(NASDAQ: FB) paid $3 billion for Oculus in 2014, but the sector has yet to reach any kind of critical mass. The user base is still small, and many big companies are leery of investing.
In 2019, however, we could see some shifts in the VR landscape as new hardware and software are introduced. Here are the five companies I’ll be watching to see where VR is headed.
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It may be a small part of Facebook’s business, but Oculus is a giant in the world of virtual reality. It’s one of the two main high-end VR devices — along with HTC Vive — and Oculus is quickly expanding its VR platform. In 2018 it launched the Oculus Go, a low-end device that’s great for 360 videos and comes at an accessible price point of $200.
(NYSE: SNE) is actually the leader in virtual reality headsets worldwide. In August the company passed 3 million PSVR headsets sold, far exceeding around 1 million for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Sony has the benefit of having sold over 73 million PS4 units, which power the PS4 headset, but users seem to like the device’s value proposition over competitors.
The challenge for Sony will be staying ahead of devices like the HTC Vive Pro, which brings better graphics and performance for high-end users, and Oculus Quest, which will be great for the masses. PS4’s computing power will ultimately be a limiting factor for PSVR unless the company decides to upgrade in 2019.
(NASDAQ: ATVI), Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA), and Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ: TTWO). They look at the relatively small install base of VR headsets compared to PC, console, and mobile, which combined have billions of potential customers, and just don’t see an opportunity worth investing in… yet.