According to a recent forecast from IDC, consumer autonomous VR shipments in China grew 166.2% year-over-year in the first half of 2022. Autonomous VR in China in Q1 2022 reached 229,000 units shipped, while Q2 2022 had nearly 273,000 units shipped. The VR landscape has seen an increase in the number of players compared to previous years, and many start-ups and traditional vendors who have not been involved in this field have launched or plan to launch new VR products to test the waters.
Recent releases of Pico 4 and Quest Pro have reignited the buzz in the virtual reality (VR) hardware market. Thinking back to the past months in 2022, various new VR products continuously launched in China as a result of the explosion of metaverse concept and the gradual improvement of the industry chain. Most new VR products are standalone headsets, many of which use Pancake lenses for the consumer market that is seeing increased shipments of VR products as the gaming and fitness-dominated VR content ecosystem grows.
IDC observed these five significant improvements in VR products, namely:
1. Fresnel lens is gradually replaced by Pancake lens to improve both viewing experience and wearing comfort
Traditional standalone 6dof VR headsets often come with a fresnel lens which has a large screen door effect and leads to a thick front part on the headset. Standalone headsets launched in the second half of this year feature Pancake Lenses that reduce headset weight by more than 100g and have stronger optical resolving power, dramatically improving graphics in gaming use cases. which can alleviate dizziness and allow players to play longer.
2. The fitness use case integrating functions such as teaching, motion sensing games and social networks is gradually independent
In 2022, the fitness use case becomes one of the biggest highlights of new VR products. In addition to motion detection games that require a large amount of exercise, well-known downloader courses, multi-person social sports, calorie data and other fitness records make the fitness use case gradually independent.
3. VR accessories and peripherals are multiplying
In addition to classic headsets and controllers, new VR products in 2022 from major vendors include more personalized accessories such as breathable sponges, leg trackers, and myopic lenses. These accessories can expand into gaming use cases, create more creative experiences, and also help gamers solve the lack of experience caused by settings mismatches.
4. Suppliers are increasing their marketing investments and educational marketing activities are starting to show their effectiveness
Since the end of last year, the number of advertisements shown on major video and social media platforms has increased significantly. Famous spokespersons and offline advertising allow more consumers to understand VR products that were previously positioned as niche products, driving the growth of the consumer market.
5. Content partners are growing, reaching more domains
In addition to major game companies, new entrants’ content partners radiate to well-known video production companies, fitness stars and movie stars at home and abroad.
Based on the product strengths above, IDC identifies four key findings:
1. Developer Programs Show Vendors Will Continuously Increase Investments in Content Development
Currently, vendors are taking various approaches to developing content, for example, centralized purchasing of content and games and then providing them for free to consumers, cash incentives for developers, and more.
2. In the future, cameras will play a bigger role in VR devices
Judging from the new color cameras equipped on new VR products, the cameras will play an important role in driving VR products to be more accurate in handle positioning, eye tracking and face recognition.
3. Gesture interaction apps are on the rise as input methods are an important factor affecting the upper limit of VR devices
Current new products have already been equipped with gesture interaction rhythm games. In the future, more interactive input methods will help enrich the use cases of VR devices.
4. In the future, suppliers will target both high-end and mass-market products
Unlike previous companies that rely on one type of standalone VR product, in the future, vendors will develop multiple product lines for people with different consumption power and need to better meet the needs of commercial and high-end players. .
Claire Zhao, senior analyst at IDC China, believes that this series of new products has expanded the existing VR user group, resulting in a significant increase in the number of users. In addition to hardware upgrade, new games, hot VR video content, and fitness use cases have all become important factors driving consumers to be early adopters. Providers still need to invest heavily in content development to improve user uptake, extend uptime for existing users, and increase deliveries with public praise effect.