SuperData lowers VR revenue forecast for a second time

One analyst has now significantly reduced its expectations for the financial impact virtual reality will have on the market in 2016.

SuperData had at one stage predicted that VR revenues would reach $5.1bn in 2016. In March that was reduced to $3.6bn. Now the company has revised that second estimate down 22 per cent to $2.9bn.

Why the change? SuperData notes that headset production is lagging behind demand, most likely in reference to the troubles suffered by Oculus Rift and its delays to order shipping. It reckons that 13m Americans intend to buy a VR headset this year, but only 7.2m are likely to be shipped.

At the same time, the extent of consumer demand also remains in question, as is public awareness. Just 28 per cent of Americans have heard of PlayStation VR, it says. This is ahead of Oculus Rift (22%), Samsung Gear VR (21%) and HTC Vive (5%).

Gamers will account for 78 per cent of VR revenue in 2016, although by 2020 this will fall to 28 per cent. It also reckons that by 2020 almost 41 per cent of VR revenues will be driven by the PC market.

The general public are mostly unaware of Virtual Reality with 50 per cent of Americans showing no interest in or knowledge of VR,” SuperData’s director of research and head of VR/AR strategy Stephanie Llamas said. Broad consumer adoption relies on building awareness, but today nearly 80% of consumers only occasionally or never hear about VR.”

The analyst, however, is sticking by its prediction that the VR market will be worth $22.86bn by 2019 and then $40.26bn in 2020, by which time it reckons headsets will be cheaper and software more numerous.

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