VR is dead | Zero2Billions

AR eats it and has an equally bleak future

It’s hard to believe that only 11 years ago VR captured the zeitgeist. In April 2012, Oculus started Kickstarter with Oculus Rift developer kit, and the tech world whips itself into a “this is the future” frenzy. Facebook slapped a $2 billion check on the table and acquired the company in 2014.

But today, as it stands, VR is dead.

VR – as in, a system for being exclusive in virtual reality – has almost ceased to exist as a concept. Even the cheapest mainstream headset out there, the Meta Quest 2, features passthrough, meaning it has AR capabilities. Quest 3 adds high-definition passthrough in full color. And, despite the $3,500 price tag, Apple’s Vision Pro takes the concept so far that it no longer really uses the VR nomenclature.

That’s because VR is missing the one important thing it can take from a “cool toy” to a “must have device”: killer apps. Even though the market has matured, VR is still struggling to find a reason to exist.

In 2015, Zero2Billions published an article speculating that the market could reach $150 billion in revenue by 2020. Here it is, closer to 2024, and it looks like the market sits at around $32 billion – a fifth of what the breathless analysts guessed.

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