I haven't heard much about consulting firm IDATE DigiWorld, but they just put out a hype-free forecast of VR headset sales [.pdf link here] that's much more plausible than the Greenlight report I recently snarked at, let alone the head-spinning hyperbole from IDC. Specifically, sales of 7.4 Million this year, growing to a total install base of 61.6 by 2020. As report author Laurent Michaud puts it:
By the end of 2016, 3.9 million headsets will have been bought worldwide. For comparison, almost twice as many Xbox One units were sold in 2014, and three times more PS4 units in the same year. IDATE DigiWorld considers that the first generation of VR headsets will not be as successful as the hype would suggest. Overall, sales are likely to be lower than most observer estimates. The initial price for this technology is a key factor behind this caution.
Emphasis mine, because that bears emphasis: Even at 61.6 million, all the combined VR units won't be larger than the install base of the PS4.
Unlike the Greenlight forecast, by the way, the IDATE forecast doesn't count the many low-end VR devices targeting the China market which don't say much about the global ecosystem. I checked that with Michaud, who told me:
"Our forecasts include only the fixed headset market such as Oculus, HTC Vive, Playstation VR and so on. It’s complicated to identify clearly how many low-cost headset were delivered and sold. This market is too bursting."
That makes sense to me. For instance, WeChat is a massive and impressive social media app in China, but because it's a (mostly) closed ecosystem, the Western tech industry generally considers it separate from Facebook, Twitter, etc.