Report: Economic uncertainty dampens VR, AR outlook

With several new augmented reality (AR) smart glasses expected to launch, some before the end of 2022, alongside a year of record sales for virtual reality (VR) headsets, the next 12 months will be a very important period for immersive device sales. .

CCS Insight’s latest forecast forecasts 14.3 million VR and AR device shipments in 2022, a 30 percent year-on-year increase. While this will be a record year for device shipments, the market is not expected to be immune to the current macroeconomic problems. But despite wallets being stretched, VR and AR devices are expected to remain high on technology wish lists, especially for enthusiasts and early adopters.

While the long-term outlook remains rosy, we now predict adoption in 2022 to be lower than previously forecast. Increases in the cost of living worldwide will cause people to rethink their spending. But the hunger for new technologies will remain strong, with immersive technology benefiting, if only modestly.

VR headsets will retain most of the demand for immersive technology by 2022, accounting for 93 percent of device shipments. Sales in the successful stand-alone headset category will continue to grow, with Meta’s Quest 2 being the crown jewel in this line of products. Buyers remain most interested in hassle-free wireless products, a key selling point of Meta’s Quest range.

One downside of the 2022 VR market forecast is the expected delay in the launch of Sony’s latest PlayStation VR headset. Despite eager anticipation that the upgraded PlayStation VR2 will bring next-level console gaming content to VR headsets this year, it now looks like we’ll have to wait until 2023. The delayed launch will result in pent-up demand for the upgraded headset. a 76 percent increase in sales of VR devices attached to a PC or console in 2023.

AR will see a strong boost in 2022, with device shipments set to grow by more than 100 percent and then by another 300 percent in 2023. The arrival of new smart glasses in late 2022 and throughout 2023 will power AR devices. become the cusp of an everyday technology. While the size of the market will be modest in the coming years, early adopters will pave the way for wider use.

Much of the expected growth for immersive technologies will come from consumer markets, but the effect of Covid-19 on the use of VR and AR devices in enterprises should not be overlooked. The pandemic has pushed companies to realize the benefits of immersive devices, and sales of VR and AR headsets to businesses are expected to reach 2.6 million by 2022 — a 30 percent year-on-year increase. The changing nature of work during the pandemic has led companies to test the deployment of immersive technology for a range of new applications. Despite the return of some pre-pandemic work trends, immersive technology in the workplace is here to stay.

The combination of business and consumer adoption, alongside a strong product portfolio of VR headsets, AR smart glasses and advanced enhanced AR headsets, will deliver a winning formula as talk of the metaverse attracts investment in immersive content. CCS Insight forecasts 87.7 million shipments of VR and AR devices by 2026, with standalone VR headsets remaining the leading product and AR smart glasses gaining momentum.

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