VR revenues spike as Oculus Quest and Valve Index continue to sell out

Oculus Quest
Oculus Quest (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • VR hardware revenues are looking to total $2.1 billion by year's end, a 31% increase over 2018.
  • The Oculus Quest and Valve Index are both sold out and back-ordered, continuing a trend for both headsets.
  • AR saw a big increase too, with Pokémon Go making $176 million in August 2019, the game's second-biggest month ever.

It's taken a considerable amount of time, but it seems that VR is finally hitting its stride in the market. While powerful headsets have been available for nearly half a decade, VR hadn't seen the mainstream adoption that some other recent tech markets have until now. With the advent of the Oculus Quest, Valve Index, and Half-Life: Alyx, it seems that VR has finally gotten the killer apps and hardware it needed to make an impact.

According to SuperData, a group owned by global market research firm Neilson, debuted its first SuperData XR report on virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR). XR is a term that encompasses all three markets into one segment and it shows that the Oculus Quest, in particular, has been a massive driver for industry revenue as it continues to sell out in the markets it's available in.

VR hardware revenues alone are looking to tally $2.1 billion by year's end, a 31% increase in revenue when compared to the $1.6 billion in 2018. That's particularly impressive given that the Oculus Quest has only been out half the year and is already making this big of a financial impact. Right now, the Oculus Quest is sold out at all major retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Target, and Gamestop, to name a few.

None of these retailers are showing an estimate for availability yet, and it's likely there won't be many new units until after the New Year, making it a bit difficult to find one for the Holidays if you haven't already. The Valve Index is seeing similar successes as it's completely sold out on Steam and is currently back-ordered until February 2020. The US makes up the largest share of the VR market right now with 35% of VR hardware and 37% of software sales found in the country.

The AR market is doing even better, although that's a bit more expected given AR's reach into our lives via apps like Snapchat, TikTok, and Pokémon Go. In fact, Pokémon Go saw its second highest-revenue month of all time in when it pulled in $176 million in just August 2019 alone. Those are some amazing numbers given the age of Pokémon Go.

All-in-all, growth across the entire XR segment is impressive, and the growth in VR is particularly impressive given the general thought that VR was dying just a year ago. It also shows the importance of having a hero product or a killer app. The Oculus Quest is the first VR headset available that doesn't require any extra hardware or setup to get it going, making it the first easy way to experience good, quality VR. It's not about being first, it's about being compelling.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu