In its new Virtual Reality Industry Report: Spring 2017, Greenlight Insights forecasts total virtual reality revenues to reach $7.2 billion globally by the end of 2017.
'Virtual Reality Industry Report: Spring 2017' found that $4.7 billion of that total will be accounted for by head-mounted displays (HMDs).
Anticipating modest growth in the short term, Greenlight Insights expects the VR industry to grow into a major global marketplace by 2021, reaching $74.8 billion in global revenues, driven in part by the increased spending in several enterprise sectors and in location-based entertainment (LBE) industry.
"We saw mixed results in the global VR industry in 2016 – initial sales volume by some high-end manufacturers didn't quite live up to the hype, while PlayStation VR, Samsung Gear VR, and low-cost headsets continued to gain traction," said Clifton Dawson, CEO of Greenlight Insights.
"There are turbulent times ahead, but our analysis points to VR achieving critical mass in many markets by 2019, building to a considerable global marketplace five years from now."
Further predictions outlined in the report were:
- New VR headsets powered by Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system will spark demand by enterprise firms for VR-related hardware, software and services.
- The introduction of new hardware platforms from top PC manufacturers in late 2017 will accelerate the availability of affordable headsets and VR-ready computers. This will also help achieve a good-better-best pricing strategy for consumers, which should benefit industry stakeholders all along the supply chain.
- Consumer reaction to the rapid proliferation of LBE centres, which emerged in 2015, are now a core component of an early distribution marketplace for VR content producers. Greenlight Insights notes rising utilisation rates and forecasts LBE centres to become a $1.2 billion segment in 2021.
"Before spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on equipment, new users are turning to LBE centres to experience VR inexpensively and more immersively than they could with an in-home system,” said Eddie Lou, China market analyst, Greenlight Insights.
“Niche accessories such as full haptic suits, sensory simulators, and specialised controllers will find a home in LBE centres as consumers will be less inclined to purchase expensive hardware. This represents a distinct market opportunity for VR content studios and hardware vendors."