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VR headset technology “will be commercially viable within the next five years”

Market increased by five per cent in 2019

VR headset technology will become “commercially viable within the next five years,” according to Futuresource Consulting.

The report found that the VR headset market increased by five per cent in 2019. Futuresource added that market development hasn’t reached the levels expected at the start of 2019, however this is a delay in uptake rather than a market reversal.

Market analyst James Manning Smith called mobile “the weakest link in the VR chain,” citing an 11 per cent drop in market volume in 2019, dipping below 11 million shipments worldwide.

Console VR was “a market high-point” with shipments of 2.4 million in 2019 and an installed base of 3.8 million active units, while PC VR saw 4.1 million shipments achieved in 2019. “While this will drive interest for business users, the consumer gaming angle is likely to remain limited,” noted Smith.

Futuresource expects Q4 2020 to bring in the next generation of console hardware, as the release of Sony’s PS5 is projected to boost demand for PSVR headsets.

“Although price and content availability remain the largest inhibitors to widespread consumer adoption of VR, we are seeing signs of progress,” Smith concluded. “Technological achievements like inside-out tracking, hand tracking, field of view and resolution milestones suggest that this technology is leaving its nascent stage and will be commercially viable within the next five years.”