Uptake of virtual reality hardware continues its upward trend, according to the latest numbers from independent market analysis firm, Canalys.
In a report issued Monday, the company indicated that total global shipments of VR headsets set a new milestone, exceeding one million units during the just completed 3rd quarter. Meanwhile, Sony, Oculus, and HTC continue to dominate the VR hardware marketplace, with an 86% combined market share.
One driver of headset acquisitions was a temporary-turned-permanent price cut by Oculus in Q3, who matched Playstation’s VR headset price point at $399. This precedes the upcoming release of Oculus’ $199 Go standalone headset, expected next year.
“VR adoption in the consumer segment is highly dependent on price, and Oculus’ strategy of lowering prices has definitely helped drive adoption,” said Canalys Research Analyst Vincent Thielke.
Cultural factors also appear to be driving VR demand. For example, in Japan, VR experience zones appear to be driving further uptake of consumer VR headsets.
“Sony is well placed to take advantage of this increasing interest in VR,” said Canalys Analyst Jason Low.
“Sony has dominated the Japanese VR headset market since the release of the PS VR, taking more than an 80% share, and will continue to lead as it increases supply of the PS VR headset with bundles featuring new titles from popular franchises, including Doom, Skyrim and Gran Turismo.”
Further uptake is expected globally into 2018, in particular with major PC manufacturers producing new devices to support Microsoft’s Mixed Reality platform.
“VR in business can be applied to many industries, such as manufacturing, healthcare and education,” said Low.
“As top-tier PC vendors, including HP, Lenovo, Acer, Asus and Dell, launch their own VR headsets, using their distribution channel efficiencies, one can expect a strong VR uptake in business.”