Virtual Reality in Gaming Market Led by Constant Innovation in Existing Gaming Technologies
Virtual reality is an artificial environment created with the help of software and virtual reality devices. User experiences it as a real environment due to graphics and interactive features offered by virtual reality gaming devices. The simplest form of virtual reality is a 3D image that is explored interactively on a personal computer. Virtual reality in gaming refers to the use of sound and graphics technology in games where the users wear head mounted displays (HMDs), gloves or glasses as part of their experience. It offers simulation of real time environment for education and training purpose through a story or a game. In virtual reality gaming, products such as gloves and head mounted displays, sensors are used that tracks the movement made by the user and the data is fed back to the system which analyses the data and transforms the actions into appropriate response on the screen.
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Technologies such as motion tracking, 3D effects, and user interactive graphics are likely to fuel the virtual reality in gaming market from a value of US$466.6 mn in 2012 to a whopping US$5.8 bn by 2019. The CAGR recorded by this market during the forecast period has been pegged at 39.2%. Other factors that have contributed toward the growth of the virtual reality in gaming market over the years include a rise in disposable income, the development of compact and comfortable virtual reality gaming devices, and constant innovation in technology by leading players. Contrary to this, the difficulty in maintaining and upgrading VR gaming devices and the high cost of these devices act as severe shortcomings for the global market.
The market for virtual reality in gaming has been bifurcated into hardware and software on the basis of component. The software segment accounted for a 53.5% share in the overall market in 2012, emerging as the largest segment based on revenue. Consistent advancements in VR technology are expected to help the software segment retain its lead through 2019. The use of virtual reality gaming accessories such as head-mounted displays, gloves, and glasses is anticipated to drive the demand for VR hardware in the coming years.
The most prominent consoles in the virtual reality in gaming market include Apple Mac, Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox, and Sony PlayStation. Video gaming on personal computers has also been a trend before the introduction of advanced and dedicated gaming consoles. Sony PlayStation dominates the market for virtual reality in gaming thanks mainly to the powerful brand equity enjoyed by Sony in the gaming industry, the mobile phone market, and the consumer electronics sector as a whole.
The chief geographical segments that comprise the global virtual reality in gaming market are North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Rest of the World. Owing to the presence of prominent companies, North America and Europe are the largest markets for VR in gaming. The former held a 37.0% share in the overall revenue in 2012 and the latter held a 31.9% share. Asia Pacific is projected to witness impressive growth over the forecast period due to the surge in online gamers and the presence of leading manufacturers in the region.