VR Market Leader Sony SIE’s CEO Says Margin is Too Wide
From a Reuters interview, Alan House, the CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment said being the VR market leader isn’t all it’s cracked up to be when your competition is selling off their VR divisions.
He said, “I‘m not entirely comfortable being the market leader in VR by such a margin that seems to be happening right now. With such a brand new category you want a variety of platforms all doing well to create that rising tide and create the audience.”
It’s pretty lonely at the top, and pushing a market by yourself is hard for any one company to do. Many hands make light work. Unfortunately, there just isn’t enough investment for companies to continue pushing VR competition, and thus a robust marketplace.
House’s statement was released after market analyst firm International Data Corporation (IDC) published their latest report for Q2 2017 on the Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) market. According to IDC, the worldwide VR/AR market grew 25.5% YoY.
Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC’s Mobile Device Trackers, stated:
“Growth in the VR market has been rather sluggish compared to other recently introduced technologies as the amount of investment and, more importantly, the need for end user education is extremely high for VR. Though the recent price cuts across all major platforms will help alleviate one of the barriers to adoption, providing consumers the opportunity to learn about products and try before they buy is still a significant hurdle faced by most companies.”
Samsung’s Gear VR actually took top spot in the report, but Sony states that they are not in direct competition with the Gear VR. However the IDC noted that the Galaxy S8/S8+ sales (you know, the phone everyone has that isn’t an iPhone) artificially inflated the Gear VR’s numbers.
This could spell a potential rift (not the Oculus Rift) in the market, and the whole VR technology could implode without enough investor interest. Thus, VR will again retreat into the shadows, just like in 1998. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen! Have you played Super Hot on VR? There’s nothing like having panic sweats as you watch a bullet enter your body!