By 2020, VR will be more popular than consoles today

We all knew virtual reality was going to be big, but a new IDC report reveals exactly how gargantuan the market could really become.

By 2020, global shipments of VR headsets are expected to hit 64.8 million per year, according to analyst firm IDC.

That’s significantly higher than the 42.41 million consoles that Statista reports were shipped worldwide in 2015.

Last year, Sony managed to sell 17.37 million PlayStation 4 units, while Microsoft delivered 8.6 million Xbox One consoles.

But IDC says that even in 2016, virtual reality headsets will be shipping in numbers rising above nine million yearly. That’s a stark contrast to the 350,000 headsets shipped last year.

HTC ViveThe awkward reality that is virtual reality

According to the report, headsets from Oculus, HTC, and Sony will make up about two million of 2016’s VR unit sales.

That’s impressive, considering the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive only recently went on sale, and Sony’s PlayStation VR isn’t due to arrive until October.

Last year, a report by Digi-Capital predicted that the augmented reality and virtual reality market will be worth $150 billion by 2020.

Related: Best VR Headset 2016

In December, TrendForce estimated that virtual reality alone would be worth $70 billion by 2020.

“These explosive growth projections do not sufficiently reflect just how hot the VR industry is right now,” said Jason Tsai, TrendForce analyst, at the time. “The figures do not include the value of non-commercial uses of VR technology.”

Tsai continued: “For example, the industry is currently pushing the development of free software and do-it-yourself apps. While these projects do not immediately generate revenue for developers, they have a vital role in the promotion of market growth and innovations.”

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