VR sales skyrocket following Half-Life Alyx announce, XR industry set to grow significantly

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Half-Life: Alyx

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Some good news for the Virtual Reality fans: VR headsets have seen an increase in sales within the last year whilst still projected to do well in the future. Finally, we might see some really good AAA, full-length titles in the future, much like Half-Life: Alyx. According to SuperData, XR (a fancy term for eXtended Reality that encompasses Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality) has seen a moderate rise in sales over the last half year, most likely due to the increase in interest for Virtual Reality.

Unsurprisingly, Valve sold a lot of Valve Index units in 2019 due to the announcement and excitement for Half-Life: Alyx. They sold 149K altogether in 2019, with the biggest chunk of sales coming from Q3 to Q4 (103K) following the announcement of the new Half-Life.

Interestingly, the Index was the highest selling headset for PC in Q4 despite its steep price of $1000. Clearly Valve was not anticipating quite such high demand though, as the headset is currently sold out worldwide.

However, the Valve Index wasn’t the biggest seller of the year, far from it. That award goes to Oculus Quest, which sold a whopping 705K units – more than the Oculus GO and Oculus Rift S combined. Apparently the “simplicity of the Quest appealed to mainstream consumers and made it a hot holiday gift item” according to the analysts at SuperData.

Even though the Quest did very well for the year, it came in a close second for the Q4 top sales. Playstation VR was the highest seller with 338K units sold in Q4, the Oculus Quest sold 317K, Valve Index had 103K, while the Oculus GO and Oculus Rift S trailed behind at 84K and 71K respectively.

More than that though, SuperData has also revealed its projections for Extended Reality in the future: “Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality headsets like Microsoft’s HoloLens are expected to grow significantly in 2023 once form factors and price points that are acceptable to consumers become available.” Both Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality are set to earn a combined $6.7B by 2023, which is 45% of all Extended Reality revenue.

It looks like 2019 was a good year for Virtual Reality, and with Half-Life: Alyx reportedly being a full-length game we could see some very interesting titles in the future when developers realise the market is definitely out there. We’re certainly excited to see where the virtual world will take us in the future, but what kind of games would you like to see?