Economic Uncertainties Dampen Outlook for Virtual and Augmented Devices, But Long-Term Potential Remains Strong

  • CCS Insight forecasts that 14 million virtual and augmented reality devices will be sold in 2022, growing more than sixfold to 88 million in 2026.
  • A raft of new smart glasses launching in 2023 will kick-start the consumer augmented reality segment, and standalone virtual reality headsets will continue to sell well.
  • Investment in immersive content and the metaverse will pave the way to greater adoption, establishing strong product appeal for both consumers and businesses.

London, 28 June 2022: With the expected launch of several new augmented reality (AR) smart glasses, some before the end of 2022, alongside a year of record sales for virtual reality (VR) headsets, the next 12 months are shaping up to be a very important period for sales of immersive devices.

CCS Insight’s latest forecast outlines an expectation of 14.3 million VR and AR device shipments in 2022, an annual rise of 30%. Although this will be a record-breaking year for device shipments, the market is not expected to be immune from the current macroeconomic difficulties. But, despite wallets being stretched, VR and AR devices are expected to remain high on technology wish lists, particularly for enthusiasts and early adopters.

“Although the long-term outlook remains rosy, we now predict adoption in 2022 to be lower than previously forecast”, states James Manning Smith, Senior Analyst at CCS Insight, “Although many people are rethinking their budgets, the appetite for new technologies will remain strong, with immersive tech benefiting from this, albeit still at a very modest level”.

VR headsets will retain the bulk of demand for immersive technology in 2022, accounting for 93% of device shipments. Sales in the successful standalone headset category will continue to grow, with Meta’s Quest 2 as the crown jewel in this category’s range of products. Consumers remain most interested in no-fuss wireless products, a key selling point of Meta’s Quest line-up.

One downside to the VR market forecast in 2022 is the expected delay to the launch of Sony’s second-generation PlayStation VR headset. Despite eager anticipation that the upgraded PlayStation VR2 will bring next-generation console gaming content to VR headsets, it appears buyers will now have to wait until 2023. Pent-up demand for the upgraded headset will mean a 76% rise in sales of VR devices that tether to a PC or console in 2023, according to CCS Insight’s forecast.

AR is set to see a strong boost too, with device shipments increasing by more than 100% in 2022 and 300% in 2023. “The arrival of new smart glasses in late 2022 and throughout 2023 puts AR devices on the cusp of becoming an everyday technology”, notes Manning Smith, “Although the size of the market will be modest in the next few years, early adopters will pave the way for wider uptake and use”.

Much of the expected growth for immersive technologies will stem from consumer markets, but the effect of Covid-19 on enterprise use of VR and AR devices should not be overlooked. The pandemic pushed businesses to realize the benefits of immersive devices, and sales of VR and AR headsets to enterprises are set to hit 2.6 million in 2022, a 30% annual rise. “The changing nature of work during the pandemic led to businesses testing the deployment of immersive technology for a range of new applications. Despite the return of some pre-pandemic working trends, immersive technology in the workplace is here to stay”, notes Manning Smith.

The combination of uptake from businesses and consumers, alongside a strong product portfolio of VR headsets, AR smart glasses and advanced enhanced AR headsets, is set to create a winning formula as talk of the metaverse attracts investment in immersive content. CCS Insight forecasts 87.7 million VR and AR device shipments in 2026, with standalone VR headsets remaining the leading product, and AR smart glasses quickly gaining pace.

A summary of CCS Insight’s new forecast is presented in the chart below.

More details of CCS Insight’s extensive VR and AR research service can be found at

Notes to editors

CCS Insight is a leading provider of research on the extended reality market. Its VR and AR device forecast covers several product segments and presents three scenarios (core, low and high) that plot the effects of different market developments.

This forecast is part of a broader suite of research into AR and VR technology, including an extensive database of devices in this area, regular reports and updates on the latest announcements, events and news.

About CCS Insight

CCS Insight is a global analyst company focussing on current and future trends in technology. It provides comprehensive services that are tailored to meet the needs of individual clients, helping them make sense of the connected world. Follow @CCSInsight on Twitter or learn more at

For further information contact:
Imogen Tait
Harvard PR
Tel: 07384 907535

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