Virtual reality (VR) headsets are growing in popularity. With new games and features being added almost every day, they are more accessible than ever for consumers hoping to get a taste of the future. Still, the market for VR is still relatively small.
In May 2019, Facebook’s Oculus unit debuted the first high-end VR headset that doesn’t need to be plugged into a computer. This is a huge draw for everyday consumers and delivers a far more satisfying user experience. Now, the Oculus Quest is helping push the entire VR industry forward. It is currently leading the way as VR sales worldwide have spiked by 31 percent in 2019.
A Growing Market
Aside from Quest, no noteworthy VR headsets have been released since 2016. Accordingly, sales have fallen in the period leading up to the new Oculus gadget. However, Neilsen’s SuperData Research suggests that Quest is leading the way for a fresh spike in VR’s popularity.
The industry tracker says that VR hardware spending is up 31 percent from this time last year. It rose to $2.1 billion from $1.6 billion in 2018. That growth reflects the fact that consumers and companies alike are spending more money on VR.
Facebook acquired Oculus back in 2014, hoping to be the first company to popularize consumer-driven VR. It bought the startup for over $2 billion. In June, just two weeks after releasing Quest, Facebook announced that it had sold over $5 million in VR content for the platform. That goes to show that consumer interest is there. However, companies still need to find ways to capitalize on it.
Recently, Facebook competitors like Google, HTC, Valve, Sony, and Microsoft have either released a VR headset or have plans to. Even so, the Oculus Quest is leading the way by far.
On a Quest
The promise of virtual reality has never been the problem. There is a ton of potential for the fledgling technology to revolutionize many different industries. From gaming to medicine and logistics to education, VR’s implications are practically uncapped. However, consumers haven’t caught on to the trend en masse just yet.
Until the Quest was released earlier this year, high-end VR headsets needed to be plugged into a powerful computer. Of course, many consumers who wanted to try out the tech were limited by this. Meanwhile, several companies debuted inexpensive headsets that use a smartphone as the “brain” and screen. These arguably did more harm than good for the industry. By rapidly overheating and possessing poor picture quality, these low-end headsets turned many users away from VR.
In May, Oculus Quest set out to change that. The headset retails for $399. While that may seem steep, it is far cheaper than buying a traditional VR headset like the Oculus Rift and a high-end computer to go with it.
Despite not needing a PC connection, Quest offers the same level of performance as its wired relatives. It is capable of playing hit games like “Beat Saber” and lets people experience the cutting edge of VR without breaking the bank.
Ultimately, those key features will help Quest continue to find favor in the eyes of consumers. That’s not only a good thing for Facebook, but a good thing for the VR industry as a whole.