Virtual Reality’s Growth in 2018 Carried by the PlayStation VR

PlayStation VR had a good year in 2018 by all accounts.

But just how good a year the add-on had wasn’t quite realized until hard numbers started rolling out.

PSVR not only killed it in 2018 but it helped carry a lot of the VR segment with it at the same time.

Quite an impressive feat for a console VR peripheral that many people were more than skeptical about at the beginning – and even still now.

According to SuperData cited by UploadVR, the virtual reality segment overall grew by 30% in 2018 and a lot of this was on the back of the amazing surge in growth experienced by Sony’s console device.

During quarter four in 2018 alone, the PlayStation VR moved over 700k units, dominating the competition. In second was the Oculus Go at 555,000 and then the Rift as well as HTC Vive at 160k and 130k. Of those devices, the Oculus Go is a stand-alone unit while the latter two, like the PSVR, require help from another device to work. Some might think comparing the Go to the PSVR is unfair and that over 500k Oculus Go units is nothing to laugh at and they would be right.

That’s why SuperData Research is thinking that the Oculus Quest will be the tale of the tape for 2019.

As for why the PSVR did so well SuperData Research points to the markedly lower prices on a lot of the VR units ahead of the holidays with the PlayStation VR being chief among them.

Buoyed by these cheap prices, more and more consumers purchased VR units to augment their gaming experiences and the purchase was seen as less of a risk given the age of many of the most popular devices on the market.

Looking ahead, SuperData’s prediction about Oculus Quest rests on a lot of the same dynamics. They’re predicting a really raucous year for that device at 1.3 million units predicted to sell, although a lot of that will depend on continued consumer interest in cheaper VR.

Offering up a better performance than the Go, the Quest could be the magic headset that eliminates the needs for expensive external hardware and helps VR stand on its own.

What will PSVR do in the face of more powerful headsets? Sony has already reaffirmed its commitment to VR in the next-gen iteration of the PlayStation and, in the meantime, the company is more than dedicated to it.

In fact, many people see Sony taking even more of a leadership role when it comes to software development and the direction of VR games in 2019 in beyond. That’s because, even though devices from Oculus are expected to sell well, the PSVR is also expected to continue selling like gangbusters.

Given enough time, the PSVR unit’s market share could be so dominant that it has a much bigger impact on the VR gaming segment in particular.

About The Author

Kehl Bayern Kehl Bayern has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing. He is the author of science fiction thriller Animus Proxy. He is based in Boston, Massachusetts and studied politics at the University of Virginia and, later, Harvard University for graduate school. He spends much of his time traveling up and down the east coast of the United States. You can follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

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