The Outlook for VR in 2017

Nick Field, Associate Director at Arrowpoint Advisory, was asked by VR Tech for his thoughts on the outlook for investors on the opportunities and risks of VR in 2017.

Having worked through 2016 with businesses and investors on the opportunities and risks of VR, it is clear to me that we are still in the foothills of the eventual impact of VR on a range of industries and business models. Whilst fully realising the potential of VR will take years, even decades, I can make four predictions that are likely to be true in 2017:

Computer games will be a big winner in the short term

VR in computer gaming is an attractive theme for investors because this is actually the industry that will be disrupted by VR the least.

VR hardware development will accelerate

Despite the flurry of big-name VR headset launches through 2016, I expect that we will see the pace of new hardware development increase through 2017 as a number of players seek to use superiority in hardware to become the 'platform' for VR content.

Premium content will be used to drive VR adoption

Whilst some platforms are open, others such as the Sony PlayStation VR are closed ecosystems whose value lies in content sales to their installed base rather than day-one hardware revenues.

Defensive investments in VR will grow strongly beyond the games market

As adoption of high-fidelity VR gains momentum, its disruptive potential to a range of industries will become increasingly clear and I expect to see an increase in the volume of corporate investment both in M&A and internal capabilities.

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