With Oculus pre-orders open and the price no longer a mystery, the gaming community is abuzz with speculation about the format’s viability. While some are certain the Rift’s $600 price point is a death knell for virtual reality, others are taking a longer view.

SuperData Research released its 2016 Virtual Reality Market Brief yesterday, indicating that it expects the segment to reach $5.1 billion this year. The company points to the success of Oculus’ partnership with Samsung on the Gear VR and commitments from Harmonix, CCP, and others on the software side.

Despite the launch of three major home-use head-mounted displays from Oculus, HTC, and Sony this year, SuperData suggests that the bulk of ownership will be from mobile VR users. The firm says that of the expected 38.9 million consumers owning virtual reality products this year, 27 million (71 percent) will opt for Gear VR or a similar solution.

SuperData expects that revenues will more than double over the next two years. The firm predicts the market will reach $12.3 billion in 2018.

[Source: SuperData Research]


Our Take
While many lament the expense of virtual reality’s opening salvo, the potential for rapid growth remains. With three home-use head-mounted displays due this year, Oculus boasting at least 20 exclusive games, and Gear VR continuing to sell (and generate software revenue), the potential is there. In order for it to be realized though, Oculus, Sony, and HTC, need to continue to get people to demo the headsets, motivate content-creators, and work to push the price lower as quickly as possible.