SuperData predicts huge gains for virtual reality over the next four years

SuperData was rather famously quoted all throughout the industry at the end of 2016 following its research-backed proclamation that virtual reality was the “biggest loser” of the holiday gaming sales season. But this week, the company has issued an infographic suggesting that VR is now “on the rise” and its best days are ahead of it.

Last November, the research firm adjusted its original estimates for VR sales after both Sony and Google saw significantly fewer than anticipated VR headsets sold to consumers. However, SuperData explained at the time that headsets were suffering from “supply inconsistencies,” poor sales tactics during the holidays, and the absence of high-demand games and apps to drive sales — none of which was irreversible.

The new infographic anticipates a “steep rise” in VR adoption over the next few years, though it’ll be one still vastly overshadowed by the use of TV, phones, and PCs. While SuperData suggests most of the profits are in the devices themselves right now, it predicts that by 2020, revenue from VR will near $40B US and eventually be more evenly distributed over hardware and software.

By the by, even if every other VR device teamed up, the Samsung Gear would still kick their butts all by itself in terms of VR devices shipped last year — it’s not even close. Take a peek below.

Source: Superdata
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37 Comments on "SuperData predicts huge gains for virtual reality over the next four years"

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Alex Malone

I’d love to know how superdata are making their predictions.

All of 2016, they were wrong about VR. Like, every single time they predicted anything about VR, they were spectacularly wrong.

Also, I’m guessing “units shipped” is very different to “units sold”, because superdata were telling us that the Oculus had only sold ~120k units by November time. I guess they might have doubled their total annual sales in a single month, but I doubt it.

Finally, Superdata have proven themselves completely inept at analysing data. They are OK at collecting it, but analysis has always been their weak point. For this, in particular, they don’t seem to be considering the product itself. Steep adoption rate, similar to colour TV and cell phones? Idiots.

Colour TV = 100% upgrade over black and white, so of course adoption rate it high.
Mobile Phone = 99% upgrade over landline (only downside is battery life).
VR Headsets = sidegrade.

There is absolutely no reason to believe adoption rate will be that high. Sure, you gain 3D vision with a wide field of vision, but you have to wear a big headset (downside), it makes you nauseous (downside), its stupidly expensive (downside), it cuts out your vision of the real world (downside) and is really disjointed in terms of movement (downside). VR really is a gimmick, rather than an upgrade, which is why I don’t believe any of these predictions.

Instead, perhaps VR should be compared to other technology gimmicks, like 3DTVs, Segways, Hoverboards etc. Chances are it will have a decent enough start, then once the gimmick wears off it’ll be reduced to a small niche of enthusiasts.

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rafael12104

Hmm. So, who freaking knows. Seriously. Consumers are a fickle bunch. Last year Pokemon-Go revolutionized gaming and MMOs creating a new catagory in and of itself. This year, they have already lost 80 percent of their base.

3DTVs, The Betamax, The Sega Dreamcast, you can probably add to the list of failures that were a sure success.

So I don’t know. I tried Oculus and I liked it. I didn’t like the price or the bulky headgear, but things can change. BUT as I said before, they need that killer app/game. The game that will sell the hardware and not just as a nuance.

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Pedge Jameson

comment image

miol
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miol

This only shows, how SuperData likes to bait and switch!
Not a very scientific or sincere approach!

/bleah

PurpleCopper
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PurpleCopper

Soon, we’ll all plug our brains into the Matrix for the ultimate MMO immersion.

Just like Sword Arts Online.

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Danny Smith

Maybe in the service and manufactory industries, as home entertainment i would love to see what ‘killer apps’ will take it beyond the current Kinect 3.0 state the kids call “falling for the VR meme”, unless the analysts REALLY like “stand in one spot and shoot waves of floating things for $40” style games.

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Schmidt.Capela

I’m wondering how they deal with devices like Daydream and Gear VR in their prediction. Do they count the price of the smartphone that powers those in their VR hardware numbers?

