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The 12 Milestones in the History of Virtual Reality

The hottest topic of 2016 has been in the works for more years than you would expect

Monika Dimitrova
| Updated on
The 12 Milestones in the History of Virtual Reality© 2023 Shutterstock

In 2016, over 12 Virtual Reality headsets have been released, and devices like Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR and HTC Vive have become topics of huge popularity.

For only 6 months, the HTC Vive, one of the most niche VR devices released in 2016, reached many more people than the market experts forecasted. The VR device is also holding the lead in one of the most expensive VR headsets on the market with its price tag of $799, but nevertheless sales are going well. The Taiwanese consumer electronics company sold about 150,000 VR headsets in the first months after its release, proving that there is a potential market for the high-end niche VR gear.

Reaching this level of consumer acceptance has been a tough and rather long-lasting journey. Undoubtedly, making this technology as elaborate and sophisticated as we see it nowadays has been one of the most complex tech developments of all time. However, the Virtual Reality for the masses is finally here…

The top 4 VR sellers - Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR - are set to sell more than 12 million devices only in 2016, asserts the Statistical Portal. VR technology has reached our homes and each day changes the way we do things.

For example, the Sony PlayStation VR headset is seen as a game changer in the world of games. According to Gamerant, PlayStation VR “outsold every console on the market in Japan in less than a week from its release”. Taking into account that one of the latest PS consoles (PS4 or PS4 Pro) is a prerequisite for buying the Sony VR headset, sales of 51,644 units in the span of 3 days is quite impressive already.

Currently, most revenues of the multi-billion dollar business come from Virtual Reality hardware. The headsets are mainly bought for entertainment purposes like playing games and watching movies, which opens up another area of VR revenue creation - VR content. With regard to VR content creation, most sales are expected to come from games priced “between $5 and $40”, which will be generating in total $300 million for 2016, according to Deloitte.

Therefore, the fantastic VR technology finally found its way to the masses as it is about 150 times cheaper since the first headset was released, incredibly entertaining, accurate and immersive. The forecasts about VR gear are more positive than ever and we can’t wait to see what this technology is capable of. Only in the next 2 or 3 years VR content is expected to be created for TV and cinema, opening the doors to the cinema of future.

We have created an infographic presenting the key landmarks in the evolution of the Virtual Reality. Enjoy!

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