The HTC Vive, the Valve-powered virtual reality headset that is the darling of the PC VR revolution, is selling pretty well – for an extremely niche product that is.
It’s been revealed that 140,000 HTC Vive headsets have been sold since it launched in April. That number was confirmed to Chinese site 87870 news by the Taiwanese company’s co-founder and chairperson Cher Wang.
To put 140,000 sales in perspective, it’s hardly the 660,000 iPhone daily sales, or even the million or so sales the Sony PlayStation sees monthly… but for a high-priced PC peripheral – which also requires a user to have an expensive PC to power it – we’d say it’s pretty good going.
Now, we don’t yet know how many Oculus Rift headsets have been sold – the Vive’s main rival – but we do know that the HTC headset has been much better received by the tech press when it comes to reviews. Recent reports suggest that parent company Facebook wants to ship 400,000 units by the end of 2016, although Oculus itself has declined to comment on any sales figures.
Of course, while not a direct competitor for the PC gaming market, the HTC Vive also faces stiff competition from Sony, who has just launched its debut VR headset – PlayStation VR. Coming in at around half the price of the Vive and the Rift, Sony’s effort is also much more accessible to general consumers as it simply plugs in to existing PS4 consoles – and there are more than 40 million of them in homes already.
2016 should be remembered as the year that VR really took hold. So long just a pipe dream of futurologists and sci-fi film directors, the quality of virtual reality experiences have finally caught up to the hype.
Analysts are predicting a major boost in the VR industry over the next few years. CCS Insight states the amount of AR and VR devices sold will increase from 2.5 million in 2015, to a mammoth 24 million in 2018; with a VR market worth more than $4billion.
As well as HTC, Facebook and Sony – Samsung is heavily invested into VR with its Gear VR range and Google looks set to shake up the smartphone powered category with its new Daydream platform.