Virtual reality sales set to rise to 14m in 2016

Sales of virtual reality (VR) devices are predicted to reach 14 million in 2016, with more vendors taking an interest in the wearable market.

According to the Topology Research Institute (TRI), a division of TrendForce, more vendors will create VR devices with a greater emphasis on gaming.

Using the eight million first-year sales figures of Microsoft Kinect in 2010 as a base for comparison, TrendForce believes VR devices will enjoy better sales results in 2016. VR-based products are also being aggressively promoted by tech and entertainment giants including HTC, Nvidia, Oculus, Samsung Sony, and Disney.

Jason Tsai, wearable device analyst at TrendForce, said: “VR hardware’s market positioning is clearer than smartwatches.

“Since VR device’s strongest feature is providing users with an immersive audiovisual experience, its early application will be related to gaming.”

Tsai also stated that a large part of VR’s appeal is the abundance of content. VR games cost less resources to produce than VR movies. First-person games in particular can be ported to VR devices with few modifications.

The relatively low costs and minimal time required is reckoned to be a strong incentive for game developers as they will supposedly become major content providers for VR hardware.

In the future, the VR industry will apparently draw in more resources when all its participants have achieved concrete sales results and made profit. These investments will supposedly lead to more diverse content services for VR hardware.

Tsai also added that vendors could initially position VR devices as gaming accessories. Though the gaming accessories market is not as large as other consumer electronics markets (i.e. mobile devices) as it has a specific group of consumers. Vendors will apparently be able to capture a stable user base early on.

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