Analysts Expect 110,000 Virtual Reality Units To Be Sold In Australia This Year

The HTC Vive costs over $1400 to ship to Australia. The Oculus Rift will set you back more than $1100, and that doesn't include anything extra for the touch controllers. We don't know how much PlayStation VR will cost, but Sony has announced that it will be at least the cost of a console.

In short, virtual reality will cost quite a bit. But that won't stop around 110,000 units from being sold in Australia this year, if analysts Telsyte are right.

The analyst firm today published the results of their VR & AR Market Study for 2016. Demand for virtual reality is expected to exceed local supply, with around 110,000 headsets predicted to be sold to Australians this year. Foad Fadaghi, the firm's managing director, said VR would enjoy strong market growth over the coming years as production accelerates and "more 'must have' use cases emerge".

Telsyte's release added that one in two Australian households have a gaming console, while one in three have a current-generation console. The analysts questioned just under 1100 people, with approximately 20 percent of those interested in buying a VR-capable device. The Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR were two of the most popular devices, but so was the Galaxy/Gear VR and Google Cardboard, indicating that HTC's Vive has a little work to do to gain mainstream recognition.

Applications for business and education, along with gaming, are expected to drive the highest "average software unit prices", although only 20% of those surveyed would spend more than $400 for a VR headset.

"As with smartphone penetration, it could take up to a decade for VR to reach mainstream levels, but there is clearly pent-up demand from early adopters," the Telsyte MD added.


Comments

    I didnt expect that number tbh. Im curious to see the price of PS VR, which apparently will be similar to the price of the PS4 itself....which would be half the price of Vive and Oculus...

    Hell, I believe this.

    The only reason I know anything about the upcoming VR hardware is due to the almost-excessive wall-to-wall coverage from the games press. It's usually frowned upon for the enthusiast media to really get out there and champion a new console or peripheral but for better or worse the shackles are off.

    I mean, yeah I've read/seen the odd VR game given a once-over on some of my more-visited websites but I listen to a lot of podcasts. The ebullient and in-depth chatter that VR gets is something I really haven't ever come across.

    I'd actually like to see this happen with other videogame hardware, if anything. Yes content is keen and all of that, but if modern gaming is about anything, it's about community and the social aspect. Sharing is caring etc.

    Hell, I believe this.

    The only reason I know anything about the upcoming VR hardware is due to the almost-excessive wall-to-wall coverage from the games press. It's usually frowned upon for the enthusiast media to really get out there and champion a new console or peripheral but for better or worse the shackles are off.

    I mean, yeah I've read/seen the odd VR game given a once-over on some of my more-visited websites but I listen to a lot of podcasts. The ebullient and in-depth chatter that VR gets is something I really haven't ever come across.

    I'd actually like to see this happen with other videogame hardware, if anything. Yes content is keen and all of that, but if modern gaming is about anything, it's about community and the social aspect. Sharing is caring etc.

    At first I thought that seemed overly optimistic. But then I remembered PSVR is a thing. And then that GearVR is a thing. I imagine the two of those would boost numbers far more than the "big two" headsets.

      AH, gear vr...right...I was a bit confussled too. That splains it.

    Population size of 110 people and 20% of them say they're definitely buying? I dunno if those numbers would add up with such a small sample size. Not very good analysing imo :P

    If you projected this out to 2017 and said 150k people I would think that's more realistic, but considering we're into March and nothing has dropped under $1000 in Australia I really can't see the VR bandwagon gaining impetus until Q4.

    I don't mind being proven wrong though!

      Well they did include a wide variety of VR in the survey.

      The Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR were two of the most popular devices, but so was the Galaxy/Gear VR and Google Cardboard, indicating that HTC’s Vive has a little work to do to gain mainstream recognition.

      Google cardboard costs only a few dollars, Gear VR comes free with any S7 preorder contracts at the moment. Rift is selling well and Vive sold 15k in 10 minutes.

      Statistically, 110k VR user is not that far off this year.

      Last edited 08/03/16 3:00 pm

        The Gear VR preorders may push it damn close on their own. I'm still just a bit skeptical about such a high number in less than 12 months for a population of 23million. I know that seems crazy but still...

        Cardboard is in a weird spot - I can't see it being used by anyone other than enthusiasts, but the enthusiasts are the ones that are going to be forking out for a real VR kit. You might have a point of Gear VR, but bundling kind of distorts the picture - by that logic, Wii Sports is the biggest game of all time. I do wonder if they've included the bundle in these figures, as they are talking about sales rather than units shifted.

        Vive sold 15k in 10 minutes.

        That was in the US, right? Their population is ~14 times larger than ours, and the price is lower because they don't have an Australia tax. Also, that's the total for preorders, and given it's such an early adopter market at the moment I very highly doubt that they'll be able to maintain anything like that on an ongoing basis. That being said, even if Australians have the same adoption rate and are willing to pay the higher price, that's only ~1k preorders for Australia.

