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VR Shipments Declined by 12% in 2022, Casting Doubts on the Future of the Metaverse

It has been more than a year since Facebook changed its umbrella corporation’s name to Meta. This was done to distract from the numerous controversies that Facebook had become embroiled in, as well as to launch a new product called the metaverse that was supposedly going to be quite revolutionary with all things having been considered and taken into account. In spite of the fact that this is the case, the Metaverse has faced a lot of stumbling blocks.

Billions of dollars have already been spent on the Metaverse, and although Mark Zuckerberg is still confident about future prospects current trends indicate that the future is murkier than might have been the case otherwise. One such trend is the decline in VR headset shipments. In the US alone, such shipments declined by 2%. They fell by an even more drastic 12% around the world, bringing the total number of headset shipments down to just 9.6 million after having crossed 10 million in the previous year.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that Meta was not able to sustain the momentum of 2021. In an attempt to diversify their revenues to make up for a failing ad business, Meta tried to make the Quest 2 headset a hot item. The product received record breaking sales in 2021, but the current decline indicates that this may have only been beginners luck and that there might not be all that much long term viability in this particular niche.

Meta tried to release the Quest Pro in an attempt to cater to luxury consumers and businesses, but this only served to further alienate consumers that may have wanted to give the headset a try. Increasing the price of the product by $100 didn’t help matters either, although inflationary pressures may have made it impossible for Meta to sustain the previous pricing model.

Apple might be a player to watch in 2023, since the tech juggernaut is about to make its first foray into the world of VR. Whether or not the metaverse is a priority for Apple remains to be seen, but it is hard to deny that a company of Apple’s stature can do a lot to lend some legitimacy to the nascent industry.

Sony is also a company that might boost VR sales in 2023. Its own VR headset will be priced at around $550, and its gaming oriented approach may fare better with consumers. There is a lot of room for VR to grow in, but it will take a lot of time before anything becomes clear.


H/T: CNBC

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