A pair of studies from Juniper Research have predicted significant rises in both the revenues earned from VR video games and in the number of consoles using the technology by 2023.
The tech intelligence company reported that revenues from VR video games will reach $8.2 billion by 2023, rising from an expected $1.2 billion in 2019.
This is riding on the development of smartphone VR content, which is “essential to increase consumer confidence” in VR across all platforms, following a disappointing year of hardware sales in 2018.
The report forecasts that more than 100 million mobile VR devices, including smartphone and standalone headsets, will access games globally by 2023, rising from 52 million devices in 2019.
Low-cost mobile VR content is needed to initially engage users and encourage them to other VR platforms, Juniper Research concluded.
In a separate study, Juniper Research said next-generation consoles, anticipated to be announced in 2019, will renew faltering mainstream interest in the VR technology on games consoles.
By 2023, Juniper anticipates that more than 37 million games consoles will be using VR, representing 19% of consoles. It recommended that future headset releases align with mid-cycle console updates to enable bundling of consoles and headsets into a single offering.
The research found that Sony PlayStation VR will drive console-based VR to become the fastest growing market over the next four years, in comparison to the smartphone and PC-based sectors.
Google is expected to remain the leading VR headset vendor, accounting for 27% of global shipments by 2023. Sony will account for nearly 18% of total VR headset shipments by 2023, as sales are forecast to exceed nine million units.
Juniper Research forecasts that mobile VR will account for more than 55% of total VR games revenues by 2023.
Research author Sam Barker added: “We expect Microsoft to announce VR support for its next-generation consoles to provide competition for Sony in the VR space. By 2023, these players will offer the most comprehensive suite of VR content and capabilities.”