Still in the Trough: Holiday VR Figures

Posted on Posted in Business, Decision Neuroscience, Technology, Virtual Reality

Previously, I argued that you should look at the Q4-2016 VR sales figures closely and then make decisions about whether to jump in.

Some figures are in.

SuperData Research, a technology research firm, estimated that Oculus had sold 360,000 headsets and HTC 450,000 since their products went on sale in March and June, respectively. Both of those headsets require high-end PCs with powerful processors.

The firm estimated that Sony, which began selling a virtual reality headset in October, has sold about 750,000. — NYtimes Jan 8/2017

Those aren’t encouraging install bases.

Obligatory Gartner Hype Cycle image:

Consolidation is a long ways off.

Facebook, has deep pockets and can sustain a long chasm crossing. The legal issues with Zenimax are a distraction. This is a very long game for them. Given VR’s proximity to the brain, and the strategic importance that decision neuroscience, it’s unlikely that Facebook will back off.

Sony isn’t likely to be encouraged by a 1.5% penetration against its install base. Its morale may be broken.

So it’s another year in the wilderness.

It means more event marketing, more sort of one-off type of innovation spending as opposed to sustained programs against VR. It’ll mean more defensive and aggressive patents getting filed.

Judge for yourself if you want to dive in.