Macroeconomic weakness was tipped by CCS Insight to continue to impact the XR market in 2023, with the research company not expecting unit sales in AR and VR devices to improve significantly until 2024.

In a new report, CCS Insight noted macroeconomic woes are leaving their stamp on the consumer devices market, with unit sales this year expected to remain just shy of 10 million.

CCS Insight expects another slow year in 2023, tipping sales of VR and AR devices to grow to 11.4 million, but added it remained confident on the long-term future of the segment, with the question of market recovery more a question of when not if.

It expects sales to improve from 2024 onward and grow to 67 million in 2026, fuelled by the launch of smart glasses.

In 2023, CCS Insight also expects a slight uptick with the arrival of Sony’s latest PlayStation VR offering.

VP of forecasting at CCS Insight Marina Koytcheva stated high inflation has hit consumer budgets in many major markets this year and those who may have been in the market for a VR headset “have postponed their purchase”.

“We’re also seeing signs of businesses being more cautious in their investment in XR until the economic picture becomes clearer.”

Other challenges for the market noted by the research company was a $100 rise in the retail price of the Meta Quest 2 headset, and the time needed to build light and attractive AR glasses.

Koytcheva believes companies are being cautious by not bringing products to market that are not quite ready.

“We’ve been expecting smart glasses to come to market for a while now, but the technology is proving tricky to master,” she said.

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