The king of Facebook has spoken on virtual reality. Mark Zuckerberg believes VR devices powered by smartphones will be the main factor that pushes early adopters to buy them, he said in an interview with Mathias Dopfner, CEO of Axel Springer (Business Insider’s parent company).
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The king of Facebook has spoken on virtual reality.
Mark Zuckerberg believes VR devices powered by smartphones will be the main factor that pushes early adopters to buy them, he said in an interview with Mathias Dopfner, CEO of Axel Springer (Business Insider's parent company).
The Facebook CEO also pointed out, though, that consumers would eventually shift toward VR devices powered by PCs for a more robust experience.
Facebook will launch its PC-powered VR headset, the Oculus Rift, on March 28.
Consumer interest in VR hardware is starting to rise, and several companies are planning to release their devices this year, notes Laurie Beaver, research associate for BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service.
But there will be challenges once these devices hit the market. The more sophisticated devices, such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, also happen to be the most discussed, but they require high-end gaming PCs to function properly. Nvidia VR general manager Jason Paul told VentureBeat that only approximately 13 million PCs in 2016 will be able to power these VR devices properly.
So consumers would have to upgrade their current PCs or buy new ones, which could cost upwards of $1,000. Therefore, consumers will move toward the smartphone-powered VR headsets in the early- and mid-term, Beaver notes.
Once the Oculus Rift and similar products hit the market, the world of VR will truly explode. Most of the focus for VR has been on gaming, but there are several other opportunities within the VR space, including video and e-commerce. So where is the VR market headed?
BI Intelligence has compiled a detailed report on virtual reality hardware that provides proprietary forecasts for VR headset shipments and revenue and estimates average selling price over the next five years. The report also takes a look at the different types of VR headset technology now on the market, discusses which categories will win out, and looks at several use cases for VR headsets, including gaming and other.
Here are some key points from the report:
- Virtual Reality (VR) headsets are debuting on the consumer market and set to launch an advanced and immersive content platform. We estimate shipments of VR headsets will grow at a swift 99% compound annual growth rate between 2015 and 2020.
- VR shipments will create a $2.8 billion hardware market by 2020, up from an estimated $37 million market this year.
- VR headsets are a fairly low-cost consumer electronics category, and this will help drive adoption. The devices will be priced similarly to smartwatches and also need to pair with another standalone computing device.
- Demand for VR headsets will be fueled by gaming on both mobile and console devices. There are 1.2 billion gamers worldwide, including nearly 1 billion mobile gamers alone. This creates a direct, addressable market for VR headsets.
- Beyond gaming, VR will be an important platform for streaming content and even shopping. Oculus has already experimented with Story Studio, a platform for VR movie creation. In addition, many consumers claim the VR experience will drive them to shop more online rather than in stores.
In full, the report:
- Forecasts annual shipments of VR headsets between 2015 and 2020.
- Sizes the market for VR headset shipments by revenue and anticipates how the VR headset average selling price will trend.
- Breaks down VR headset shipments by category, including traditional VR headsets, smartphone-mounted VR headsets, and gaming-console headsets.
- Pinpoints the gaming console market as a key driver of demand for VR headsets.
- Discusses the opportunity for VR content creation in gaming, streaming video, and shopping.
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The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of the emerging world of virtual reality hardware.
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