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29 Virtual Reality Statistics to Know in 2019

by Marko Milijic

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In 1999, we were introduced to a little movie called The Matrix.

It essentially revolved around the idea of people living in a virtual reality simulation of their lives… 

While in the real word they were controlled by machines and used as batteries…

OH, THE HORROR!

Does this mean that virtual reality is Evil?

By all means NO!

Nowadays, we are much smarter than that and don’t see VR as a way for a dominating AI to enslave all humanity.

In fact:

Virtual reality statistics about its usage are the best proof of that. There are many uses of VR and AR in today’s world that can be both beneficial and entertaining.

The VR industry originally experienced a boom in the gaming industry, with games such as Pokémon Go emerging as the most popular ones.

However, VR is also used in the tourist and even sports industries. Football drills at Stanford University are run through a VR simulator, allowing athletes to learn plays in a safe environment without injuring themselves.

But before we get to that all-important, game-winning, record-breaking touchdown, let’s check out a few…

… Jaw-Dropping Virtual Reality Stats (Editor’s Choice):

  • VR and AR markets combined are forecast to be worth $16.8 billion in 2019.
  • 78% of Americans are now familiar with using VR technology.
  • 171 million people use VR technology today.
  • Gaming VR revenue is expected to reach $22.9 billion by 2020.
  • The gaming market accounts for 50% of total VR Software sales.
  • Only 14% of women have bought a VR device online.

Fascinating stuff, right? 

A picture of a woman scrolling on a laptop

We’re only just getting started!

(Guys, Cyber Monday is just around the corner. You can make yourself a present your friends and family will love!)

Now, first things first, though:

What Is the Difference between Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Mixed Reality?

We can’t start our stats list without first distinguishing between VR and AR, as this is the most commonly asked question people wonder about. Statistics on virtual reality imply that VR is still the most popular.

So what’s the big deal?

Virtual Reality (VR) offers a full immersion experience that completely turns off the physical world. Some popular VR devices include:

  • Oculus Rift
  • HTC Vive
  • Google Cardboard

On the other hand, we have: 

Augmented Reality (AR) adds a digital element to a live view by using the camera on a smartphone. Best examples include Snapchat lenses and games like Pokémon Go.

Mixed Reality (MR) is an emerging technology. It combines the elements of both VR and AR as an interaction between the physical world and digital objects. While MR is still a fairly young technology, it recently started to take off through Mycroft’s HoloLens.

Ready?

Now we dive headfirst into some of the most important stats about the virtual reality industry.

Fascinating Virtual Reality Facts

Here we go, guys:

1. The global VR market size is expected to reach $22.9 billion by the end of 2020.

(Source: Learn G2)

The VR gaming market was worth approximately $3.6 billion in 2016. As virtual reality has become one of the fastest developing technologies since then, it’s supposed to reach a market value of $22.9 billion by 20201.

As it stands now, the two biggest virtual reality video gaming markets are Europe and North America, valued at $1.9 billion and $1.5 billion based on virtual reality industry statistics from 2016.

It goes without mention that the US was responsible for a greater majority of the North American VR market.

2. VR and AR markets combined are forecast to amount to $16.8 billion in 2019.

(Source: Statista)

We can credit the increased income of VR and AR technology to consumer spending and the discrete manufacturing segment. Sales are well on their way to reaching the mind-blowing figure of $16.8 billion by the end of the year

Furthermore, we are all set for an income of $160 billion by 2023 if virtual reality trends continue to develop at their current head-spinning rate.

3. The virtual reality market is expected to grow in 2019, with more than 14 million devices sold.

(Source: CCS Insight)

2018 saw an unexpected decline in sales of VR devices. However, this appears to be just a small bump on the road. In fact, 2019 statistics predict a total number of 14 million devices will be sold by the end of the year.

Based on the latest predictions coming from CCS Insight and their virtual reality user statistics 2018, more than 52 million VR and AR devices are going to be sold in 2020.

4. The number of installed virtual reality headsets is estimated to grow to 37 million by 2020.

(Source: Statista)

The slow expansion of virtual reality is further confirmed by the number of headsets that people are buying. Back in 2015, there were only 2.9 million headsets in use.

That number more than doubled by 2016 when 7 million devices were installed.

Due to the expected virtual reality market growth, the number of installed VR headsets is predicted to reach 37 million by 2020.

5. 78% of Americans are now familiar with using VR technology.

(Source: Forbes)

Reports say that familiarity with VR tech is improving in the US.

Using virtual reality technology is not easy. You can’t just plug it in and be ready to go. There are a whole bunch of wires and controllers you need to set up first. This has caused a major problem for VR use in the past.

However, virtual reality user’s statistics suggest things have significantly improved since the early days.

Here’s how:

32% of people have confirmed that they will be using it “a little more,” while 38% said they would use it “a lot more.” Even hardcore gamers who use VR sets 3+ hours welcome the opportunity to use it beyond that.

