CES 2019: Does This Year’s Show Indicate Waning Consumer Interest In VR?

Virtual reality is not a major priority at CES 2019.As reported by BizBash via Associated Press, the presence of virtual reality at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was not what it’s been in previous years. Various news outlets have pointed out several pieces of evidence from CES indicating that VR is not the priority it used to be:

  • Facebook hosted private demos for its Oculus Quest headset, but they did NOT put on a large scale press event.
  • Sony promoted PlayStation V.R. on a few kiosks, foregoing a larger event promoting the hardware.
  • HTC made announcements about two VR headsets, with only minimal details revealed on one of them.

AP provided further commentary on the waning presence of VR at CES:

“It’s a world away from the scene a few years ago, when V.R. products from Samsung, Oculus, HTC, and Sony seemed omnipresent and unstoppable at C.E.S. These days, V.R. is mostly a niche product for gaming and business training, held back by expensive, clunky headsets, a paucity of interesting software and other technological shortcomings.”

Over the past several months, there have been more and more reports indicating that virtual reality may be losing consumer interest, with augmented reality largely being prioritized by major technology brands. While this may be the case in the consumer / retail world, in terms of live events and experiences, we see the value of implementing both types of cutting edge technologies into activations. That being said – there’s no denying the fact that AR is much more conducive to shared / group experiences, which could make it more appealing to brands looking to reach the maximum amount of people in an efficient manner.

Whether AR or VR reign supreme in the end, we’re just excited that the pursuit of innovation in this field continues to be a priority on a large scale. Perhaps some of the folks working at NYC’s RLab will figure out the next big thing in virtual reality, making it a bigger deal than it ever was before…