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Oculus Go supporting otherwise faltering VR headset market

Q2 shipments show waning interest in VR as Pokemon Go continues to popularize AR

VR is struggling this year, and if anything can save it, it's Oculus Go. The cheaper, portable headset was responsible for the overall growth of VR headset sales in the first half of 2018, while all other major headset sales declined 50%.

SuperData's latest report on VR and AR for the first half of 2018 showed 289,000 shipments of the Oculus Go in Q2. This number drove an overall 38% growth in headset sales through the first half of the year despite no meaningful help from other major headsets. According to the analyst, that's at least in part due to a lack of any major titles announced or on their way in the near future.

Sony, in particular, is showing less interest in promoting its VR. PSVR only shipped just over 100,000 units in Q2, after having shipped three times as many over the same period last year. Microsoft, meanwhile, has indicated VR for Xbox One X isn't happening at all.

"Oculus GO is part of an important movement for XR," said SuperData head of XR Stephanie Llamas. "Facebook sold more units of the standalone headset in its launch quarter than they did the Oculus Rift in the entire first half of 2017. Its price and convenience are proving to be selling points, but it will be up to them to create compelling content that keeps users engaged over and over again."

AR, meanwhile, is doing great, and it's all thanks to Pokemon Go. AR revenue is currently on track to hit $1.5 billion by the end of the year, but despite that success, no other game has quite managed to touch Pokemon Go's popularity. Still, that's not for lack of trying. The number of apps using ARKit grew 13% since Q1, even as monthly active users using ARKit declined by 11%.

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Rebekah Valentine

Senior Staff Writer

Rebekah arrived at GamesIndustry in 2018 after four years of freelance writing and editing across multiple gaming and tech sites. When she's not recreating video game foods in a real life kitchen, she's happily imagining herself as an Animal Crossing character.