×

Despite Strong Oculus Go Sales, VR Fever Is Cooling (Analyst)

Virtual reality headset shipments are up thanks to Oculus Go, but VR fever in general is cooling, according to market intelligence company SuperData.

Oculus Go made an estimated 289,000 shipments in Q2 2018, which helped major headset sales grow by almost 40% compared to the first quarter. But, excluding the Oculus Go, major headset sales were down 50% in the first half of 2018 compared to the same time last year, SuperData said.

“Oculus Go is part of an important movement for [extended reality],” said SuperData Research’s head of XR Stephanie Llamas. “Facebook sold more units of the standalone headset in its launch quarter than they did the Oculus Rift in the entire first half of 2017. Its price and convenience are proving to be selling points, but it will be up to them to create compelling content that keeps users engaged over and over again.”

Sony’s PlayStation VR headset reportedly shipped just over 100,000 units last quarter versus three-times as much during the same time last year, and a lack of AAA content is likely to blame. Big, AAA VR titles were notably absent from Sony’s E3 press conference this year, except for From Software’s adventure title “Déraciné.”

Microsoft, meanwhile, has seemingly abandoned plans to bring VR to the Xbox One X. In a recent interview with TechRadar, Xbox’s corporate vice president, Mike Ybarra, said the company is focusing on Windows VR for now.

“For us, we’re going to continue to invest on the Windows side where people are engaging,” he said. “Our [mixed reality] devices work with Steam games now — I love what’s happening there — and in the living room there are still, in my opinion, challenges to be solved. But we’re looking at that and we’re listening to customers and fans, but our investment profile will remain on Windows for now.”

While VR might be struggling, augmented reality mobile games are still making waves, SuperData said. Niantic’s popular “Pokémon Go” app reportedly saw a huge resurgence in players after two years on the market, for example, reaching its highest monthly player count since its popularity peak in 2016. Recently added features like in-game friendships and Pokémon trading are likely responsible for the bump. Mobile AR games will continue to surpass VR games in revenue as a result, SuperData said.

“But despite ‘Pokémon Go’s’ impressive success, we are still waiting for a new killer app since there is still no word from Niantic about their highly anticipated ‘Harry Potter’ game,” the company added.

More Gaming

  • Nintendo Switch

    Nintendo Releases Updated Switch With Better Battery

    Nintendo just refreshed its wildly successful Switch game console, but the company isn’t giving existing Switch owners many reasons to upgrade: The renewed game console comes with a better battery that guarantees up to 9 hours of game play, while otherwise sticking with the same design and features of the original Switch. The new model [...]

  • Spotify logo is presented on a

    U.S. Consumers to Spend $26 Billion on Music, Video Subscriptions This Year

    U.S. consumers are expected to spend a combined $26 billion on music and video subscription services this year, according to new estimates from the Consumer Technology Association. That’s up from $20.4 billion in 2018, and nearly twice the amount spent on such services in 2017. Propelled by the continued success of Apple Music and Spotify, [...]

  • Gears 5 - Xbox Game Studios

    'Gears 5' Will Exclude Smoking Depictions After Concerns Raised by Youth Anti-Tobacco Org (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Gears 5,” the forthcoming installment in the “Gears of Wars” third-person shooter game franchise, will be a smoke-free establishment. The game, set for Sept. 10 release, comes from Xbox Game Studios and game developer The Coalition. The decision to remove all smoking references from “Gears 5” came after not-for-profit anti-smoking organization Truth Initiative approached Turner, [...]

  • Amazon Game Studios - Lord of

    Amazon Teams on 'Lord of the Rings'-Prequel Massively Multiplayer Game

    Amazon announced plans for a massively multiplayer online game set in J.R.R. Tokien’s Middle-earth — but in an era well before the events in “The Lord of the Rings.” Amazon Game Studios has teamed with Leyou Technologies, a Hong Kong-based games company. The companies will jointly develop the free-to-play game for PC and console platforms, [...]

  • Nintendo Switch Lite

    Nintendo Launches Switch Lite Handheld-Only Game System for $200

    Nintendo Switch is getting a cheaper, more colorful little sibling: Switch Lite, a device designed specifically to play Nintendo Switch games in handheld mode. The Switch Lite system is set to ship Sept. 20 at a suggested retail price of $199.99 — $100 less than the flagship Switch, which works in both handheld and TV-connected [...]

  • Walter Scopely Strictly Business Podcast

    Listen: How Scopely Turns TV Hits Into Video Game Gold

    “Star Trek,” “The Walking Dead” and “Wheel of Fortune” are more than just iconic TV brands; they’re the intellectual property powering mobile games on course to reach $100 million each. And they’re all produced by Scopely, a Los Angeles-based video game business led by co-CEO Walter Driver, who has made a specialty of adapting from [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content