New SuperData report suggests smartphones will lead this year’s virtual reality push

Three out of four VR users will choose mobile

Thinking of developing for virtual reality? You might want to consider looking into the mobile platforms as an estimated 71 per cent of people who will adopt VR this year are expected to do the same.

A new report by SuperData Research predicts that the worldwide install base for virtual reality hardware will reach 38.9m by the end of 2016, with 27.1m of these devices classed as “light mobile VR” solutions such as Google Cardboard.

“PC and console VR’s high barrier to entry will cause three in four early adopters to opt for more affordable mobile devices,” the report reads. 

“Asia’s 2.5bn smartphone users leads the mobile VR march, causing hardware like the Google Cardboard to account for 80 per cent of devices installed [in 2016].”

Expectations are high for virtual reality to take off this year, primarily due to the arrival of HTC Vive in April and the imminent reveal of Oculus Rift’s long-awaited release date.

There has been much investment in the technology over the last few years, with SuperData reporting that more than $6.1bn has been poured into virtual and augmented reality projects between 2012 and 2015. This has added to “increasing industry expectations”.

The report also reveals that small studios and indies will lead the way in virtual reality, as the larger more established publishers have held back from investing heavily in the technology. Collectively, smaller devs are currently working on roughly 830 titles for virtual reality.

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