Virtual reality set to invade Australian lounge rooms as consoles-based VR ignites consumer interest

2.5 million Australian households expected to have virtual reality headsets by 2020

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – Demand by video gamers is expected to drive a boom in VR headset sales throughout the holiday season, according to a new study from emerging technology analyst firm Telsyte.

The Telsyte Australian VR & AR Market Study 2017 predicts 115,000 VR headset units will be sold in the second half of 2016 with sales rapidly growing to over 500,000 units in 2017. In H2 2016, Telsyte estimates that 46 per cent of unit sales will be console-based VR systems, 46 per cent mobile VR and the remaining 8 per cent PC-based systems.

By 2020, Telsyte estimates over 3.3 million units will have been sold in Australia (of all types) reaching a household penetration of 22.3 per cent or 2.5 million households, as more consumers are drawn in by the immersive attraction of virtual reality.

Telsyte research shows that 75 per cent of Australians over the age of 16 are now aware of VR, up from 49 per cent in October 2015. The backing of multinational brands such as Google, Facebook and Sony has helped lift awareness and created pent-up demand in Australia.

Telsyte predicts Sony’s PlayStation®VR (PS VR) will be the lounge room leader given the large installed base of PlayStation®4 (PS4™) home consoles capable of utilising PlayStation VR. Telsyte estimates that there are in excess of 1 million PS4 consoles in Australian households, making it a mainstream platform for the adoption of VR. Accordingly, Telsyte estimates 65 per cent of VR hardware revenue will be generated by PlayStation VR in H2 2016. This prediction is backed by Telsyte survey findings which indicate that 20 per cent of PS4 users indicate a desire to buy a VR headset.

Mobile VR is expected to also generate strong sales, but current technological limitations (e.g. not having full 3D head tracking) will limit its use and applications, in particular with video games. Telsyte believes mobile VR will remain a gateway for many consumers to more functional systems but will remain an important platform for VR movies, and 360 video applications such as documentaries, eCommerce and education.

Telsyte believes video gaming will be a key driver for the adoption of VR in Australia. 76 per cent of those interested in buying a VR unit indicated they ‘want to purchase a VR device to have an enhanced gaming experience’, while 66 per cent indicated that they were interested in applications other than gaming, including movies, education, sports viewing, events, and eCommerce.

Nearly 1 in 3 regular game buyers (28 per cent) indicated a desire to purchase a VR headset according to a survey conducted by Telsyte in March 2016 for the Interactive Games Entertainment Association (IGEA). Of these, 40 per cent indicated a desire to purchase a VR headset as soon as 2016. Telsyte estimates that there are more than 5 million regular video games buyers in Australia, making for a vibrant pool of potential early adopters across PC, console and mobile VR platforms.

“Entertainment will be the main driver of VR adoption in Australia, however, organisations of all types are excited by the prospects of developing VR applications” Telsyte Managing Director, Foad Fadaghi says.

Telsyte research conducted with CIOs and IT decisions makers in August 2016, indicated that some 60 per cent of Australian and New Zealand organisations had already begun developing or were considering developing VR applications, for either internal and external (customer facing) uses.

Despite the technological developments in VR, there still remains some concerns around the health impacts of prolonged use. One in three Australians surveyed by Telsyte indicated they were “concerned about the health effects of VR” with the main concerns relating to the impact on eyesight (52 per cent) and “not enough knowledge of health effects” (48 per cent).

*In addition to the announced and available products in the market in October 2016, Telsyte predicts there will likely be new market entrants in the VR and AR market in the forecast period, including games console manufactures (other than PlayStation), smart device vendors (e.g. Apple) and other entertainment and visual/display technology brands.

For further information on the study or media inquiries contact:

Foad Fadaghi
Managing Director
Tel: +61 2 8297 4651
Twitter: @foadfadaghi

About Telsyte’s VR & AR Market Study 2017

Telsyte’s Australian VR & AR Market Study 2017 is a comprehensive 69 page report and advisory service offering subscribers:

  • Market sizing estimates, platform and vendor market shares, hardware revenues and forecasts
  • End user trends across platforms
  • Application development trends
  • Purchase intentions and use cases
  • Device profiles and ratings
  • Audience estimates and forecasts useful for contentand application developers

In preparing this study, Telsyte used:

  • Interviews conducted with executives from VR and AR vendors, retailers, software developers, game publishers and channel partners.
  • Hands on testing of devices by analysts, including pre-release and post release products.
  • An online survey of a representative sample of 1,097 Australians 16+ years of age conducted in July 2016
  • An online survey of 302 CIOs and IT decision makers in Australian and New Zealand organisations with 20+ employees (Australia) and 10+ employees (New Zealand) in August 2016
  • An online survey of a representative sample of 1,029 Australian video game buyers 16+ years of age conducted for IGEA in March 2016
  • Financial reports released by manufacturers, publishers and service providers.
  • On-going monitoring of global and local market trends and vendors.

About Telsyte

Telsyte delivers strategic insights and advisory services to businesses that are producing, or are impacted by, disruptive technologies. Telsyte publishes studies into emerging consumer and business markets and provides custom research and advisory services. Telsyte is an independent business unit of CSC.

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