While 2016 was supposed to be the year of virtual reality, it's hard to argue that this emerging technology finally became mainstream over the course of the last 12 month. Nonetheless, VR still made a foothold in the market, with the likes of Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, and HTC Vive becoming commercially available over the course of 2016. Interestingly enough, while the HTC Vive is the most advanced piece of consumer VR tech by some margin, it currently holds only 6% of the global market, according to an analysis conducted by 01Consulting.
The said firm recently published an in-depth study which estimated product sales of over 30 companies and 40 products related to the VR industry. As it turns out, Sony emerged as the winner of this year's VR race, with the said company currently holding 30% of the global market. The Tokyo-based conglomerate recently launched the PlayStation VR headset which is currently compatible only with the PlayStation 4 but given its relatively cheap price tag and the fact that there are up to 50 million of PS4 owners around the world, the PSVR did rather well as far as sales are concerned. The second most successful VR firm after Sony is Facebook, i.e. the Facebook-owned Oculus which is currently holding 11% of the VR market, as estimated by 01Consulting. Furthermore, Oculus is followed by Google and its plethora of VR products such as Daydream and Tilt Brush which currently account for 8% of the market. Last but not least, Samsung is closely following Google with a 7% market share. In overall, Sony, Facebook, and Google hold almost 50% of the current VR market. Combined with Samsung, the four tech giants are dominating this emerging industry by most standards.
Interestingly enough, 01Consulting concludes that Google, Samsung, and Facebook failed to reach Sony's results because they either offered VR products which are too expensive or not advanced enough to prompt users to pay for it. That isn't to say these companies aren't making money from their VR-related operations, as the said research firm estimates that the three tech giants are currently generating several hundreds of millions of dollars from their VR endeavors, mostly due to their brand recognition.