Virtual reality is an artificial environment created with the help of software and virtual reality devices. User experiences it as a real environment due to graphics and interactive features offered by virtual reality gaming devices. The simplest form of virtual reality is a 3D image that is explored interactively on a personal computer. Virtual reality in gaming refers to the use of sound and graphics technology in games where the users wear head mounted displays (HMDs), gloves or glasses as part of their experience. It offers simulation of real time environment for education and training purpose through a story or a game. In virtual reality gaming, products such as gloves and head mounted displays, sensors are used that tracks the movement made by the user and the data is fed back to the system which analyses the data and transforms the actions into appropriate response on the screen.
The virtual reality in gaming market is driven by various factors such as rise in disposable income of the users and constant innovation in existing gaming technologies such as motion tracking, 3D effects and interactive graphics for attracting users. With rise in the disposable income, users are looking for new entertainment sources and virtual reality games to provide distinct way of entertainment. The global market was valued at USD 466.6 million in 2012 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 39.2% during the forecast period 2013 to 2019. High cost and difficultly in maintenance of virtual reality gaming devices are some important factors inhibiting the market growth. In the coming years, affordable and low cost motion tracking sensors and gesture control devices are expected to be launched in the market.
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Geographically, North America was the largest market for virtual reality gaming and accounted for 37.0% share of the global market in terms of revenue in 2012. North America was the leading regional market due to availability of advanced gaming technology and popularity of virtual reality gaming products such as head mounted displays. Europe was the second largest market globally with 31.9% market share in 2012, in terms of revenue. Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest emerging region in the global market due to the increase in number of online gamers. Most of the players in this market are competing with each other by developing advanced virtual reality devices and games with greater performance to gain a competitive advantage.
The global virtual reality in gaming market is dominated by players such as Electronic Arts Inc., Take Two Interactive Inc., and Linden Lab Inc. The popular names in the Asia Pacific market include Sony Corporation, Nintendo Co. Ltd. and Sega Corporation. Product innovation is observed as a key strategy followed by industry leaders. For instance, a new head mounted display device introduced by Sony Corporation, named as Project Morpheus Virtual Reality headset offers efficient tracking accuracy and high resolution.