SONY'S SHOT at virtual reality (VR), the PlayStation VR, will help VR headset sales to reach nine million units this year.
That’s thanks to strong pre-orders of the £349 PlayStation VR, slated for release on 13 October, which will drive a huge wave of VR headset shipments this year, according to market research firm TrendForce.
Sony's headset has apparently been very well received in its home nation of Japan, where pre-order units sold out pretty much in the time it takes an ignorant Westerner to say ‘konichiwa’.
The good news is that strong sales of VR headsets, including the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, mean that the technology is becoming a proper tech reality rather than concept tech or sci-fi fantasy. The bad news is that people are so hungry for VR that companies are struggling to keep up with demand.
“Branded vendors were overly conservative in stocking their inventories before the market releases of their products,” said Jason Tsai, a wearable device analyst at TrendForce.
“They are now seeing the product demand far outstripping the supply and will have to adjust their inventories in the next two-quarters, or the undersupply situation in the VR device market will likely persist to the second half of 2017.”
But if VR headset makers can get on top of this demand it will hopefully prompt other companies to start exploring the potential of VR.
We hope this will result in lighter, more ergonomic headsets that don’t have to be tethered to a PC or PlayStation 4. Something along the lines of the rather curious Sulon Q.
There also a lot of potential for developers to jump on the VR bandwagon and create fancy VR games and software. Some of the premium headsets lack the software that would turn them from an early-adopter object of desire to a must-have device.
And there’s no shortage of VR devices to choose from, ranging from smartphone powered goggles to fully immersive headsets. Take a look at the INQUIRER's guide to VR to help you make sense of all the stuff that's out there and upcoming. µ
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