VR Headsets Forecast To Reach 54M By 2023

Unfortunately for Facebook and other champions of virtual reality, the technology has yet to take off among a critical mass of consumers.

But that could change in the next few years, new research suggests.

By 2023, shipments of VR headsets will reach 54 million -- up from an estimated 21 million this year -- Juniper Research predicts. That would amount to 160% growth over four years.

However, the research firm doesn’t foresee Facebook and its Oculus Go headsets benefiting much from the boom.

Instead, Sony’s PlayStation VR is expected to drive the console-based VR market -- which Juniper predicts will outperform all other VR markets over the next four years. (Those other VR markets include the smartphone and PC-based sectors.)

Google is well positioned to remain the leading VR headset vendor through 2023, according to Juniper. By then, the tech giant is expected to account for 27% of all VR shipments.

For its part, Sony’s shipments are set to exceed 9 million units by 2023, which will represent about 18% market share.

By 2023, Juniper anticipates that over 37 million games consoles will be using VR, which will represent about 19% of all consoles. The firm recommends that future headset releases align with mid-cycle console updates to allow for bundling of consoles and headsets into single offerings.

Xbox-maker Microsoft appears to be moving in this direction, according to research author Sam Barker.

“We expect Microsoft to announce VR support for its next generation consoles to provide competition for Sony in the VR space,” Barker notes in the report.

Perhaps slowing VR adoption, however, Juniper suspects premium games publishers might remain wary of the significant investment required for AAA-rated VR development.

To be clear, consumers are buying Oculus Go headsets. During this past holiday season, for example, Facebook sold about 555,000 units, according to a recent estimate from SuperData Research.

Besting Facebook, however, Sony sold about 700,000 PlayStation VR headsets over the 2018 holiday period.

Throughout 2018, the VR market racked up roughly $3.6 billion in revenues, per SuperData Research.
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