Virtual and Mixed Reality: The Future is Nearly Here, FutureSource Predicts

Futuresource Consulting logoAdvances in innovative cutting-edge technology for the entertainment industry is rapidly advancing the march toward virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR), new research from Futuresource Consulting reveals.

The new report examines the potential of the technology across a wide spectrum of applications, including the worlds of Consumer Electronics, Broadcast, Education and B2B verticals. It will look at the drivers and barriers facing VR as it struggles to emerge from science fiction to realize its potential to revolutionize the way we view and interact with content.

“Virtual reality is still very much in the ‘innovation’ stage, but this will start to change over the coming months as a variety of major first generation headsets hit the market,” commented Adam Cox, Senior Analyst at Futuresource Consulting.

“Some of the world’s largest and most prominent companies like Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Sony have a great deal of faith in the new technology and are putting in place the ecosystems required to pave the way for a successful introduction to the mass market,” he continued.

Gaming, thought by many to be one of the key drivers for consumer VR uptake, is one of the areas focused on in the report. A major factor in this will be the strength and continued growth of the installed base of PS4 consoles which will be key in driving demand for Sony’s own headset, while in the PC gaming sector the dominance of Valve and its Steam gaming platform will fuel uptake of the HTC Vive headset.

The global headset market remains in its infancy, with low level sales volumes to date, although the market will be given a significant boost over the next couple of months, especially around January’s CES.

The launch of Samsung’s Gear VR consumer unit in Q4 2015 as well as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive in the opening months of 2016 will transform the market with the launch of the Playstation VR headset as well as Microsoft’s HoloLens and Google-backed Magic Leap MR headsets to follow at later dates.

VR has to find a dedicated application for home video but the major Hollywood studios are already taking tentative steps towards making content available in virtual reality.

Early initiatives revolve around using VR as a lean back experience, viewing feature film titles within a virtual theatre environment. VR feature films are highly unlikely to be released in the short to mid-term, with studios focusing on short-form content supplementing traditional content offerings.

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