Home » Metaverse off to ominous start after VR headset sales shrank in 2022

Metaverse off to ominous start after VR headset sales shrank in 2022

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Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg demos the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headset and Oculus Touch controllers at the Oculus Connect 3 event in San Jose, CA, USA on Thursday, October 6, 2016.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

after more than a year change his company name meta pledged to spend billions of dollars developing the Metaverse, Mark Zuckerberg’s Betting on virtual reality is far from paying off.

Sales of VR headsets in the U.S. fell 2% to $1.1 billion this year as of early December, according to data shared with CNBC by research firm NPD Group. Facebook’s advertising business makes that much money about every three days.

What is advertising business? fell into a slump, Zuckerberg has turned to VR devices and related technologies to pull meta into the future. However, global shipments of VR headsets and augmented reality devices will drop by more than 12% year-over-year to reach 9.6 million in 2022, according to data from analyst firm CCS Insight.

Taken together, the VR headset sales and shipment estimates create a troubled picture for Meta, whose stock has lost about two-thirds of its value this year. Zuckerberg expects the metaverse to take up to a decade to become mainstream, with hundreds of billions of dollars in deals ultimately expected, and said he is playing a long-term battle with the metaverse. increase.

Not just meta. Over the past decade, many startups and other technology companies have made big bets on the future world of virtual work, education, fitness, and sports.

metaz quest 2 Headsets released in 2020 are the leaders in the VR market, according to multiple analysts. Competitive devices from companies like Valve, HP When Sony It represents a small part of the market.

Sales of Meta’s flagship Quest device dropped in 2022, but it said this could be attributed to the device’s big year in 2021. Ben ArnoldNPD’s Consumer Electronics Analyst.

“VR has had a great vacation in 2021,” said Arnold, referring to various promotions that helped drive sales of the device at a time when gaming consoles like Sony’s PlayStation 5 were in short supply. did. “It was a great time last year when he was able to get one of these products, but VR has completely wrecked it.”

According to NPD, revenue from VR headsets in the US will double from about $530 million in 2020 to 2021.

The decline in sales and shipments in 2022 is the result of a combination of factors.

The Quest 2 has been around for a few years now, and like all consumer electronics, it loses its appeal as it ages.and while meta release Fall’s new VR headset, the Quest Pro, is aimed at businesses and costs $1,100 more than the Quest 2, making it even more out of reach for many VR enthusiasts.

Meta has decided for the summer enhance Due to inflationary pressure, we have reduced the price of Quest 2 by $100.

Leo GebyCCS Insight analyst CCS Insight said in an email that Meta’s price hike comes as a surprise.

Meta declined to comment on VR headset sales or third-party estimates.

Focus on Apple

Next year is expected to be another ‘slow year’ for the VR market, CCS Insight Said The latest report cites a weak economy and inflation.

“Consumer budgets will tighten,” Gebbie said, “and non-essential purchases such as VR headsets are likely to be sacrificed.”

Sony’s next-generation VR headset it costs $550 When it debuts in February. Arnold said the PlayStation VR2 would “kind of hit the market”, but Sony’s devices require owners to have a PlayStation 5 as a power source, so it’s unlikely that it will impact the overall VR market as much as the Quest 2. Said to be highly sensitive. Headset.

Sony Playstation VR2 Headset

Sony

“The entire PSVR2 market will be PlayStation owners,” Arnold said.

Next year’s main issue will be appleas long as rumoredannounces a VR headset.

Apple could create compelling VR headsets with an accompanying software ecosystem, Arnold said.

Additionally, Apple’s reputation as a leader in consumer technology could spark a gloomy VR market and make the technology more appealing to the general public.

“If there is one company that can transform the VR market overnight, it is Apple,” said Gebbie. “We have a very loyal fan base, many of whom are willing to spend a lot of money on technology, so when Apple launches a headset, we expect it to perform very well. ”

apple is reportedly We are building a VR headset with AR capabilities that will be released as early as 2023.

Eric AbrazzeseAbbruzzese, research director at ABI Research, said, however, that the high prices of enterprise VR headsets, which are likely to sell for thousands of dollars, will still make it difficult for Apple to move the needle. .

Abbruzzese said of Apple’s enterprise VR headset, “We probably won’t ship 5 million units in the first year.” “But this is the first notable product from a huge tech incumbent.”

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

One of the main things the VR world is missing is a breakout hit, or killer app.

Some games are gaining attention, like musical rhythm games beat saber VR versions of popular titles such as resident evilsaid Abrazzese. Also, some users have expressed interest in his use of VR. fitness activity.

But in the console market, blockbuster games like FIFA and Call of Duty “have shipped hundreds of millions of products,” he said.

On the other hand, meta horizon world Social VR platforms are still in the experimental stage.

“The only metaverse product really is Horizon, which is not good at the moment,” said Abbruzzese.

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