VR headset sales may not have set the world on fire in 2017 but Nvidia predicts we’ll see a massive jump in the next three years.
During the company’s opening keynote for CES 2018 in Las Vegas last night Nvidia revealed that it expects 50 million VR headsets to be sold by 2021, as seen in the slide above. CEO Jensen Huang didn’t mention if they included devices beyond PC-based headsets like the mobile and standalone categories, but given the size of that number, it certainly seems likely.
It’s a bullish figure, though that’s not too surprising coming from a company that manufacturers the GPUs powering many VR-ready PCs. But VR has a long way to go to hit it; we currently know that Sony’s PlayStation VR (PSVR) has sold two million units while Oculus and Samsung’s Gear VR had shifted five million units last time we heard. It’s largely thought that neither the Oculus Rift nor the HTC Vive has sold over a million units, though neither company has confirmed sales figures for their respective devices just yet.
2018 does represent an opportunity for headsets to start picking up in sales, though. For starters, cheaper, more accessible devices like the $199 Oculus Go standalone headset will be arriving soon, while other products are set to deliver more immersive experiences, like HTC’s rumored new Vive that we should be seeing later today. Content, meanwhile, continues to improve which should help the overall appeal of these products and hopefully the reduced price of Nvidia hardware itself should lower the entry point. Can VR start pulling ahead this year?