VR Market Share: The State of Virtual Reality in 2023
Updated: September 12,2023
Big companies claim we’re nearing the time when we’ll be stepping into the metaverse. This virtual reality space will be where we’ll have our meetings, hang out with friends, and more. While we’re not there yet, the reality is that VR technology is here to stay, and the market is set to reach $300 billion in value within this decade.
Today we’ll be talking about this industry and take a look at the VR market share. You’ll learn about the biggest company in the industry and what it’s making, as well as what the future of VR holds. So, let’s dive into the data.
Virtual Reality Market at a Glance
The increasing number of startups and growing investments by major companies are fueling the market growth. In addition, the demand for high-quality content and the need for a better user experience are expected to drive the market further. Here’s what the market currently looks like, along with some projections.
1. The VR, AR, and MR market is worth $27.96 billion.
We can’t really discuss virtual reality and its worth without mentioning some facts about augmented and mixed reality - the other two parts of the so-called XR ecosystem. According to recent reports, the market hit close to $28 billion at the end of 2021, with virtual reality products accounting for $21.83 billion of the gross sum.
2. The market is growing by 15% each year.
Virtual reality has come a long way in just a few years and the data on VR is looking impressive. Experts predict it will grow even faster in the upcoming years. This means that, if the CAGR continues at 15%, the value of the whole XR market is expected to hit $250 billion by 2028.
3. The US VR market is worth $4.6 billion.
Focusing on individual segments of the VR market, it’s clear that the US is one of the most important players in this industry. After all, that’s where many of the biggest developers and manufacturers are situated, alongside hundreds of millions of potential consumers. The rest of this decade looks exciting for the American VR crowd, as analysts predict this market will grow by 14.4% CAGR.
4. The European VR and AR markets combined are worth $2.8 billion.
On the other side of the Atlantic ocean, virtual and augmented reality headsets and games are selling slightly slower. Right now, Europe accounts for roughly 10% of the global virtual reality market share. Like other markets, the old continent is expected to show an increased interest in this technology. Some of the predictions go as high as a $20 billion market share within the next three years.
5. Asia-Pacific is the fastest-growing VR market at a CAGR of 51.4%.
Among all markets, the Asia-Pacific region showed the biggest interest in virtual reality hardware and related products. The researchers predict this market will be worth $244 billion by 2028, with China, India, South Korea, and Japan leading the growth. These countries have already positioned themselves as the leaders, producing and shipping millions of VR devices every year.
6. VR is expected to add $1.5 trillion to the global economy by 2030.
Nearly all industries will see some benefits from the widespread application of VR tech in the future, the experts at PwC claim. From new job openings and faster employee training to more efficient workers and improved product development. The future, as they say, is now, and VR has already proved to be an integral part of our society.
The Biggest VR Companies: Stats and Facts
The virtual reality industry is growing by leaps and bounds, with new companies entering the fray all the time. Here are some of the biggest players in VR, along with some interesting stats and facts about them.
7. In 2014, Facebook bought Oculus for $2 billion.
Now known as Reality Labs, Oculus was a crowdfunding sweetheart. In 2012, it successfully funded its first project - the Oculus Rift - with the help of 9,522 Kickstarter backers. Just two years later, Facebook managed to acquire Oculus, and it’s now considering it one of the main driving factors behind its metaverse endeavor. It’s undoubtedly one of the leaders in virtual reality, especially after launching the Oculus Quest 2 headset.
8. Google’s first VR headset was a $15 piece of cardboard.
The same year Facebook made its big acquisition, Google had an unusual idea. Instead of making a high-tech device, the tech giant offered a product called Google Cardboard, which was, quite literally, a piece of cardboard with two lenses and a slot that fit a small-screen Android or iOS smartphone, which you’d use to view VR content on. The gadget was recently discontinued, but not before Google sold 15 million units.
9. Microsoft’s HoloLens deal with the US Army is worth $21 billion.
The Redmond-based tech company isn’t just making Windows, Xbox consoles, and Office. Its most advanced product is HoloLens, a mixed reality headset aimed at the corporate crowd. In 2021, the US Army signed a 10-year deal with Microsoft to purchase 120,000 of these headsets. Unlike regular $3,500 HoloLens headsets, these will be custom tailored for the Army’s needs.
10. Sony has sold over five million PlayStation VR headsets.
Despite entering the race in 2016, Sony is another important company for virtual reality tech. Its first VR device, PlayStation VR, was the first console-based virtual reality device to hit the mainstream. Within the first year, Sony managed to sell 1 million units. When it comes to the adoption rate and console to PSVR ratio, the VR market stats aren’t as stellar for Sony. Only 5% of PlayStation 4 console owners also own the VR set. The new generation of PSVR devices is expected to release sometime in 2023.
11. Samsung launched the first mobile VR set in 2015.
Flagship phone manufacturer and the biggest iPhone competitor, Samsung, is also a major player in the VR scene. Its Gear VR system introduced millions of people to virtual reality on mobile. It was a great entry device at an affordable price and paved the way for wearable tech.
12. Valve is the only big VR company that’s not publicly traded.
VR market stocks have become incredibly lucrative in recent years, but companies like Valve have yet to become virtual reality public companies. This company is mainly known for its digital distribution platform, Steam, and the development of hit video games like Half-Life and Portal and experimental hardware. Since 2019, Valve has also offered the Valve Index virtual reality system along with its latest video game, Half-Life: Alyx.
13. Unity’s revenue is expected to rise by 35% in 2022.
In 2022, the Unity report states that the company's revenue is expected to hit $1.5 billion. Unity is a 3D engine used for developing some of the most popular VR games and apps. The increasing demand for 3D immersive experiences leads the growth for Unity and a possible market cap of $45 billion by the end of the year.