Also, with games and apps that can be used both with or without VR, how are they counting those? I have a few VR-enabled games that I never played in VR, for example.

BTW, if the current trend is kept, expect to see plenty of devices that turn common smartphones into VR headsets, like Daydream and GearVR, plus smartphone VR apps, but comparatively few computer and console-based VR headsets and games. And this will likely remain the adoption pattern until PC and console VR headsets become far cheaper (my guess is that it would take sub-$100 prices to reach mainstream adoption).

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Melissa McDonald

Resistance is futile. *sips mug of ale* :)
I’ve accepted that this site has a quite a few scoffers. that’s ok. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of VR. The data is all there. The sales are tremendous for such a fledgling technology.
“Up, up, up, there’s no way but up from here.” – Shania Twain

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Pedge Jameson

Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I know you always really get excited over the VR thing, but the fanboi comments are overbearing. :P

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Greaterdivinity

For most of us, we’re just exhausted of hearing about how VR dominance is “JUST OVER THE HORIZON!”…which we’ve been told nonstop for the past 2-3 years.

When it happens, great. But being constantly bludgeoned by analysts and consumer tech media with their nonstop hype (remember when they were all hyping up 3D TV’s?!) is tiring and annoying. It’s pretty obvious that it’s nowhere near as immediate as the forecasts continue to predict, remember when analysts were forecasting multi-million unit sales for PSVR in 2016? The headset is absolutely doing well (largely due to its comparatively lower price point for the headset and PS4 [compared to say a Rift and a PC capable of handling it] and easier “plug and play” setup compared to PC solutions right now), but it failed to crest 1M units shipped, much less sold through consumers.

Us scoffers are not haters, for the most part. The reality is that the data isn’t there to support the explosive growth that Superdata is forecasting. It hasn’t been there for years, which is why the consistently bullish estimates are constantly being revised well below initial targets. The tech and market simply aren’t ready, and we’re going to need to get some absolutely killer software that currently isn’t really anywhere in sight.

VR may be seeing a resurgence, but it’s far from a fledgling technology. It’s been around for a while, and is getting to the point where it’s technically and financially viable for consumer use. But it’s going to be a while before it starts being adopted by the general public, just as it took quite a while for everything from personal computers, to cell phones, to DVD’s etc. to get to the point where they were affordable enough and of high enough quality for mass-market adoption.

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Arktouros

This really depends on who you listen to.

A company like Oculus, for example, is trying to build a market and focus on market growth. It’s predictable you’re going to hear them talking up “the next big thing!” and focus on trying to drop the price to get more people involved. They launched with a cheaper package with less features (no motion controls) and have stated they are forgoing working out things like Wireless because they want to bring the cost down and Wireless will bring it up.

A company like Valve, on the other hand, has gone on record that they don’t know if VR will really be the next big thing. An example Gabe Newell used was the Vive where Wii Sports was pretty fantastic but other titles were pretty lackluster. For them it’s about designing a new way to interact with games because it’s new and interesting. They’re focusing heavily on bringing the technology to a good point and then will later focus on how to cut costs.

Holding current versions of VR to previous standards is, largely, nonsensical. There’s really no product that comes even remotely close to the kinds of experiences offered today.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Affordability is the big one here. There will always be people who must have whatever new trinket hits the market. For the rest of us, it needs to prove itself and be affordable, two things that have not happened yet.

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Arktouros

Really a question of experience as well though.

Like when I mentioned I got a Vive last year to a Coworker they had gotten a Samsung GearVR with their phone and thought the whole thing was pretty lame. I couldn’t really disagree because if all I had was some screen strapped to my face that does indeed seem pretty lame despite being the most cost efficient product. So if the only way to bring the costs down is provide a lame experience that doesn’t seem like it’s a good choice.

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Nordavind

20 years is not that young tech.

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Hirku

That’s nice, but until it involves not having screens strapped to my face I’ll continue to not give a crap.

flatline4400
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flatline4400

lol… yeah, no.

And may as well put a “Sponsored by – Facebook” disclaimer on these conclusions…