VR installed base to hit 38.9m by year-end - SuperData

Research firm expects total VR gaming market, driven by mobile, to be worth $5.1 billion in 2016

According to SuperData's VR Gaming Market Brief 2016, the addressable audience for VR gaming across all devices should reach 56 million unique users by the end of this year with an installed base around 38.9 million. The firm estimates that the total VR gaming market will be worth $5.1 billion at year-end, with mobile being largely responsible for the market's growth.

"Initially, affordable smartphone devices will drive the bulk of sales as consumers first explore virtual reality before committing to the more expensive platforms," said SuperData Director of Research Stephanie Llamas. "After this first wave, consumers will likely move more high-end VR devices on PC."

While the buzz around Oculus, PlayStation VR and Valve's Vive headset is big in the industry, the market itself will get a push from nearly 30 million VR-equipped mobile devices, compared with only 6.6 million PCs and 1.9 million consoles. In terms of demographics, SuperData anticipates a much younger crowd driving the VR market, as 74 percent of US respondents under age 18 were "very interested" in VR; it seems the older the crowd, the less interest as that data point dropped to 65 percent for millennials, 54 percent for Gen Xers and only 42 percent for Baby Boomers.

2016 will definitely be an interesting year for the numerous game studios who've devoted themselves to new VR technologies. While some will reap rewards, others no doubt will be harmed by investing too much in VR too early on. SuperData noted that small studios and indies are currently developing 829 VR games, collectively, while most large publishers have decided to wait and see. Overall, total investments in virtual and augmented reality reached a combined $6.1 billion between 2012 and 2015.

"Investors are eager to see some initial proof of concept, hoping that consumers will quickly take to the new technology. In late November, the Samsung Gear VR did well when it was first released, selling out within 48 hours," SuperData observed.

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Latest comments (6)

Jeff Litchford Vice President, idol minds6 years ago
Install base of 39 million? Just because Samsung phones can be plugged into the Gear doesn't mean you've sold 30 million Gear sets... I guess I question SuperData logic behind these numbers. I would expect an install base in the low millions at best.
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James Berg Games User Researcher 6 years ago
27m of those are assumed to be reached via cardboard or similar methods, actually. Only 2.5m for Gear VR.
Full report:

I picked up a Gear VR the other day, looking into what apps/experiences are good for it. So far, it's neat, but the screendoor effect is really pronounced.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.6 years ago
This again?

I hope there aren't many investors banking on that $5.1 billion / 38.9 million figure.
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Raymond Goldsmith Chairman & CEO, ISM6 years ago
What type of funny cigarettes are these research firms smoking !!! They really do have there head in the "cloud" !!!!
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Richard Browne Head of External Projects, Digital Extremes6 years ago
How many cardboards did they ship with the NYTimes the other week? Very doable if you just keeping shipping cardboard.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 6 years ago
@Richard: Wait. People still read the NY Times? I guess they do just to get cardboard VR glasses. Hmmmmm... :D

I've yet to see someone using cardboard VR in public (which is a good thing), but that means those folks who do use it are solely doing so at home or in places where they'll not be mugged or otherwise harassed by outside distractions. Here in NYC, people get their tech yanked out of their hands daily by thieves (who don't all seem to realize many phones have means of tracing them after they're grabbed). I hope to hear or see nothing of VR-related thefts as that would mean some folks should have stayed in bed (or at least thought their gaming session time and place out a lot better).
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