After a bunch of false begins, 2016 was lastly the “Year of VR.” The first choices arrived some time earlier than that, within the type of the Google Cardboard “headset” and Samsung’s Gear VR. Last yr, although, the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Sony PlayStation VR all made it to market. Analyst agency Strategy Analytics looked at the VR market on the finish of 2016 to see which firm made probably the most cash, and which providing ended up in entrance of probably the most eyes.
In phrases of market penetration, Google Cardboard is not simply the winner—it is roaring atop the corpses of its challengers. Strategy Analystics says its knowledge “shows that Google has a commanding lead in terms of shipments and installed base for its ultra-low cost Cardboard VR platform.” While Google Cardboard’s stranglehold market share amounted to a really good 69%, Samsung Gear VR got here in a distant second with a 17% market share. The three high-end VR options (Rift, Vive, and PlayStation VR) collectively complete slightly below 5% of the market share, even lower than the 9% within the “other” class.
On the income aspect, it is all about Samsung. Strategy Analytics says the Korean firm captured 35% of the cash. Sony’s PlayStation VR got here in second, taking in at the least 15% income. Combined, these two corporations took half of the VR-related income in 2016.
Strategy Analytics says that Google’s excessive market penetration signifies that entrepreneurs and types are already taking a look at VR as a promotional device. Smartphones are ubiquitous, and Google Cardboard is simply $15 from the Google store and shortly closing in on a worth that might permit formidable entrepreneurs to offer it away. The analyst agency additionally sees 2017 as being a yr by which the businesses providing VR platforms will both “cement their position or fall by the wayside.”
Six competing headsets makes for a highly-fragmented market, and whereas some games and purposes (like those being developed by Ubisoft) are multi-platform titles, many are nonetheless tied to a selected platform. Some early adopters will certainly be disenchanted, however we’ll see who’s nonetheless standing by the top of this yr.