Today, VR Education Holdings, the virtual reality (VR) company specialising in educational content such as Apollo 11 VR and Titanic VR has released its trading update for the end of 2019, with some interesting predictions for itself and the VR industry as a whole. These include a positive outlook for the company in 2020 as well as mention of a PlayStation VR successor.
Any mention of a PlayStation VR 2 is going to raise interest. Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) recently confirmed 5 million PlayStation VR’s have been sold since 2016 and the current model will support the upcoming PlayStation 5 console. The trading update says: “2020 will see Sony release the PlayStation 5 and a new version of the PlayStation VR headset (PSVR), which will further expand the high-end VR user base; the Group intends to support this device with its current suite of showcase software.”
While there have been several indications that SIE is working on a new version thanks to recent patent publications there’s been no official confirmation, only speculation. An updated design is sorely needed when comparing PlayStation VR to rivals, with the end of 2020 being the headsets’ fourth anniversary. If VR Education’s update is true then Q4 2020 will be very exciting.
The trading update expects VR Education Holdings’ revenue to be €1.02 million EUR for 2019, a 42 percent increase on 2018 but below expectations. Part of the reasoning behind this is: “the delayed launch and the lack of availability of mobile standalone headsets,” states the report. However, working closely with headset makers including Pico, Facebook and HTC with company doesn’t expect the same issue in 2020.
“While it is disappointing to not have grown revenues for FY19 at the pace previously forecasted, we have grown in the year and made significant progress which lays solid foundations for further growth in FY20,” said David Whelan, CEO of VR Education in a statement. “With VR adoption becoming more mainstream through the wider availability of new standalone VR devices, along with the improvements that 5G deployment will bring, we are confident that 2020 will see an increase in demand for immersive experiences. As a result, we believe that the Group will see continued strong growth of sales of our VR showcase experiences as well as an accelerated adoption of our ENGAGE platform for education and enterprise clients, who are working closely with major telecom companies providing 5G services for training and education.”
VR Education’s ENGAGE platform already supports Oculus Quest with clients able to test the software for several months. Due to Facebook’s push for Oculus Quest as a consumer product that has meant its Oculus for Business initiative has been pushed back, now slated for Q2 2020 as stock is replenished – currently, on Oculus’ UK website there’s a 4-week wait for the 64GB version. To enhance ENGAGE platform support VR Education is working on bringing it to Pico Neo 2, with an agreement with Pico seeing ENGAGE pre-installed.
At the end of 2019 VR Education launched Shuttle Commander exclusively for PlayStation VR. This year will see the experience arrive on Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, HTC Vive and Windows Mixed Reality. As further updates are released, VRFocus will let you know.
Update: Oculus has clarified that the Oculus for Business platform hasn’t been delayed into Q2, issuing the following statement: “We recently completed beta with a closed group of customers and ISVs, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. This month we’re continuing a gradual rollout to additional customers in the order with which they purchased and as hardware becomes available. Oculus Quest is currently backordered, and we’re working hard to replenish stock. We plan to continue with release to everyone, including new customers, soon.”