Virtual reality devices from a host of manufacturers including Samsung, HTC, Oculus and Sony are expected to help push the total number of VR units shipped this year to 9.6 million accounting for $2.3 billion in revenues, a new report from research firm IDC shows.
Tethered virtual reality headsets like the HTC Vive, the Oculus Rift and the upcoming Sony PlaystationVR are expected to ship about 2 million units. Virtual reality devices whose head mounted displays aren’t tethered to secondary devices like computers or game consoles but rely on smartphones (mobile VR headsets) like the Samsung Gear VR, will account for the rest. Augmented reality devices that have everything in the head unit like Microsoft’s HoloLens are not yet expected to make a significant mark since their market availability is still far off.
While there are several use cases for virtual reality headsets like in education and medicine, it will be a while before consumers purchase virtual reality hardware for those purposes. In 2016, gaming is forecast to be the number one reason why people will want to spend up to $800 on a VR headset from HTC or Oculus.
Interest in virtual reality and augmented reality (VR/AR) is expected to soar with 110 million combined devices expected to have been shipped by the year 2020.