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SuperData lowers short-term Virtual Reality forecast

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VR is coming this year, and some are quite bullish. According to some, the technology is too big to fail, while others – like EA – are adopting a wait and see approach. One of the analysts who were o the bullish side of things, SuperData, has readjusted its forecast – and not in VR’s favour.

Last year, they opined that the install base for VR could be as high as 70 million users by the end of 2017.  They’re newly revised figures paint a more realistic picture. SuperData expects VR revenues to total $3.6 billion for this year, 30 percent lower than the $5.1 billion it expected two months ago.

“Since we published our original figures, we have had a number of conversations with both hardware and software developers, as well as access to newly public information.” SuperData’s Stephanie Llamas told Gi.Biz.

“We previously overestimated PC and mobile hardware penetration and underestimated console hardware sales. Console will be high-end VR’s white horse since it has lower hardware requirements, easier set-up and lower pricing. PlayStation’s 35 million-plus users are also a far larger accessible audience than that of high-end PCs, which tops off at about 17 million.”

“John Riccitiello’s ‘gap of disappointment’  forced us to take a harder look at hardware’s growth within a historical narrative. We found that media adoption (e.g., TV, computers, smartphones, etc.) has always seen exponential growth that can be attributed to easier access and decreasing prices. However, this initial lull in adoption has shortened due to both product visibility on a global scale and the speed at which manufacturing costs drop. So although we see that initial struggle for VR, there will be a relatively quick push upward within the next 3-5 years.”

Interestingly, a new consumer report suggests that the average consumer really couldn’t give a damn about the burgeoning new technology – because they’re scarcely aware it exists.

“Despite extensive media coverage of Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, Google Cardboard and other virtual reality devices, fully two thirds of consumers are unaware of the technology,” Horizon says in a report, adding that while techheads and those in the loop may be keen, it’s got a long way to go before it sees anything resembling mass consumer adoption.

Last Updated: March 9, 2016

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