In fact, it results in a 78% of familiarity rate established with Americans.

How come?

Sources say that familiarity has grown because VR has been much more in the news lately. Movies like Ready Player One and events such as the Super Bowl, which was partially viewable in VR, brought more notice to it.  

6. The projected economic impact of VR/AR technology may amount to $15.6 billion.

(Source: Statista)

VR statistics predict that the combined economic impact from virtual reality and augmented reality technologies could amount to $15.6 billion, based on medium adoption.

However, if we look at the high adoption scenario, that number skyrockets all the way to $29.5 billion.

7. More than 60 million people are expected to use Augmented Reality at least once per month in the USA.

(Source: eMarketer)

VR is currently the more popular of the two, but AR is coming back fast and is increasing its usage rates. An important point for virtual reality marketing statistics is that 68.7 million people in the US will use augmented reality technology at least once a month in 2019.

This equals 20.8% of the entire population of the US.

However…

8. 42.9 million Americans will use virtual reality at least once per month.

(Source: eMarleter)

Although more elaborate and harder to adjust, VR has historically been way more popular than similar technologies.

But 2019 predictions show otherwise.

With AR users projected to hit 60 million, virtual reality statistics for people in the US who are going to use it at least once per month amount to 42.9 million people.  

This means that 13% of the American population is predicted to use VR once a month in 2019.

Virtual Reality Adoption Stats

We are halfway there, guys. Some of the most amazing stats are coming:

9. Sony predicted to push unit shipments of VR devices to 2.2 million in 2019.

(Source: Statista)

Sony’s dominance in the VR technology field has been well established in recent years. 1.7 million devices were shipped in 2017, and another 2 million were moved in 2018.

The 2019 virtual reality report predicts them to increase the sales of VR devices even further, with 2.2 million units being moved in 2019.

Oculus and HTC are equally as important players in the VR market as Sony, but they currently occupy a lesser portion of the market.

That said, their sales have been increasing over the course of the last few years. Oculus is predicted to sell 1.7 million units in 2019, while HTC is projected to ship 800,000 VR devices.

10. 171 million people use VR technology today.

(Source: Market Watch)

With more than 14 million Head-Mounted Displays (HMDs) expected to be sold this year, the number of users is also expected to rise to 171 million based on the VR statistics for 2019

VR technology has already reached a boom with $6.1 billion earned in 2016, a number which is expected to inflate to $160 billion by 2023 with a compound annual growth rate (CARG) of 78%.

IDC predicts that the majority of the growth will be pushed by investments from commercial and public sectors. 

11. China invests $593 million in VR technology between 2015 and 2016.

(Source: Globalme)

China has been catching up quickly to the biggest VR giants in the market by making substantial investments in order to create its own virtual reality gadgets. Virtual reality data collected on the Chinese VR market reveals a $593 million investment in a span of two years.

The result: 

Xiaomi MI VR!

The Chinese mobile giant released its own virtual reality device, which much like the Samsung Gear VR requires a smartphone to use. The first two batches were sold out immediately at a very affordable price of 119 Yuan ($17).

MI VR may not be able to provide the same experience as HTC Vive can, but gives users their money’s worth.

12. Sony’s Play Station VR became the market leader during holiday sales.

(Source: Venture Beat)

According to SuperData’s fourth-quarter virtual reality stats for 2018, Sony’s Play Station VR set sold 700,000 units during the holiday sale. It was the largest number of headsets sold by a single manufacturer as it greatly outperformed the Oculus Go (555,000 units sold), Oculus Rift (160,000 pieces), and HTC Vive (130,000 headsets).

After a disappointing 2017, the virtual reality market came back strong in 2018, incurring a massive revenue of $3.6 billion, surpassing the predicted $3.3 billion.

13. The consumer hardware segment will be the driving one for VR and AR technology.

(Source: AR Post)

As VR technology continues to push forward user spending even further, certain segments of the market are predicted to expand. Virtual reality market projections reveal consumer and commercial usages will gain more followers in recent years.

The percentages are as follows:

  • 15.6% of consumer hardware
  • 6.6% of virtual reality games
  • 5.1% augmented reality games
  • 3.1% onsite assembly and safety
  • 2.9% of retail showcasing

14. Mobile hardware virtual reality greatly expanding its share.

(Source: Mordor Intelligence)

The popularity of mobile-based VR sets is gaining ground in recent times. This is mainly because of portability and affordability, as people can use these devices without additional equipment that console and PC-based VR requires. 

Virtual reality sales statistics from 2016 confirm that 87% of headsets sold around the world were actually mobile phone-based ones.

Some of the more popular VR headsets are Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream View.

Even though mobile phones provide a less immersive experience than consoles and PCs, its adoption is expected to rise even further. Additionally, a slew of technological advancements is around the corner.

