Our 2016 prediction for VR (virtual reality) hardware and software is that it will have a breakout year, with revenues of over $1 billion.
That’s a great start, but I am cautious on the prospects for hypergrowth over the next few years: I think it will do well with hardcore gamers, and some enterprise applications, but I do not think it will become the next ‘platform’ technology for consumers in the next decade. There are billions of TV sets, radios, computers and smartphones in people’s homes around the world, and getting close to a billion tablets. Will VR headsets join that category soon? I have gone on the record as saying no.
A lot of people are publicly arguing with me: they think that although VR might not be in that league in 2016 or 2017, things will change by 2020.
Respectfully, I just can’t agree. Not only does my own research point to a much narrower adoption, even some VR fans are being cautious. Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook spent billions on Oculus Rift, and made a big splash talking about VR at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week. In an interview, here is Mark’s view on VR and its adoption path:
“We are betting that Virtual Reality is going to be an important technology. I am pretty confident about this. And now is the time to invest….I honestly don’t know is how long it will take to build this ecosystem. It could be 5 years, it could be 10 years, it could be 15 or 20. My guess is that it will be at least 10.”