VR not living up to expectation
In July, Facebook published a press release that their VR product Oculus is available for $399 after a $200 reduction. Facebook advertised this price reduction as a summer special, however. the Oculus is still being sold at $399.
In August, it was announced that the price of HTC’s VR product VIVE has been reduced by $200. The press release portrayed this price reduction as a means to make their product more accessible to the mass market.
However, the fact that two of the main developers of VR technology reduced the price of their product could be a sign that VR technology is not taking off as expected.
Earlier this year, the Financial Times informed that 2016’s sale figures for VR were lower than previously expected. £11 million worth of virtual and augment reality products were sold in 2016. CSS Insight estimated that of the £11 million, only £1.2 million were sole VR devices, the rest of the VR worth were part of other technology products such as smart phones.
As quoted by the FT, Minal Hasan (co-founder of a venture fund that invested in Magic Leap’s AR headset) was of the opinion that someone ‘has yet developed that killer app’. Hasan added, ‘We are still several years out before we expect to see a big breakout hit on the content side.’
Reporting on Las Vegas’s International CES trade show in January of this year, the New York Times stated ‘It is time for a reality check for virtual reality’. Since ‘the excitement around virtual reality took a huge leap in March 2014’, sales of VR headsets ‘have been sluggish by most estimates’.
However, a month later, Sony announced that their PlayStation VR product was selling better than expected as reported by The Verge.
PC Mag stated that ‘VR’s adoption and development is difficult to predict’. However, from listing and reviewing 2018’s VR products, PC Mag offers their opinion that ‘Windows 10 mixed reality and new headsets from Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung are the biggest potential sources of advancements in VR’.