It may not touch augmented reality in the long term, but virtual reality will be the fastest-growing media and entertainment category by revenue over the next five years.
Total VR revenue in the U.S. is projected to grow from $3.1 billion this year to $7.2 billion in 2022, a growth rate of 38% a year since 2017, according to the annual PwC Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2018-2022.
Globally, virtual reality is on track to reach a base of about 50 million units with $10 billion in revenue by 2022, according to a different forecast by Digi-Capital.
The U.S. leads the global market in VR revenue, according to the annual PwC study, noting that the new wave started when the original Oculus VR headset was launched on Kickstarted back in 2012.
Since then, more VR headsets have arrived, including those based in Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality platform and portable dedicated headsets from HTC, Oculus and others. The legendary PlayStation still leads the pack in high-end VR.
Gaming revenue accounted for 61% of VR revenue last year, but the market for VR video is growing rapidly and expected to pass gaming revenue as the single largest component of the VR content market in four years.
PwC projects there will be 55 million active VR headsets in the U.S. by 2022, with 21 million of them being the newer, portable dedicated type.
While virtual reality is growing rapidly, it’s nothing compared to what’s coming in augmented reality.
While there will be around 50 million VR headsets by 2022, augmented reality will reach 3 billion units worth $85 billion, according to Digi-Capital. That’s the reality.