After years of developer kits and longing for consumer releases, 2016 is finally the year that virtual reality (VR) will arrive in the market. Both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive pc-based head-mounted displays (HMDs) should arrive in the next four months while PlayStation VR on PlayStation 4 is set to launch within the first half of the next year. Despite this, it appears that over half of UK retailers do not believe that 2016 will also be the year that VR sales ‘take off’ and proves to be a hit with a mainstream audience.
That much was made clear from a recent survey hosted by MCV. According to the site some 55 percent of shop managers stated that they believe VR wouldn’t be a hit in 2016. Apparently many even noted that the technology would be a fad similar to the push for 3D televisions a few years ago. On the other hand, 39 percent of those surveyed stated that the tech could be a success next year if it gets the proper support from Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE), Oculus VR and HTC for the PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive kits respectively. Finally, five percent stated they weren’t sure how VR would turn out next year.
All this said, VR companies themselves have noted on multiple occasions that they don’t expect the technology to be an overnight hit. Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey has in the past compared the launch to the arrival of Apple’s revolutionary MP3 player, the iPod. “iPod was considered a huge success,” he noted, “but it took a while to sell 1 million copies. With Palm Pilot they only sold a few million units in the first few years. It took over a decade for that to come about. But people still consider it a success. You don’t need to immediately take over everything to be considered a success.”
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