VR headset shipments top 1 mn units for the first time in Q32017, Sony took the lead

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According to a new report by market research firm Canalys, Virtual reality headset shipments have exceeded 1 million units for the first time in the third quarter of 2017 and Sony took the lead, shipping more than 490,000 PlayStation VR (PS VR) sets It was followed by Oculus, which shipped 210,000 of its Rift headsets.

VR headset shipments top 1 mn units for the first time in Q32017

HTC took third place, shipping 160,000 Vive VR units. Collectively, Sony, Oculus, and HTC made up 86 percent of the total market in Q3 2017.

"VR adoption in the consumer segment is highly dependent on price, and Oculus' strategy of lowering prices has definitely helped drive adoption," said Canalys Research Analyst Vincent Thielke.

A basic VR headset is a device serving a specific set of purposes that is designed to be worn on the face and not carried, cannot run third-party computing applications independently and is generally tethered by the cable to a desktop PC.

The report said that incumbents and new players entering the market are targeting similar price points.

Hugo Barra is betting on his next product, the $199 Oculus Go standalone headset, to reach more users next year." The positive results of the Q3 summer sale prompted Oculus to permanently lower the price of the Rift to $399 in November.

Canalys pointed out that, the global VR headset market is expected to gain a sizeable boost in 2018 from new entrants supporting Microsoft's Windows Mixed Reality platform.

In Asia, Japan's unique gaming and entertainment culture have helped VR adoption. VR in Japan has benefited immensely from the emergence of VR experience zones across the country, such as in Shinjuku, Tokyo. "Sony has dominated the Japanese VR headset market since the release of the PS VR, taking more than an 80 percent share, and will continue to lead as it increases supply of the PS VR headset with bundles featuring new titles from popular franchises, including Doom, Skyrim, and Gran Turismo," said Canalys Analyst Jason Low.

VR headset shipment data is taken from Canalys' Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Analysis service, which provides quarterly market tracking.

"As top-tier PC vendors, including HP, Lenovo, Acer, Asus, and Dell, launch their own VR headsets, using their distribution channel efficiencies, one can expect a strong VR uptake in business, " Low added.

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