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VR headset quarterly shipments hit one million units for the first time

28 November 2017

Facebook's Oculus and the HTC Vive take the vast majority of the remaining half, with an estimated 210,000 (21%) and 160,000 (16%) units sold respectively.

Virtual reality had a fairly rough start, with Oculus, HTC, and Sony all vying for a piece of the burgeoning market. Incumbents and new players entering the market are targeting similar price points. '[Facebook's head of VR] Hugo Barra is betting on his next product, the $199 Oculus Go standalone headset, to reach more users next year. "The Go will excite first-time users, but driving adoption beyond social media will be a challenge".

Sony also managed to boost sales thanks to the relatively low $399 (£320) price, which was soon matched by Oculus and is one of the reasons why Canalys believes sales of its Rift spiked. The home of the entertainment and electronics giant has embraced gaming VR, and has various "VR experience zones" stationed around the country. PSVR bundles are popular too, with titles such as Doom, Skyrim and Gran Turismo thrown in.

The market's getting a shake-up, though, with Thielke claiming that Microsoft's heavy push for its Windows Mixed Reality platform, including the launch of third-party headsets which are priced lower than the competition, will drive adoption still further - likely cutting down on the triopoly's share of the market.

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VR headset shipment data is taken from Canalys' Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Analysis service, which provides quarterly market tracking.

The tracking service defines a VR headset as 'a device with a display created to be work on the face that immerses the viewer in a virtual world.' It excludes simple viewers, basically those that use a smartphone.

Sales of VR headsets are on the rise, with third quarter of 2017 yielding better sales results for VR than any previous period. A basic VR headset is a device serving a specific set of purposes that is created to be worn on the face and not carried, can not run third-party computing applications independently and is generally tethered by cable to a desktop PC.

VR headset quarterly shipments hit one million units for the first time