Trade Resources Industry Views PSVR Is Dominating Oculus Rift and HTC Vive Sales Figures

PSVR Is Dominating Oculus Rift and HTC Vive Sales Figures

Tags: PSVR, VR headset

Around half of all high-end VR headsets sold in 2016 were PSVRs according to the latest estimates.

The sales numbers make rosy reading for Sony, whose PSVR headset had sold nearly a million units the last time data was publicly revealed.

The two premium headset rivals, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, mopped up the other half of the consumer market, according to analysis company Context World, with HTC’s Vive nabbing 30% of the market and the Oculus Rift coming out bottom with just 20% of shipments.

Jonathan Wagstaff, Context World's UK manager, made the claim at the VRX Europe conference in London. His figures are based on shipping records – which Context specialises in – and only represents an estimate of the true figures.

The firm estimates that, combined, around 1.5 million units sold in 2016. Keeping in mind that the PSVR only went on sale half way through October 2016, that 50% achievement is very impressive considering HTC and Oculus launched their products in April and March 2016 respectively. “Only very few people know the true figures,” Wagstaff added. Of course, Oculus is doing just fine with its highly successful Samsung Gear VR headsets, which lead the way in terms of big-brand mobile headsets.

HTC ViveHTC's Vive trumped Facebook's Oculus Rift for high-end VR headset sales in 2016, according to Context World

Perhaps it's not hugely surprising, since the PSVR costs £350 and only requires a PS4 to work. Whereas Oculus Rift and HTC Vive cost £500 and over £700 respectively, and both require mighty gaming PCs to play. But the figures still make for interesting viewing.

Are PC sales matching headset sales? Only about 2% of revenue on laptops is made by VR-ready systems in the UK, France, Ireland and Germany are VR-ready, which is certainly limiting the growth of Oculus and Vive headsets that rely on powerful graphics cards. However, Wagstaff noted, with the launch of Nvidia’s 10-series GPUs, this figure is now on the up and there should be big increases this year.

In the world of head-mounted displays and headsets for phones, such as Google Cardboard and other knock-off brands, Wagstaff had some much higher estimations. China, which produces a huge number of brands of headsets, is starting to skew the figures:

“The Chinese market is a bit of a beast and it’s its own special case. In terms of global sales, we could be looking at VR headset sales in the hundreds of millions when you include the Asian market”.

What can we learn from this data?

Sony has a big lead in the world of VR, and this could encourage developers to make games for that platform before Oculus and HTC.

In terms of overall headset sales, the fact that the vast, vast majority of “VR” hardware is ultra-cheap tat could end up harming VR as a whole. Many VR industry folk have expressed concern that average Joes don’t know the difference between a Samsung Gear and an Oculus Rift, for example, thinking they do the same thing.

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