$5.1 billion—that’s how much the virtual reality (VR) video gaming industry is set to make in 2016. According to a report from SuperData Research, this segment is set to become the key driver of VR hardware, given that game developers have a global audience of 55.8 million users.
According to the same report, consumers are set to spend this on VR gaming hardware and peripheral accessories as well as software. This number is a significant leap from the $660 million spent in 2015.
On a global scale, the VR market is expected to reach up to $8.9 billion by 2017 and continue rising to $12.3 billion by 2018.
Breaking down the global market, research shows that Europe takes the lead with a $1.9 billion share, followed by North America with $1.6 billion and Asia with $1.1 billion.
Mobile VR devices, such as the Google Cardboard, are likely to drive the market. Premium mobile virtual reality hardware, the likes of Samsung Gear VR, will account for the 2.5 million units in 2016. PC based virtual reality devices such as Facebook’s Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are expected to sell 6.6 million headsets, and Sony’s PlayStation VR selling 1.9 million units.
“Western markets with large PC and console user bases will ignite device sales for the two platforms,” says SuperData director of research Stephanie Llamas. “American gamers interested in VR look most forward to console and PC devices. One-third intend to purchase a Playstation VR and 13% look to buy the Oculus Rift.”
In terms of pricing, the younger consumer groups seem to show a stronger interest in the technology. Based on US respondents, those under 18 are more interested in virtual reality.