Gaming, gambling and porn: Research says ​VR is set to blast off

Sales set to go from 3 million devices in 2016 to 30 million in 2020
VR market set to rocket

Virtual reality sales are set to blast off, as consumers get behind new video and gaming experiences, according to a new report.

The research by Juniper estimates global sales of 30 million headsets by 2020, up from just 3 million in 2016. Unsurprisingly, the meteoric growth of VR will be driven by the games market. It believes consoles will make up the majority of sales, but there will be interests outside of gaming.

Essential reading: Best VR headsets

Porn is listed as a major driving force for VR, although Juniper points out that most adult entertainment executives believe that significant market share will only come after 2020. What's more, it sees gambling as another big opportunity for VR.

So what's the technology driving this mass adoption?

"Juniper Research observes that with technological advances such as low latency and smarter graphics, coupled with the corresponding growth in interest from major players, VR is now in a position where the market can finally take off," reads the report.

It's not the first report that's foretold of huge gains for VR in the coming years.

A report by Tractica, a marketing research and consulting firm, estimated the VR industry to be worth around $21.8bn by 2020. And the two research firms agreed that 2016 would be a breakthrough year for virtual reality.

There's a raft of headsets due for release next year including the HTC Vive (which is actually slated for Q4 2015 but slipping fast), Oculus Rift and Sony's PlayStation VR.

And that's not even counting the hundreds of Google Cardboard style VR devices, which offer cheap and easy ways for people to get started with VR using their existing smartphone and free apps.

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