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Number of virtual reality users forecast worldwide 2014-2018

The total number of active virtual reality (VR) users worldwide is forecast to be around 171 million as of 2018, around 16 million of these considering themselves to be hardcore gamers. Virtual reality technology is often used with some sort of optical headset device, with major VR hardware developers such as Sony, HTC, and Oculus combining to ship millions of these devices each year.

What is virtual reality?

Virtual reality is a type of technology that uses devices such as headsets, earphones, and handsets to immerse users in a completely simulated digital environment. The characteristic of complete immersion means that VR devices can be used as tools for education, tourism, entertainment, and even professional tasks such as architecture design.

Augmented reality

Augmented reality (AR) is a technology closely related to VR that uses devices to change the visual environment of users. Rather than completely immerse the user in a simulated environment like VR, AR superimposes computer generated elements on top of the user’s real-world environment, allowing for applications such as head-up displays and first-person GPS navigation. Forecasts suggest that the AR market alone could reach revenues in the hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars by 2025.

Forecast for the number of active virtual reality users worldwide from 2014 to 2018

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Release date

July 2017



Survey time period


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Statistics on "Virtual reality (VR)"

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