Top VR headset sales have dropped sharply year-on-year


Nielsen’s SuperData subsidiary has published some new figures for the ‘XR’ (‘cross reality’) market – essentially AR, VR and hybrids of the two – including the latest estimated sales figures for the top virtual-reality headsets. The company claims that Sony’s PlayStation VR and Facebook’s Oculus Quest were the top sellers in the final quarter of 2019, with 338k and 317k units respectively. It’s then quite a drop to Valve’s Index (103k sales) and Facebook’s Oculus Go (84k) and Oculus Rift S (71k).

“The simplicity of the Quest appealed to mainstream consumers and made it a hot holiday gift item,” claimed SuperData, noting that “the Quest may have taken the title of top headset of the quarter if more stock was available. Like the Index, the Quest was periodically sold out during parts of Q4”.

It’s clear that the VR-headset market has yet to truly take off, though. Combined, the top five VR headsets sold 913k units in the final quarter of 2019. According to reports this time last year based on SuperData’s comparable research for Q4 2018 (for example on Variety and VentureBeat – if there ever was a SuperData blog post, it’s since been removed from the company’s site), in that quarter Sony sold 700k PlayStation VR headsets, while Facebook sold 550k Oculus Gos and 160k Rifts. If we just consider Sony and Facebook’s headsets, that means Q4 2018 sales of 1.4m versus Q4 2018 sales of 810k – a 42.5% drop year-on-year for what should, in theory, be a growing category.


Photo by Giu Vicente on Unsplash

Written by: Stuart Dredge