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Virtual reality set for massive growth

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According to the Worldwide Augmented and Virtual Reality Hardware Forecast, 2016-2020, worldwide shipments of Virtual Reality (VR) hardware will skyrocket in 2016. The broader VR ecosystem will benefit from this rapid growth.
The shipments of VR devices worldwide are expected to increase by over 2400% in 2016, with screen less viewers enjoying the largest market share at 74%. As more consumers and industry users adopt VR technologies, there will be ample opportunities for consumer, gaming, entertainment and business applications providers to ride this wave.
“Virtual reality (VR) is an increasingly hot topic at technology events, government meetings and consumer entertainment events, injecting a boost of much needed excitement into consumer IT and business applications markets,” says Neo Zheng, research manager: Client System Research at IDC China.
It is vital to get a clear picture of the VR market within the context of the ecosystem. International companies like Sony and HTC are taking the lead in VR technologies while Chinese companies have the advantage in marketing. VR device is being highly correlated with the development of the larger ecosystem of upstream supply chain, content, platforms and accessories.
At the VR Ecosystem Summit, an IDC China Navigations Event held in Guiyang month, IDC analysts and representatives from VR manufacturers, upstream chain suppliers, content providers and platform service providers shared the viewpoints on the latest trends in the VR industry. With the theme, VR in an Ecosystem: Devices and Beyond, the summit focused on the business opportunities within the entire VR ecosystem. Some of these include:
• VR components: On the one hand, chip manufacturers have been making deployments in the PC chip market to be better compatible with high-end VR devices. On the other hand, competition in the Standalone HMD market has intensified, with Intel, Qualcomm, Allwinner and Spreadtrum having introduced their mobile VR solutions. The evolution of the Chinese Standalone HMD market will have an impact on the global VR market landscape.
• VR devices: As the top three VR manufacturers (Oculus, HTC and SONY) launched their 2016 products one after another, smartphone manufacturers have also set their sights on the screen less viewer market. More competition is now brought by the recent entry of standalone VR devices as well.
• VR platforms: Most VR device manufacturers have their own application platforms, but with the development of cloud computing and big data applications, as well as large platform service providers entering into the market, fragmented app stores will face risks as VR content becomes increasingly platform-based and centralized.
• VR content: While small game studios have released various VR games, large game developers have largely adopted a “wait and see” attitude, with blockbuster VR games yet to appear. iQIYI and Youku have released their VR video platforms and related strategies, making first moves to capture emerging video content market opportunities. Overall, VR content is relatively scarce but growing rapidly.
“What started as a great concept, VR is quickly becoming reality for consumer and business applications. With the participation of major global manufacturers, the VR market is set to enjoy rapid growth in the second half of 2016. This results in upstream and downstream benefits, with VR chip/screen suppliers providing more specially designed components and video game developers offering more VR content. We expect the VR ecosystem and user demands to dramatically change in the coming years,” says Zheng.