For attendees at CES 2016, one fact was inescapable: virtual reality has exited the “vapor” stage and is moving rapidly into consumer products. Big names in VR like Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, Technicolor, and HTC Vive, generated a lot of buzz at CES. Moreover, for those who thought Google and its Cardboard viewer were not as committed to VR as their competitors, Google formed its own dedicated virtual reality division. The industry is expected to witness profound growth over the next five years, as more consumer devices hit the market.
With market forecasts from Juniper Research and others predicting that 2016 will be a “watershed” year for VR, vendors must get ready to make a play in the burgeoning market, and those strategies were in full view at CES.
VR technology is now poised to transform the entertainment industry by introducing new immersive experiences to mainstream consumers, providing significant opportunities for consumer electronics manufacturers, content creators as well as consumers.
Many analysts see significant VR uptake over the next five years as consumers benefit from a combination of improved VR technology allied to immersive applications, as well as reduced prices. Given the current state of the IT product and services trends, virtual reality gear and smart-home products are likely to drive growth substantially in 2016.
About 70 percent of U.S. consumers have played a virtual reality game and nearly a quarter of them said theyre "very interested" in having a virtual reality experience in the home, research company Frank N. Magid Associates concluded in a new report . Another 23 percent of consumers said they were interested in the technology.
Facebooks Oculus division said the company’s Rift virtual-reality headset will cost $599 and is expected to begin shipping at the end of the first quarter. The company began taking pre-orders at CES.
Here are a few VR headlines from CES 2016: