries, such as manufacturing, healthcare and education. 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,” Canalys analyst Jason Low said.
Canalys’ VR figures excludes simple viewing devices such as Samsung’s Gear VR and Google’s Daydream View.