- Nov 16, 2018
Many big name adopters have abandoned their VR projects. Google recently halted sales of Daydream, its VR headset, admitting that "there just hasn't been the broad consumer or developer adoption we had hoped".
Meanwhile, the BBC has announced it is ending the funding for its VR hub, less than two years after it was founded.
And VR received very little attention at CES, the annual trade show for consumer electronics, which got underway this week.
Consultancy CCS Insights estimates 10 million headsets will be in circulation worldwide by the end of 2019, 21% growth on the previous year.
But it acknowledges this "might seem disappointing considering the huge hype" around VR, with still just a handful of successful devices available. A major issue is that the price of headsets has remained very expensive.
"I think VR remains a very niche technology," says James Gautrey, a portfolio manager at Schroders who specialises in analysing technology stocks.
"Mass adoption remains impeded by the hardware required to run it, in my opinion. Take videogames - you need a very powerful PC, a good amount of space, sensors set up around it, and of course the VR helmet itself. The cost runs to thousands and for most it is completely impractical not to mention too expensive.
"There are clearly benefits using it to train people where real life 'on the job' training is dangerous, such as pilots, surgeons, deep sea divers. But beyond that and specialist video gamers, I have not seen any compelling use cases that would make it more mainstream."