Research suggests gamers will try cheaper mobile VR tech first before committing to higher priced headsets.
The PlayStation VR headset will sell 1.9 million units in 2016 and cost between $400 and $600.
That’s according to the latest report from SuperData Research, which points out that over $6.1 billion has been invested in VR tech over the past three years.
However, SuperData expects that the first wave of VR gaming to be adopted by gamers will not be from the likes of Sony’s PlayStation VR or the Oculus Rift, but rather via mobile devices.
“As hardware manufacturers seek to become the dominant platform, they face the challenge of ramping up an audience in order to attract third-party developers,” said SuperData.
“However, even hardcore gamers, a group generally known for its appetite, indicated to be willing to spend around $300 on a virtual reality gaming device. This suggests that platform holders will initially have to heavily subsidize their hardware to claim significant market share.
“Most likely, the report finds, consumers will initially familiarize themselves with virtual reality on their smartphones and less expensive options, before committing to a bigger expense.”
SuperData suggests that there are 829 virtual reality games in development from “small studios and indies” as larger publishers adopt a wait and see approach.
In comparisons to PlayStation VR’s 1.9m sales in 2016, SuperData expects far cheaper “light mobile VR” alternatives such as Google Cardboard could sell over 27 million units.
It expects sales of higher end PC VR devices such as Oculus Rift and Vive Pre to hit 6.6 million.