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new zoo released a new report this week forecasting the near future of the VR market for both hardware and games. Among other findings, the analysis predicts that VR gaming revenue could reach $3.2 billion by 2024, with up to 46 million active headsets in use.
Specifically, Newzoo predicts that the virtual reality market will reach $1.8 billion in 2022, with 27.7 million headsets in use. According to the analysis, standalone headsets and cloud streaming are making gaming more accessible, as is VR support for popular game engines.
Notably, Newzoo notes that gaming remains the primary use case for virtual reality. Attending virtual events or traveling — perhaps the kind of use cases that portend Metaverse adoption — are further down the list. The report also reveals that 73% of headset users surveyed said that one of their main hobbies was playing video games.
When it comes to games, the most popular genres seem to be adventure games, shooters, and simulation titles. Titles like Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners, No Man’s Sky, Boneworks, and Microsoft Flight Simulator provide insight into the platform’s most popular titles.
The renewed interest in VR
Newzoo attributes the current boom in virtual reality and its predictions to a few factors. First, virtual reality experienced the same pandemic-induced boom as the rest of gaming. Second, Meta’s release of affordable Quest headsets offered consumers a cost-effective way to play VR games. These headsets also work without any other hardware, such as an expensive and powerful PC.
Third, Newzoo attributes a VR “killer app” to moving hardware units. Specifically, he names Half-Life: Alyx, which he says harnesses the power of a major triple-A franchise. Personally, I would call a game like Beat Saber a killer VR app before Half-Life: Alyx, if only because it’s available on the wireless headsets that Newzoo praised for their accessibility.
In 2023, PlayStation plans to launch its PS VR2 headset for PS5 users, along with several new exclusive games. Meta also recently launched the Quest Pro headset. Either could lure more gamers into VR, though Newzoo also notes the rise of companies like Pico.
It should be noted that Newzoo claims the gaming market as a whole will decline this year, largely because the industry corrects itself after the aforementioned pandemic boom period. Newzoo did not factor VR hardware into this forecast.
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