Virtual reality to boost digital games revenues past $100bn

Oculus Rift, HTC Vive among headsets set to launch early next year

Guests use Gear VR virtual reality headsets during a preview session. Photograph: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

Guests use Gear VR virtual reality headsets during a preview session. Photograph: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

 

Games have become business, and according to new research, they may be about to grow to new heights thanks to virtual reality.

According to figures from Juniper Research, the sector will rise by 8 per cent over the next couple of years, growing from an estimated value of $80 billion this year to $104 billion by 2018.

But while the PC industry will account for 42 per cent of games revenue in 2015, mobile platforms are expected to increase in popularity and revenue generation. According to Juniper’s estimates, mobile will see market share rise to almost 35 per cent by 2020, and generate revenues of $27 billion by 2018.

But that doesn’t mean consoles will die off; the research claims consoles will evolve and become home entertainment centres. The addition of cross-platform integration, such as Microsoft’s move to integrate certain games on Xbox One and Windows 10, will also help boost the console sector.

“As digital purchases gain favour with consumers, we will see a drive in sales during the lifecycle of the current generation of consoles. Newly emerging technologies such as Virtual Reality will aid in consumer adoption, as the console continues to evolve to become the core home entertainment centre,” research author Lauren Foye said.

Virtual reality is set to hit the market in a big way in 2016, with Oculus Rift, HTC’s Vive headset and Sony’s Project Morpheus all expected to make an appearance. Samsung, meanwhile, is expected to make its Gear VR headset more widely available, while the more budget end of the scale can be looked after by Google’s Cardboard product.