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Virtual Reality Headsets’ Rapid Growth Predicted in IHS Market Report

IHS Market forecasts the rapid growth of virtual reality (VR) headsets in the next 4 years. According to its report Virtual Reality Market Opportunity Report – 2016, in 2015 installed VR headsets totaled only $4 million, but by 2020, usage is projected to reach 81 million 

In 2020 consumer spending on these headsets will be approximately $7.9 billion and the spending on VR entertainment will reach $3.3 billion. The rapid growth can be attributed to the aggressive marketing done by VR companies including Google (which has the VR solution, Google's Daydream View available on smartphones).

“There will be a polarization of the VR market between lower volume premium VR headsets, which will have strong paid content conversion rates, and higher-volume cheaper smartphone VR headsets, which will monetize content at a lower rate,” says IHS Technology game analysis director, Piers Harding-Rolls.

IHS Technology senior director Ian Fogg also states that smartphone VR headsets will remain popular and have a big market due to the cheaper prices compared to premium options. In the near term, the end of 2016, consumer spending on VR headsets will reach $1.6 billion due to the premium headsets being released by Sony, HTC and Oculus. With the growth of high-end headsets, this will also rapidly spurt the growth of VR entertainment, propelling total spending by consumers to $3.3 billion by 2020. The price rates for high-end VR headsets will increase as the demand for more VR entertainment also increases.

IHS is forecasting that Google's Daydream View will become the most popular VR headset option by 2019, disrupting Samsung's VR domination. IHS also foresees Sony's PlayStation VR outselling both Oculus Rift and HTC Vive in 2016. Sony's popularity can be heavily attributed to the fact that it's VR headsets are appealing to its 53 million PlayStation 4 users rather than just VR-accessible PC users (which only total to 16 million) combined with a cheaper price also.