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VR Headsets Finally Receive a Boost in the Market

Powerful virtual reality headsets have been a reality for more than half a decade now. However, consumers were too reluctant to spend a considerable sum to afford one of these high-tech gadgets. However, as we near the end of the decade, VR has seen a sudden shift in consumer interest with many people opting for the newer VR headsets available in the market to experience unique gaming experiences.

The primary reason behind VR’s sudden market traction

Virtual reality technology has been around for decades now. However, due to the lack of budget-friendly options, most people could not afford to buy one even if they wanted to. Apart from the price point, another point of concern amongst gamers was the additional hardware necessary for the tech’s smooth functioning. For instance, PC gamers needed to beef up their desktop configurations before they could engage in VR gaming, leading to additional budgetary concerns.

Oculus Quest. Image source: PCMag.com

However, due to the arrival of the Oculus Quest and the Valve Index VR headsets, virtual reality gaming has become much easier today. A testament to its sudden rise in popularity is the fact that both these brand new headsets are already sold-out across most stores in the United States of America. Moreover, due to the impending Holidays, the demand for these pieces of technology are also in high demand. Some stores are reportedly selling the VR headsets at triple its original price.

Another driving force behind the sudden surge in VR headset sale is the upcoming release of Half-Life: Alyx. A prequel set before the events of the popular Half-Life 1 and Half-Life 2 games, Alyx is set to be a VR exclusive. While some fans are disappointed by this exclusivity, others with deeper pockets are already preparing for the arrival of the much-awaited game with brand new VR headsets.

It may be interesting to note that Valve Index and Half-Life: Alyx are both creations from the same parent company, Valve. Therefore, the calculated move of releasing the company’s new VR platform the same year as the announcement of the anticipated game seems to have surely paid off for Valve.

Half-Life: Alyx for VR. Image source: TheVerge.com

Year-over-year growth for VR headsets is astonishing

Research group SuperData recently published the results of its survey, indicating that VR hardware revenue is expected to touch $2.1 billion by the end of 2019. This showcases a 31% increase in the revenue when compared to the mere $1.6 billion at the end of 2018. This is even more impressive when you consider that Oculus Quest has been available in the market for less than half a year. The headset remains sold-out at major retailers including Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy and Gamestop.

A quick glance across the Steam storefront reveals that the Valve Index is enjoying similar success in the market. It is currently back-ordered until February of next year. The US is the largest contributor to VR hardware revenue in the world today with around 35% of all VR hardware revenue originating from the country.

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