Shipments Of Higher-End VR Headsets Eclipse 1M In Q3: Canalys

Virtual Reality On The Rise; Sony Tops Oculus, HTC

Sony has always been outselling HTC and Oculus in the VR race per analyst estimates, no doubt heavily based on the fact that the PlayStation headset does not require a desktop PC to operate and instead hooks up to the PS4 gaming console. HTC took third place, shipping 160,000 Vive VR units. According to Canalys this is the first time shipments have reached a million units, HTC and Oculus slashed prices for their products to try and compete Sony who sold a massive 49% of the units in the market.

The rise was aided by recent price cuts, particularly the temporary reduction on the Oculus Rift to $399, Vincent Thielke, research analyst at Canalys, noted in the release. Incumbents and new players entering the market are targeting similar price points.

Prices continue to drop, with the Oculus Go standalone headset coming next year priced at $199. "The Go will excite first-time users, but driving adoption beyond social media will be a challenge".

Meanwhile, strong consumer adoption of VR in Japan is giving Sony a boost.

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While the debate about whether virtual reality is just some oversold hype rages on, the nascent industry can at least boast of having crossed an important milestone. This quarter included the launch of Microsoft's Windows 10 Mixed Reality platform, which hosts content on headsets built by OEMs like Samsung, Dell, Lenovo, HP and others.

Canalys said its VR headset shipment data is derived from its Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Analysis service, which provides quarterly market tracking.

The tracking service defines a VR headset as 'a device with a display created to be work on the face that immerses the viewer in a virtual world.' It excludes simple viewers, basically those that use a smartphone.

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