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VR Experts Scale Back Growth Forecast Amid Disappointing PSVR Sales

Market researcher SuperData has adjusted back its expectations for growth in the virtual reality space after disappointing launch sales for Playstation’s PSVR headset.

Speaking at the VRX conference in San Francisco, SuperData analyst Stephanie Lamas the firm now expects only 745,000 PSVR sales for 2016, down from their earlier 2.6 million.

The firm attributes the drop to disappointing Black Friday results, scarcity of supply at the initial launch and the lack of marketing Sony put behind the product.

SuperData estimates Samsung’s Gear VR lead the VR pack in with 2.3 million in sales, with HTC Vive sitting at second place with 420,000. Meanwhile, Google Daydream VR and Oculus follow closely behind with 261,000 and 355,000 respectively.

According to her, it’s a tough road ahead as VR continues towards an estimate 16 million users by 2020.

“[Game makers] won’t make a profit for now,” Lamas said.

“To break even is already incredibly difficult. This is to prepare you for a couple of years and make sacrifices at the start. But there are so many great returns later on. You have to learn what is the value proposition. How much are you willing to put into it? There’s so much excitement around VR. But we need to be careful. We need to tread lightly. A lot of money is being invested. It’s still a ways off from mass consumption. But this is the time when you can become the key holders of the consumer. You have to experiment and do research and become the best VR stakeholder.”

The firm says they expect the consumer software side of the VR business will grow $407 million in revenue in 2016 to $14 billion by 2020, despite these setbacks.

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