Market intelligence company SuperData released its latest extended reality (XR) findings on Thursday. It believes Oculus will sell 1.3 million units of its anticipated Quest headset this year, and annual XR revenue will reach $11.5 billion.
The Oculus Quest is a standalone VR headset that doesn’t require a PC or mobile phone to operate. It also reportedly uses inside-out tracking, which allows it to respond visually to users leaning into a VR experience. It will ship with two handheld controllers and access to more than 50 titles for $399.
“2019 is poised to be an important year for VR with the introduction of the Oculus Quest,” said Stephanie Llamas, head of VR/AR at SuperData. “Device tethering to consoles and PCs has been an obstacle for consumer adoption, so a standalone headset like the Quest could be a real game changer. Likewise, the introduction of new headset technology like eye tracking in the HTC Vive Pro Eye is likely to accelerate growth of enterprise usage.”
Thanks to a robust holiday season, Sony reportedly sold an estimated 700,000 PlayStation VR headsets in Q4 2018. It was the headset of choice amongst gamers during the holiday season, SuperData said, thanks to steep Black Friday discounts and the launch of critically-acclaimed rhythm game “Beat Saber.” PlayStation VR surpassed Samsung Gear VR to become the new market leader in the fourth quarter, with consumers reportedly craving higher-end experiences found in console, PC, and standalone headsets.
The Health Care Industry Is Using It. Health care is actually one of the leading industries that have fully embraced this technology. For example, medical schools are now using virtual reality to teach and train doctors on conducting complex medical procedures and operations. There are also simulations that are engaging doctors in certain medical situations in real life. For patients, virtual reality can be useful as well. Many hospitals now give patients virtual reality headsets instead of drugs to help relax them.
Meanwhile, the Oculus Go’s ease-of-use and $199 price point made it an attractive option for first-time VR headset buyers, SuperData said. The Facebook-owned company sold 555,000 Go units last quarter, along with 160,000 Rift units. Oculus has now sold over one million Go units since its launch in May 2018.
Unsurprisingly, games remain a big money-maker, accounting for 68% of XR software revenue in 2018, SuperData said. Augmented reality app “Pokémon Go” enjoyed a resurgence last year thanks to new features like Pokémon trading and trainer vs. trainer battles. Its earnings reportedly reached $1.3 billion, two-thirds (66%) of the $2 billion XR games market. Video games overall accounted for 43% of virtual reality’s $1.2 billion in software revenue.
Overall, SuperData said the increase in user adoption helped push annual virtual reality revenue to $3.6 billion, a 30% increase year-over-year.