Samsung is reporting that there are now 5 million Gear VR owners, which makes it far and away the largest VR platform. (Full disclosure: I occasionally consult around Gear VR projects, but not currently.) More details from David Jagenaux:
We’re still waiting on word from Facebook and HTC/Valve regarding sales numbers for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, respectively, as well as numbers from Sony regarding the PS VR. Last we heard, Sony had outsold “many hundreds of thousands” and surpassed initial expectations, which is a promising sign.
Sony's wording suggests around 300,000, because if it had been over 450,000, you can bet they would have said "about half a million". Which is actually tiny compared to the 53 million+ Playstation 4 owners the headset was intended for. Speaking of which, 2016 sales of Oculus and Vive were projected to fall below half a million each. By contrast, Samsung reported just 1 million sales in May 2016, so this is massive growth.
This brings up a curious point I've noticed, working with VR developers:
Even though everyone in the virtual reality industry knows Gear VR has the largest install base, there's seems to be much more interest and investment around creating content for Oculus, Vive, and Sony VR. I think this reflects the hardcore gamer ethos most VR devs share, which puts a high premium on maximally high-res graphics -- versus, you know, mainstream interest and return on investment. Maybe that will change this year, especially if Sony, Vive, and Oculus holiday sales are as low as they were forecast to be.
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