VR headset shipments are booming as virtual reality is emerging as a computing category like PCs and mobile devices.
As Sony’s PlayStation VR beat out the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, VR headset shipments mounted around 2 million in 2016 which is great fast growth for a market that was was just in its infancy a year ago.
This estimates include head-mounted displays with screens and excludes headsets without displays like Google’s Daydream View and Samsung’s Gear VR. The shipment estimates do not include devices like Lenovo’s Phab 2 Pro mobile device that provide blended reality directly on the screen of mobile devices.
In the coming year, even more VR headsets with integrated screens are expected to hit the shelves and shipments will total over 5 million units, according to the latest estimates.
It is expected that in 2018, the number of units will grow to about 10 million, and reach 15 million in 2019.
PC manufacturers such as HP, Dell, Acer etc. will make head-mounted VR headsets based on the Windows Holographic platform. Those devices will effectively be clones of Microsoft HoloLens.
A Chinese company, 3Glasses, will ship a VR headset based on Windows Holographic in the first half of next year.
At the moment Sony is the market leader with PlayStation VR headset leads the market regardless of shipment delays. According to estimates, 800,000 units of the headset will ship by the end of the year.
HTC Vive shipments will total 500,000, while Oculus Rift shipments will reach 400,000.
Other than gaming, VR headset makers envision commercial use for headsets such as uses in medical and engineering applications. In addition, virtual reality headsets could be used for entertainment like watching Tv shows, movies and more.