Consumers are losing interest in virtual reality headsets and accompanying experiences, a new sales data analysis from Thinknum Media suggests. As visualized in a number of charts seen in the gallery below, the largest names in the industry such as HTC, Oculus, Sony, and Samsung all struggled with maintaining consumer interest in their VR products in the first half of 2018, suggesting the industry as a whole still has a long way to go to enter mainstream popularity after convincing early adopters to buy into various ecosystems, many of which are still light on content and general capabilities.
Sony’s best-selling PlayStation VR Skyrim Bundle saw a massive decline in commercial performance since its debut in late 2017, having dropped from the 22nd to 100th spot in its Amazon category as of this April. With the bundle itself previously being widely touted as one of the most accessible entry points into the world of high-end VR experiences, it appears that its peak popularity has already passed and Sony can’t count on it to attract a significant number of new users to its VR ecosystem going forward, at least in the United States, the only market encompassed by Thinknum’s July study. Samsung largely abandoned the VR segment over the last year, with its smartphone-powered Gear VR series of headsets failing to rank in the top 100 products in its Amazon category since late 2016. Oculus and HTC are presently faring somewhat better but are still having issues with maintaining consistent levels of consumer interest, something that’s crucial for any emerging technology that VR certainly is.
It’s presently unclear how mixed reality may change the industry once it becomes more widely available in the coming years. Magic Leap is presently the most high-profile startup in the segment but has yet to deliver a commercial product after raising over $2 billion over the last seven years. Both HTC and Oculus are also expected to continue with their VR investments in an aggressive manner, with the former seeing the industry as its last chance of survival.