VR Headset Market Share and Sales
There are a few popular VR headsets on the market today. The HTC Vive, Valve Index, and Playstation VR are all examples of high-end headsets that offer a premium VR experience. In this section, we'll look at the current situation of VR headset usage and what are the most popular choices among consumers.
14. VR headset manufacturers shipped 11.2 million units in 2021.
Virtual reality headsets are practically flying off the shelves. Several factors influence that, including increased demand for home entertainment due to the ongoing pandemic, low prices of certain headsets, and growing interest in experiencing VR technology and VR games.
15. Meta (Oculus) ships 75% of all VR headsets.
The launch of Oculus Quest 2 has produced a tectonic shift in the VR space. The brand's manufacturer and owner, Meta, has quickly become the industry leader and now owns the biggest VR device market share. Chinese DVPR ships 6% of all headsets, while Sony is in third place with 5% of global VR shipments.
16. Standalone VR headsets account for 90% of all VR shipments.
It’s evident that the industry is moving towards untethered VR devices. They offer a more user-friendly, affordable entry into virtual reality, unlike devices that require a PC or a console to work. Analysts predict Sony will shake up the market with its PlayStation VR 2 headset, although it’s yet to be seen how much the next generation of PSVR will affect the global demand for standalone headsets.
17. Nearly half of all Steam VR users play on an Oculus Quest 2.
Recent Steam hardware survey confirmed the global dominance of the Oculus Quest 2 headset. According to data the company gathered, Oculus Quest 2 accounts for 47.97% of Steam VR headsets, followed by Valve Index’s 15.35%, and Oculus Rift S at 11.07%. Unfortunately, Steam didn’t release more detailed VR market statistics, including the number of VR users.
18. The immersive VR tech brings in 80% of all annual VR revenue.
It is no surprise that most VR usage and purchases are for immersive experiences. Virtual reality offers unprecedented levels of interaction with virtual worlds, and the consumers are flocking toward the fully and semi-immersive tech, including video games and apps.
VR Gaming Market Share
Virtual reality games are the latest craze in the gaming industry. They allow you to escape deeper into a different world and experience exciting adventures. VR games are perfect for those who want something different from traditional gaming, and the sales numbers confirm that.
19. The gaming segment of the VR market is worth $7.92 billion.
A VR headset is another console in their home for many people. People fully immerse themselves in virtual environments and more actively participate in their favorite video games. On top of that, VR gaming proved to be a fun way to exercise and stay active, with rhythm and fitness games turning into system sellers.
20. Half-Life: Alyx and Pavlov are among the best-selling Steam VR games.
PC gamers that are also into VR know that Steam is the main destination for VR gaming. The storefront offers thousands of games and has recently revealed its list of bestselling and high revenue games, including the data on VR apps’ market share.
Although Steam hasn’t revealed the exact revenue these games generated throughout the year, it split the top 100 list into several tiers based on how good these games were doing financially. The games in the highest-grossing tier are sorted alphabetically:
- Arizona Sunshine
- Beat Saber
- Blade & Sorcery
- Half-Life: Alyx
- Hot Dogs, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades
- Into the Radius
- Pavlov VR
- Superhot VR
- The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim VR
- The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners
- VR Kanojo
21. Beat Saber is the most popular PlayStation VR game.
In 2021, one game dominated the PSVR charts month after month. It was Beat Saber, the neon-rave rhythm extravaganza. Launched in 2018, Beat Saber took the world by storm, becoming the game you must buy if you’re playing in VR. The simple gameplay hook, thumping soundtrack, and futuristic visuals captured the imagination of the PlayStation VR crowd, thus keeping the game at the top of the charts and a regular part of virtual reality market statistics and reports.
Here’s how the top 10 chart for 2021 looks according to the official PlayStation blog:
|1. Beat Saber||Beat Saber|
|2. Job Simulator||Job Simulator|
|3. Superhot VR||Superhot VR|
|4. GORN||Creed: Rise to Glory|
|5. Swordsman VR||Swordsman VR|
|6. Creed: Rise to Glory||The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners|
|7. Vader Immortal: A Star Wars Series||GORN|
|8. The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners||Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality|
|9. Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality||Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VS Series|
|10. The Walking Dead Onslaught||Astro Bot Rescue Mission|
22. 60+ Oculus Quest games surpassed $1 million in revenue.
Oculus Quest is truly on its way into the mainstream, and the data about game sales confirms it. There are now more than 60 games on this VR set that earned $1+ million, with Beat Saber as the prime example of how well the market is doing. That game sold 4 million copies and made its developers a whopping $100 million - game and DLC sales combined - on Oculus Quest alone!
Final Thoughts on VR Market Share
There couldn’t be a more exciting time for virtual reality than now. The technology is already impressive and, best of all, widely available and becoming increasingly affordable. It might still feel weird to put on those headsets and wave plastic controllers around, but what’s little silliness when the experience is that good.
Frequently Asked Questions
Although it’s not as nearly big as the gaming market, the VR market is steadily growing each year. It is now valued at around $22 billion and is expected to reach 10 times that value by the end of the decade.
Oculus has a market share that is estimated at 78%. The company is currently the biggest VR vendor globally, shipping millions of units a year.
The VR market share is currently estimated at around $22 billion, while the whole gaming industry is worth $198 billion, making VR just 11% of the global gaming market. It’s worth noting that VR is a growing industry, and with many companies pushing for metaverse, it’s bound to become quite prominent soon.
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While Damjan started his career in humanities, his interests quickly moved on to the tech and IT world. VPNs, antiviruses, firewalls, password managers - cybersecurity is what he knows best. When Damjan’s not losing hair over the dwindling of our collective sense of tech safety, you’ll find him looking for solace in 100-hour-long RPGs and rage-inducing MOBAs.