The global market for VR devices reached 3.7 million units in 2017 in terms of annual shipments.
Sony is leading the VR devices market.
Oculus Rift is the second largest VR devices maker.
HTC Vive is in the third position.
VT device shipments will reach 5 million units in 2018.
“Thanks to PS 4 Pro’s strong sales and support from third-party developers, Sony PS VR recorded a shipment of 1.7 million units, accounting for the largest market share in 2017,” says Jason Tsai, analyst of TrendForce.
Oculus Rift shipped 700,000 VR devices.
HTC Vive shipped 500,000 VR device units.
Windows Mixed Reality headset jointly launched by Microsoft and its partners Acer, Dell, Lenovo, etc., recorded a shipment of around 300,000 units in 2017.
PS VR is expected to record annual shipments of 2 million backed by Sony’s rich resources in game console industry. Oculus and HTC will launch new models, raising their shipments to 1 million and 600,000 units respectively, according to TrendForce.
The global demand for VR devices in 2016 mainly came from the novelty of new products, but the shipments growth slowed down in 2017.
The niche commercial market for VR demands customization, while the consumer market for VR focuses on gaming and entertainment. However, currently, there is insufficient VR game content available, which is the biggest obstacle for VR market development.
This obstacle drives VR manufacturers to adjust their business goals in 2018. VR device makers are looking at standalone VR headsets to accelerate the market growth and to stimulate the demand. Standalone VR devices are mainly used for social media, audio/video and internet services which target at general consumers.
Google and Facebook are actively developing standalone VR devices, HTC has also launched Vive Focus, a new standalone device, while searching for more content providers via its platform of Vive Wave.
Consumer acceptance of Standalone VR devices will be the key to market growth. The development of standalone VR devices faces potential technical challenges, including extra components such as chips, enhancement of inside-out tracking technology, improvement of battery life and heat dissipation design, etc.