It’s no secret that virtual reality headsets have struggled to break into the mainstream since they launched, partly because of their restrictive price tags. But according to a report from Canalys, that’s no longer the case. For the first time ever, one million VR headset units were sold in a single quarter.
Sales of the devices have been growing recently, culminating in a record-breaking third quarter. Sony’s PlayStation VR led the way with 49 percent of all VR sales during this period, shifting about 490,000 units. Facebook’s Oculus Rift was in second place with 210,000 units sold, while HTC’s Vive came in third after moving 160,000 of the headsets.
Unsurprisingly, Canalys puts most of this success down to price cuts. The Rift fell from $599 to $399, while the cost of the Vive dropped from $799 to $599. And although the PlayStation VR’s price remained at $399, Sony wisely started to offer the headset with the PS camera included—a necessity that had previously been sold separately.
“VR adoption in the consumer segment is highly dependent on price, and Oculus’ strategy of lowering prices has definitely helped drive adoption,” said Canalys research analyst Vincent Thielke.
While the third quarter results are great news for all those involved in the virtual reality industry, the future looks even brighter. Not only is the amount of available VR content increasing, but Oculus and HTC are also releasing their cheaper, standalone headsets: The Oculus Go and HTC Vive Focus.
Additionally, Canalys predicts that the VR market will get another boost in 2018 when PC vendors such as HP, Lenovo, Acer, Asus, and Dell launch headsets supporting Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality platform. It may have taken longer than expected, but it seems that virtual reality is finally becoming popular.