Virtual Reality gaming is in a unique place. The hardware seems to be doing well, but is that well enough to keep developers interested? According to a recent study, the answer to that question might be no. Over the past six months, it appears VR hardware sales have been on the decline.
For the study, Thinknum took a gander at a handful of big VR headsets and tracked their sales figures over various periods of time. On the PlayStation VR front, they only looked at the Skyrim Bundle sales for the hardware noting that, since February of this year, that particular bundle has been on the decline. There's no mention of other PSVR models or the availability of the Skyrim bundle (for instance, if it was out of stock during any point in that time period).
Moving down the list, the group also looked at the HTC Vive, a graph that looks something like a kid riding a pogo stick up and down a series of hills. Despite those fluctuations, there's a noticeable downward trend in April, an upswing in May, and now it appears to be going back down again.
The Samsung Gear VR is also incudes in this ranking, even though that particular piece of hardware never gained traction. Their study shows that the hardware dropped low in September of last year and has pretty much stayed there ever since.
Finally, they took a look at the Oculus Go sales rankings, which have been on a decline since May. As one of the folks in the comments points out, there's no mention of the cheaper core Oculus system, which seems like another odd choice. The Go was a top-item on Amazon in May but, two months later, it's barely in the top 100 items. You can make of that what you will, but the study takes it as a clear sign interest in VR gaming is on the decline.
Again, VR is a weird beast due to the fact that it's not really considered its own thing so much as a luxury addition to standard gaming. Sony has stated multiple times they are happy with the success of their VR headset over the past two years but, again, that could just be marketing talk.
At this point, we figure the downward trends likely have to do with the fact that most folks who want a VR headset likely have them. For the market to grow, more -- and more impressive -- games need to be a focus. We figure many are also waiting for a second generation of hardware that, fingers crossed, will be even cheaper and less cumbersome to deal with.
Only time will tell.