Samsung holds a narrow lead over Sony in the virtual reality race

Virtual reality headsets have yet to live up to the initial hype. Facebook bought Oculus VR in 2014 for $US2 billion, leading Mark Zuckerberg to proclaim, “we believe this kind of immersive, augmented reality will become a part of daily life for billions of people.” This has not been the case. The devices are expensive, and consumers haven’t found the experience interesting enough to warrant the multiple hundred dollar price tags.

Augmented reality is now receiving much of the same excitement that VR once did — Apple and Google both released AR development kits for mobile this year — but according to IDC, virtual reality accounts for 98% of shipments in the AR/VR market. As we can see in this chart from Statista, Samsung, Sony, and Facebook lead the market. Combined, the three accounted for 60% of global VR and AR headset shipments in the second quarter of 2017.

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