Virtual reality, the idealized next step in both games and simulations. With the rise of the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Sony’s Project Morpheus, and the recent OnePlus Cardboard virtual reality is beginning to find a place in the consumer home, rather than just among tech enthusiasts and arcade rooms.
The question is, and will be, if virtual reality is here to stay and how it will affect the current gaming market. TMR, a market intelligence company, has released a report estimating that the US virtual reality market was worth US $ 466.6 million in 2012. With growth forecast to reach US $ 5.8 billion. in 2019.
This huge market potential is probably the driving force behind the wide range of companies launching onto the virtual reality scene. Everyone from Sony to Valve are developing or have released early products, such an impactful range of gaming companies is a sign that VR has a place. While this anticipated growth is impressive, it remains to be seen whether this new technology will simply be a fad or a long-term gambling option.
According to this report, the steady rise in technology such as 3D effects and motion tracking are fueling the rise of virtual reality. While the increase in disposable income is allowing more and more households to try this new technology. On the other hand, the cost of these technologies, demonstrated by Valve stating that its HTC Vive is aimed at the high-end consumer, is expected to hurt growth and mainstream adoption.
The global spread of virtual reality is obviously concentrated in North America and Europe, both of which account for 69% of the revenue share. Although surprisingly, Asia is slated to be the region with the highest potential due to Sony’s growing online engagement and presence, which have easy access to Asia for their Morpheus Project.
This single report highlights that virtual reality has enormous potential, both for the companies that produce it and for consumers. Ultimately, however, it will depend on the content that will be available for these machines and the cost of the machines. Today, an average consumer will not spend the equivalent of an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 on a machine that offers only a limited range of games. Although if games like “Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes” prove anything, it’s that the right kind of playstyle can work perfectly with VR headsets. We look forward to the day when Call of Duty can be played in a virtual reality machine, or maybe that wouldn’t be such a good idea.