Contrary to the explosion some were perhaps expecting, the arrival of VR in its many forms, has been somewhat more of a sizzle. A sizzle which was pretty much extinguished but for the sizeable bump in attention the arrival of PSVR has brought. According to market think tank Strategy Analytics though, this won’t be the case for long. In fact, they reckon almost half of the population of Great Britain will be rocking a VR headset of their very own within the next six years.

Around 3% of the population of GB currently have VR headsets in some form, according to the research, which is a heck of a lot more than I’d thought. The majority of these are using Google Cardboard and Gear VR though, with just a tiny sliver owning dedicated VR headsets like the Vive or Oculus Rift.

A slow start perhaps, but according the market intelligence firm this figure is going to more than triple next year. By 2018, nearly one in five of us will have a virtual reality headset. Just 2% of that is dedicated headsets, although that’s still almost 1.5 million owners.

The popularity of VR is then expected to rise and rise until 2022, at which point it’s estimated over 47% of the population will own a VR headset. 3.2 million of these are expected to be dedicated VR headsets. It’s worth bearing in mind that this figure is for GB alone, so you can expect the numbers to balloon worldwide.

Much of the driving force of virtual reality is unlikely to be gaming related, except at the high-end where we’ll see the more capable head-mounted displays.

“The VR headset market will be much like the car market,” explained Strategy Analysts’ David MacQueen. “Most will own the likes of Vauxhalls and Fords, a handful owning Porsches and the odd few splashing out on a Ferrari.”

There’s not many gaming reasons to own a VR headset yet, but with its myriad other uses it’s looking as if it’s here for the long haul. In terms of games it feels a little make or break this week with PlayStation VR. If anyone’s going to nail software support its Sony, and this is sure to trickle onto the other VR headsets in the market.

What do you reckon then, do you believe almost half the population is going to own a VR headset within just six years? Or is VR a rapidly fading flash in the pan? Let us know!

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