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New research shows that China leads the world in buying standalone virtual reality (VR) headsets, with people who live there shunning traditional tethered devices for the likes of the HTC Vive Focus.
After a period of impressive growth, worldwide shipments of tethered VR headsets (such as the Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR or HTC Vive) have flatlined, registering a global uptick of only 2 per cent when comparing Q1 2017 to Q1 2018, according to the report from Canalys.
Sony - Course - Beast - PlayStation - Headset
Sony, of course, remains the biggest beast, with its PlayStation 4-based headset accounting for 1.7 million VR device purchased in 2017, according to industry watchers Trendforce. Aggressive pricing by Facebook-backed Oculus pulled it ahead of HTC, a trend expected to continue.
However, Canalys said some markets, such as Japan and the US, have seen shipments decline in 2018.
Terms - Things - Sony - Garden - Figures
In terms of who is actually using the things (Sony's walled garden excepted), figures from online game-flinger Steam suggest the marketplace has stabilised over the last 12 months. Its hardware report shows the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive now hover at around 46 and 45 per cent respectively. The Oculus, unsurprisingly, saw a jump in usage at the time of its price cut.
As for what will power continued growth in the VR arena, Canalys point to standalone headsets, which do not require a powerful PC or a PS4, such as the Oculus Go, which accounted for 115,000 of the 650,000 VR headsets shipped in the first quarter of 2018.
Standalone - VR - Numbers - Cent - Increase
The standalone VR numbers represent a 234 per cent increase, quarter on quarter.
China, which has mostly skipped the tethered generation of VR with less than 20 per cent of shipments, snaffled 82 per cent of the standalone...
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