Virtual Reality Gaming Statistics

That’s going to be fun:

15. VR arcades are slowly becoming an important part of the gaming industry.

(Source: Viar 360)

Virtual reality arcades are taking off in a spectacular fashion. Their progressing popularity is due to the fact that players want to experience VR gaming without spending a lot of money on expensive equipment.

Check this out:

According to the most recent VR adoption rate stats, these types of arcades have contributed a lot to virtual reality gaming. Specifically, they contributed to a rise in total gaming earnings from VR which amounted to $286.7 million last year, a number which is expected to grow to $2.3 billion by 2020.

The average price for 30 minutes of gameplay in your typical arcade is around $25.

16. Gaming VR revenue expected to reach $22.9 billion by 2020.

(Source: VX Chnge)

As video games continue to become an integral part of the industry and the market keeps growing, the question most people ask is:

How much is the VR market worth? 

Nope, not that one.

This is the question you should be asking: 

How much is the VR gaming market worth?

In 2019, the total sales of VR gaming devices accounted for an astonishing income of $15 billion. Predictions for 2020 indicate an even more mind-blowing growth of up to $22.9 billion.

VR technology used for gaming is still developing, as there are certain game updates we’re looking forward to. 

And here’s the exciting bit:

App developers will continue to make full use of this technology as its popularity is rising rapidly.

17. The gaming market accounts for 50% of total VR Software sales.

(Source: 3D Insider)

Even though gaming is not an integral part of VR headset sales, it is an important factor when it comes to VR software sales. VR statistics confirm it will account for as much as half of all VR software-related purchases in 2019.

Which is huge:

It’s equal to around $30 billion for virtual reality software sales.

The growth of gaming will continue to be a valuable part of the virtual reality market. 64% of active VR users believe gaming has the most to gain from the coming innovations in VR technology.

Next:

18. Augmented Reality gaming market is predicted to gain $284.9 billion by 2023.

(Source: Citrus Bits)

Pokémon Go is the biggest contributing factor to AR gaming. Ever since it was released in 2016, the game has been downloaded more than a billion times.

Just let that sink ink in…

Augmented reality statistics reveal that the estimated revenue from the game is around $1.2 billion.

This more than accounts for a potential AR market revenue of $284.9 billion by 2023, with a predicted compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 152.7% for the period between 2017 and 2023.

19. Millennials are the likeliest group to purchase a VR gaming console system.

(Source: Singularity Hub)

According to research from 2016, more than 50% of millennials are likely to consider purchasing a virtual reality headset for their gaming console.

And it doesn’t end there:

Virtual reality user demographics also indicate millennials are willing to pay $54 more on average than any other group for a headset.

This benefits Sony pretty well, as its PS4 console can seamlessly be upgraded with a VR headset. We all enjoy an easy ride, and the console is all so easy to upgrade. 

I mean, what more could you ask for?

20. 70% of people who already own a dedicated VR headset have bought a game for it.

(Source: CCS Insight)

We all know how remarkable VR gaming is. However, it is much more interesting to see how vastly it is expanding.

A virtual reality survey says that 70% of the time, people who already have a certain VR headset are prone to buying a game for it.

And that’s not all:

When it comes to smartphone VR headsets, 50% of users have decided to buy and try a game out on it.

Virtual Reality Usage Facts

We are almost ready, but we have some more important stats to cover:

21. Only 14% of women have bought a VR device online.

(Source: Media Kix)

A recent US survey of four million participants found out that not a lot of women buy virtual reality sets online. In fact, virtual reality demographics revealed that only 14% of female buyers have actually purchased a virtual reality device using the internet. 

What’s more:

The survey also showed that even though women are not generally interested in VR, they are interested in technology. In fact, women purchased 44.6% of mobile, PC, and console games.

The bottom line is:  

Women like gaming, but they are not necessarily VR fans.

22. 90% of people in the US and UK are aware of VR, and 65% are aware of AR.

(Source: Global Web Index)

According to an awareness survey that covered users in the US and UK, many more of them are aware of VR than AR. Virtual reality statistics from the same survey say more than 70% of people who are aware of AR are aged between 16 and 44.

However, those numbers drop significantly when it comes to people between 45 and 54 (56%). And it goes even further with people between 55 and 64 years old (44%).

Additionally, statistics based on gender indicate that 71% of men are aware of AR, as opposed to 59% of women.

23. Virtual reality awareness has dropped since 2017.

(Source: Verdict)

It seems that there are still many people who are not really interested in VR. Virtual reality statistics from 2017 reveal that 76% of people had a positive attitude towards VR. However, this number has dropped down to 62% in recent years.

That being said, people are hearing a lot more about virtual reality. 

Check this out:

The number of people who have heard about it but cannot explain it has risen from 46% to 56%. But the number of people who have heard about it and can explain it has dropped from 36% to 23% since 2017.

