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Rift surpasses Vive as VR devs' top platform in new XRDC Innovation Report

Today Informa Tech, organizer of XRDC and the Game Developers Conference, is proud to present the fourth annual XRDC VR/AR Innovation Report! This year’s report is completely free to download and packed with practical insights from a survey of over 900 industry professionals involved in the development of AR/VR/MR experiences. This report offers nuanced, wide-reaching perspective on the AR/VR/MR industries, touching on everything from what platforms devs are focusing on right now to how they’re funding their projects.

For more information and to read the full report, download it for free here!

XRDC 2019 will bring together creators of all kinds of immersive experiences -- including games, entertainment, healthcare, marketing, training, design, and more -- October 14th and 15th at the beautiful Fort Mason Festival Pavilion in San Francisco, a waterfront venue well-suited to networking, demos, and convivial knowledge-sharing.
There’s a lot to be excited about in the AR/VR/MR space this year; new AR games like Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and Minecraft Earth are bringing in a new wave of players, even as the debut of the wireless Oculus Quest headset is inspiring many people to buy into VR for the first time. The results of this year’s survey bear that out, as many respondents cited the Oculus Quest’s debut as the most exciting thing to happen in the industry this year. The Quest also ranked high on the list of devs’ most targeted platforms, and the Oculus Rift actually surpassed the HTC Vive this year as the most common platform currently being targeted by industry professionals.

Most of the major brands worldwide are investing in some way in virtual reality.

The full report lays out these learnings in much more detail, providing valuable takeaways on current trends critical to the growth of VR/AR/MR development. Here’s a sample of some of the findings:

Oculus Rift surpasses the HTC Vive as devs’ top AR/VR/MR platform, and the Oculus Quest is already generating big interest

When we asked survey respondents which AR/VR/MR platform(s) they’re currently developing for, 29 percent said the Oculus Rift, 24 percent said the Oculus Quest, and 24 percent said the HTC Vive.
This is a big deal: the HTC Vive has been the most popular platform among devs surveyed for the Innovation Report for three years running, but this year it seems like Oculus has managed to recapture some creators’ interest. More notably, the Quest has already secured a foothold among devs’ top 3 most popular VR platforms despite only releasing a few months ago. This suggests devs are excited about the Quest’s promise of wireless, portable VR with 6DoF (Degrees of Freedom) controllers; the comparatively low cost of entry (the cheapest model of Quest retails for $399) probably doesn’t hurt either.

Nintendo’s Virtual Boy 3D Gaming Console. Similar to SEGA, Nintendo also had the vision of putting out a Virtual Reality headset for the gaming market. They even went as far as putting a VR headset on the market, but unfortunately it didn’t make it far. Released in the mid 1990s and known as the Virtual Boy, the device was a 3D gaming console that had a 3D viewing system rigged out to look like virtual reality. While it was way cheaper than the other options on the market at the time, the device also didn’t manage to truly spark the VR movement, simply because it lacked head-tracking and quality graphics and only offered stereoscopic 3D display.

We saw a similar split in interest when we checked in with respondents to see what platform(s) their last project was released on, and what platform(s) they’re targeting for their next project.

30 percent said their last project came to the Oculus Rift, 29 percent said it landed on the HTC Vive, and 22 percent said their last work came to an Android phone or tablet via ARCore. Intriguingly, 12 percent of those we surveyed said their last project released on the Oculus Quest, which is somewhat surprising given how recently the platform debuted.
Looking ahead, 30 percent of respondents said their next AR/VR/MR project is going to release on the Oculus Rift, 28 percent said the Oculus Quest, and 24 percent said the HTC Vive.

Most AR/VR/MR projects are still being paid for out of company coffers, but client investment is rising

To better understand these industries it’s critical to know where the money is coming from, so every year we ask our survey respondents how they fund their AR/VR/MR work.

As in years past, the most popular response remains the company’s existing funds (41 percent); but this year it seems that investment from clients has crept up to become the second most popular source of AR/VR/MR funding, with 27 percent of respondents saying they’re funded by a client or clients.

The Health Care Industry Is Using It. Health care is actually one of the leading industries that have fully embraced this technology. For example, medical schools are now using virtual reality to teach and train doctors on conducting complex medical procedures and operations. There are also simulations that are engaging doctors in certain medical situations in real life. For patients, virtual reality can be useful as well. Many hospitals now give patients virtual reality headsets instead of drugs to help relax them.

23 percent of respondents said they fund their AR/VR/MR work out of their own personal funds, which is a bit less than the 27 percent who said the same thing last year. Hopefully this means that as the AR/VR/MR markets mature and devs master their craft, more and more clients are stepping up to pay for well-made immersive experiences.

Of course, you can also look at the data for yourself in much more detail within the full report!

XRDC 2019 is happening October 14th and 15th at the Fort Mason Festival Pavilion in San Francisco. Now that registration is open, you'll want to look over XRDC passes and prices and register early to get the best deal!
For more details about XRDC, which is produced by organizers of the Game Developers Conference, check out the official XRDC website. You can also subscribe to regular XRDC updates via , and . Gamasutra, XRDC, and GDC are sibling organizations under parent Informa Tech


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