The market for augmented and virtual reality is just about ready for take off, with competitors like Oculus, HTC, Sony and Microsoft set to launch their products sometime over the year. However, for the first two months of the year, investments in the technology have already eclipsed what last year’s spending was, according to a new report from Digi-Capital.
The report (via GamesIndustry International) shows that the combined augmented and virtual reality fields have managed to get $1.1 billion in investment already, beating out the $700 million overall spending for last year. Most of that came from Magic Leap’s recent round of Series C Funding, which brought in a healthy chunk of money.
“Nearly $800 million came from the monster Magic Leap round, but another $300 million went into AR/VR solutions/services, VR hardware, advertising/marketing, distribution, video, peripherals, apps and games,” said Digi-Capital founder and CEO Tim Merel about the report. “Even without Magic Leap, investment is up 20 percent in Q1 2016 compared to the $250 million invested in Q4 2015. Plus there’s another four weeks left for investors to boost AR/VR this quarter.”
The company has been busy making adjustments on its virtual/augmented reality forecasts, initially saying the market would bring in $150 billion annually by 2020 before adjusting it back down to $120 billion. Even with that change, however, it appears there’s a lot of money to be made with virtual technology.
While there may be some question regarding the affordability of virtual reality, with the HTC Vive selling for $799 and Oculus Rift rounding out at $599, there’s no question that people are getting excited for the technology. Especially since a majority of pre-orders for both devices quickly quickly sold out. Sony is expected to follow suit with details on the PlayStation VR, which could be revealed as soon as next week during its presentation at the Game Developers Conference.