          Vive 15k in 10 minutes is global. I was one of them but I'm probably cancelling for Rift.

          Cardboard is more towards entry level than enthusiasts. Enthusiasts are the one getting the first Consumer VR. If you want to impress someone with VR as cheaply as possible, cardboard does the trick.

      You're missing a 0 there, pal! n=1,100.

      The analysts questioned just under 1100 people, with approximately 20 percent of those interested in buying a VR-capable device.

      There is a massive difference between those interested in something and those that will actually fork out money for something. The 20% that would pay more than $400 for a headset is interesting, but you'd need to see the overlap between those that are in the market for a VR device to know what your true market potential is.

      Gut feel - the number is too high, especially given the price points of what's actually available at the moment.

        Too busy looking at my own goddamn data at work hahaha. Yeah 1100 is a much better sample size!

        But yeah, gut feeling is still iffy on this one. It's all well and good saying you will totally 100% be all over a new product. Then it comes time to purchase and you have to stump up the money. I can't see myself buying a new console in the next 36 months, let alone a VR headset (even for my PC).

    I can't see this happening until there's a killer app available, and I'm not seeing any sign of a killer app.

    Most of the platforms are too expensive to justify purchase for a fairly small number of interesting titles. At best I can see it going the way of the Kinect or Wii. Historically speaking, peripherals for consoles sell pretty badly; and this is a peripheral which is very expensive AND with a limited software base AND which some people can't use due to issues with 3D.

    For the PC it may do better... but I'm not really convinced. I would be surprised if sales crack 50k, and would not be surprised if they fell under 10k.

    That may just be the pessimist in me speaking, however. The hardware is certainly better than it was when VR crashed in the 90s.

      AND which some people can't use due to issues with 3D.I think you're thinking of 3DTV :P Stereoscopy isn't such an important factor when it comes to VR, people with monoscopic vision will be able to use it perfectly fine. I've even seen a bunch of reports from people who can't see in 3D in real life, but suddenly can while using a VR headset. As unbelievable as it sounds.

        I'm actually thinking here of my sister, who gets ill watching any sort of 3D with a rapidly fluctuating viewpoint. The disconnect between inner ear and vision when moving around, causing motion sickness.

        To be fair, this also causes problems with 3D games on normal TVs. She can't bear to watch pretty much any FPS game.

          It does seem to be a bit of a lucky dip as to how it'll affect people, I have seen some people who normally get simulator sickness like that who have had no problem with VR, and "cast iron stomach" type folk who get absolutely slain by the tiniest bit of artificial locomotion. Though there are plenty of games out there that avoid any kind of artificial locomotion, so they shouldn't have any disconnect between the inner ear and vision. Hopefully they should be ok for her.

      You are wrong to think of VR as a peripheral... instead think of it as a replacement for the traditional monitor. In fact, one of my favourite applications on my DK2 is to watch movies on an imax sized screen. You can effectively have unlimited desktop space no matter what your physical room size.

      As for killer app, I can think of many - albiet for specific purposes. As an architect, real estate agent or designer, VR will become a "must have" - I won't be able to compete without it. As a pilot, astronaut or other professional who uses simulators, a VR setup will just be standard. From a mainstream perspective though, yes things might be slower initially and until the cost goes down... but I really think it will be more like a tablet or smart phone where it isn't just one app, but an entire ecosystem that attracts.

        I think you're probably right that a great deal of the market will fall outside of traditional gaming, although you should keep in mind that, for example, the average Real Estate agent will probably need to upgrade their PC for it to be able to handle VR well.

        I'm not sure how well it would work for a virtual monitor setup, since moving the head would also shift the part of the view where a monitor lives. You would need extremely high resolution to avoid aliasing artefacts. I can see it being more useful when not dealing with text; a movie editor or photojournalist would find it very useful, for example.

        Most of the games market will initially be games with both VR and traditional monitor support.

        In any case, as most of the VR platforms won't be here for a few months, the ~110k figure is effectively for six months. 110k is a 1% adoption rate. 1% adoption of an entirely new technology, with a high price point, in six months... does not strike me as likely. Looking at new video technologies over the years (DVD, Blu-Ray, 4k, 3DTV) it really just doesn't happen. After a year or two, maybe.

        But who knows, the non-gaming apps may carry the day.

    I'll believe it when I see it. I've seen a lot of things come and go over the years, and if one thing is true, hardware companies (not just consoles, but TVs and DVD / Bluray players and fridges and all sorts of things) are always wanting some Next Big Thing to force consumers to buy stuff they already have, for the second or third or umpteenth time.)

    ...with around 110,000* headsets predicted to be sold to Australians this year.
    *includes sales of stationery to people making their own Google Cardboard viewers.

    Over half of those will be from Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, and Note 6 preorders. I do not see the premium VR headsets (Rift and Vive) selling more than a 10,000 units in Australia this year.

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