Finally we have some indication of how many VR headsets are out in the wild, even if it’s only of the mobile variety. At CES 2017 today, VentureBeat reports that Samsung Electronics America chief Tim Baxter has officially stated during the company’s press event that they’ve officially sold 5 million Samsung Gear VR headsets, which are powered by the Oculus Home platform.
Baxter goes on to say that consumers have watched over 10 million hours of video.
Just last week mobile headset manufacturer Homido told UploadVR that they had sold over 500,000 of their own devices, but a leading brand like Samsung outpacing them with 10x the results should come as no surprise. Last year, Oculus stated that 1 million users had interacted with the Samsung Gear VR platform in a single month alone, making this 5 million figure a big jump in less than a single year. Amazon sales rankings indicate a big push over the holiday season likely occurred and Samsung has been known to bundle the Gear VR headsets with recent smartphone releases, such as the Galaxy S7 and now-discontinued Galaxy Note 7.
We’re still waiting on word from Facebook and HTC/Valve regarding sales numbers for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, respectively, as well as numbers from Sony regarding the PS VR. Last we heard, Sony had outsold “many hundreds of thousands” and surpassed initial expectations, which is a promising sign.
As VR continues to take a foothold among the public conscience and edge out a place in the market, big sales numbers in the multi-millions such as the Gear VR will be important not just for spurring consumer confidence, but developer confidence as well. Hopefully the success of Samsung’s mobile VR headset will result in success for the industry as a whole.
Does the 5 million number surprise you? What do you think the other headsets on the market have sold? Let us know in the comments below!