Analysts predict there will be 11 million VR users by 2016

by Will Mason • February 20th, 2015

In a recently published report by games industry research company, SuperData, the company predicted big things for the VR industry, saying they expect 11 million users to be using VR by the end of 2016.

This is a huge number, and is representative of just how explosive analysts are expecting virtual reality’s growth pattern to be. Comparing to other industries, radio took 38 years to reach 50 million users, television took 14, and the Internet took four. The rate at which we are adopting new platforms is increasing at a breakneck pace, and VR looks to continue that trend.

Among the other trends in virtual reality highlighted in the document were mobile VR, gaming, and indie studios. The article said that mobile VR is currently the fastest growing platform for VR, which makes sense given its current accessibility compared to an Oculus Rift. Gaming, it said, will continue to be the initial driver for VR going as far to say “video games are currently the only viable entertainment market for virtual reality.” Having seen short animated film content in VR, I am not sure if I fully agree with that, but games will most definitely be the biggest market for virtual reality in its early stages as a consumer product. Finally indie studios, the document says, are best suited to “seize improving tech,” due to their flexibility in the marketplace; so keep up the good work indie devs, we need you!

Beyond predictions, the document also revealed a number of intriguing and promising facts about the industry. In 2014 alone, for example, over 1.3 million VR HMDs were sold, and discounting the Oculus purchase, over $590 million was invested in 18 virtual reality companies. All signs are pointing in the right direction for VR, now all we need is a release date. Ahem – Oculus, we are waiting.

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