Analyst firm IDC are predicting that the number of VR headsets set to ship during 2016 will far exceed the 350,000 headsets that were sent out last year, reaching around 9 million by the year end.
IDC said it expected around 2 million of those that ship during 2016 to be from Oculus, HTC, and Sony but the majority will be those that use smartphones as their display, such as the Gear VR. The main use of VR within 2016 will reportedly be to play games and this will drive growth according to the report. However, despite screenless VR headsets being clearly more popular than tethered headsets that rely on a PC or gaming console to function, IDC highlight a specific interest in augmented-reality with hardware like the HoloLens by Microsoft.
Despite this, 2016 won’t be the year of augmented reality simply due to the hardware not being consumer ready but instead will see virtual reality thrive as consumers begin to explore the capabilities of the virtual reality headsets being released throughout the year.
IDC further predict that by 2020, virtual reality shipments will hit 64.8 million a year and that didn’t include headsets that omitted components such as Google Cardboard.
It is certainly of no surprise that VR is expected to see rapid growth in 2016 as we begin to see headsets like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift ship to consumers and many curious customers wishing to try out what virtual reality is all about.