24. 45% of people in the high-consequence industry consider VR training as highly important.

(Source: Training Mag)

Besides being used in various fields like tourism, sports, and entertainment, VR has also found its use in the high-consequence industry. Virtual reality training statistics conducted by Learning Strategy say that 45% of people from this industry see it as something important or even critical in achieving business goals.

But wait! 

There’s more:

Virtual reality has shown its vast potential in the commercial and enterprise sector as well! Advancements in computing power and upgraded devices have reached a whole new level. Employee training is more important than ever, and companies seem to consider VR technology as the best way to go for it.

25. 51% of Generation X-ers and 45% of Baby Boomers want more travel-based VRs.

(Source: Global Web Index)

Many people think gaming is what virtual reality is all about. But the actual reality is that it has expanded to much more than that. Virtual reality market 2018 stats may have shown diminishing headset sales, but the VR market is expanding by adding new forms of application which in turn will mean more revenue.

Gaming has also expanded from its initial use, so it makes sense for something like that to happen with VR. Currently, most people want to see more travel applications made with VR technology.

These are the figures:

  • Generation X – travel 51%, gaming 45%
  • Baby Boomers – travel 45%, gaming 36%
  • Millennials – travel 47%, gaming 55%
  • Generation Z – travel 40%, gaming 53%

The numbers will most likely defy the advancement of VR technology and its usage in the future.

Or will they…

26. Facebook plans to invest a whopping $10 million in Oculus’ Next Gen program.

(Source: Because)

Which VR is the best? is a question that is being tossed around a lot these days. 

Although the question is hard to answer, one thing is clear:

There are way more competitors today than there ever were. And each one is offering something of their own.

However: 

Having purchased Oculus Rift, Facebook is planning to invest millions and millions of dollars in its VR system. At first, the social media giant planned to invest $10 million in the development of its next-generation technology for Oculus. 

Later, the company decided to add another $50 million for mobile game development, which will undoubtedly be combined with the next-gen Oculus technology.

Key takeaway:

Facebook bought Oculus in 2014 for $2 billion and has reportedly invested $500 million so far.

27. VR-related job openings in the gaming industry increase by 93%.

(Source: Indeed)

Virtual reality statistics from 2018 reveal that since 2015, there has been an impressive rise in gaming job openings that include the use and knowledge of virtual reality. In a span of a mere four years, job postings with this kind of a skillset grew by 93%. And if we look at the last year alone, they went up by 17%.

Now:

As you might have guessed, most of these jobs are in the US, with the top three being homes of major game developers.

Here’s the kicker:

New York City is the first and is home to Rockstar Games. Los Angeles comes in second with Activision Blizzard and Naughty Dog. Finally, Seattle, the home of Popcap Games, ranks third.   

28. The augmented reality market is expected to grow to $100 billion by 2024.

(Source: Cision)

How much is augmented reality worth?

The safe answer is: 

Helluva Lot!

In fact, it may go as high as $100.4 billion by 2024.

With popular AR games such as Pokémon Go and Jurassic World Alive gaining more and more traction, the augmented reality segment will most certainly reach its peak by 2024.

What’s more:

AR software is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 55%. However, the hardware still dominates the market, as its CAGR stands at a predicted 90%.

29. VR and AR-related job posts on LinkedIn have tripled.

(Source: Recode)

We cannot currently account for how many virtual reality companies are there because there are certainly a lot. But with more IT companies emerging, plenty would want to invest in both AR and VR, creating more job opportunities.

The result:

VR and AR job positions on LinkedIn have tripled.

For all those firms that like to keep their identities secret, there are some that are pretty transparent. Oculus (owned by Facebook) has the most amount of job postings related to VR and AR and is promptly followed by CyberCoders and Intel.

In Conclusion

Are you convinced now?

I think our virtual reality statistics cleared all doubts about VR and AR that you might have had.

The future does not really predict a VR enslavement camp for humans. (At least not for a couple of generations.)

The future is much brighter than that, as it forecasts a safe virtual environment where people can educate themselves, socialize, find the love of their life, etc.   

The facts are here for your needs.

Have a great day, everyone!

Sources:

  1. Learn G2
  2. Statista
  3. CCS Insight
  4. Statista  
  5. Forbes
  6. Statista
  7. eMarketer
  8. eMarketer
  9. Statista
  10. Market Watch
  11. Globalme
  12. Venture Beat
  13. AR Post
  14. Mordor Intelligence
  15. Viar 360
  16. VX Chnge
  17. 3D Insider
  18. Citrus Bits
  19. Singularity Hub
  20. CCS Insight
  21. Media Kix
  22. Global Web Index
  23. Verdict
  24. Training Mag
  25. Global Web Index
  26. Because
  27. Indeed
  28. Cision
  29. Recode

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