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Unmentionables Group

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Bennett Martinez
Bennett Martinez

Bright Spots In The VR Market

As the digital world waits to see if Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies continue to recover from the recent down market, bright spots are emerging in the NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) and online games sectors.

Bright spots in the VR market

A cold market or is it heating up? Traders looking for bright spots can find them in the DeFi (Decentralized Finance) universe, where creativity and curiosity are setting up new ways to join the metaverse movement.

Shareholders are becoming frustrated with Meta's increased spending, especially considering the slowdown in revenue growth this year. But for smart investors, there are a few bright spots to pay attention to, which signal a return to form is in the cards for those willing to remain patient with the company.

Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Adam Levy has positions in Meta Platforms, Inc. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Meta Platforms, Inc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

2017, though, has been far from a year of failure. In fact, there are several key areas where 2017 outright denied the naysayers and jabbed a finger in the eye of its prophets of doom; points of outright positivity that show how bright the future for the medium can be, and just how the creativity and passion of the people working in games can overcome even seemingly insurmountable challenges.

The most obvious example here, of course, is the success of Nintendo's Switch, a console that has had analysts and commentators eating multiple servings of humble pie all year around. After the commercially disastrous Wii U, Switch was a remarkable gamble; doubling down on the Wii U's "second screen" concept rather than abandoning it entirely, its development was Nintendo stubbornness writ large. The company firmly believed that Wii U's core idea was good, in spite of its shockingly poor market performance. It was the execution that was the problem, so the right execution, the right approach, and the right games would make it second time lucky for the concept.

That the Switch happened at all - rather than a sharp U-turn back towards a more 'traditional' console - is remarkable in an age where market data rules so much business decision-making and the space for faith and vision often feels limited. That it has been such an enormous success that even Nintendo itself has been broadsided by demand is a testament to the importance of that kind of process; of a willingness, sometimes, to stick by your guns, pick yourself up from a monumental failure, and try again, but try better.

With 10 million sold and demand still strong, Switch is now placed to blow the console market wide open; proving that there's demand for innovation, not just cyclical GPU upgrades, and re-establishing Nintendo as a top-class competitor just in time to rescue Sony from any danger of falling back on its PS3-era complacency.

There are now two million PSVR headsets on the market; a small installed base by console standards, certainly, but a hugely promising market for game creators given the relative lack of competition and the high attention paid to VR titles. VR overall is still waiting for its killer app but Sony has kept the flame alive this year; a few more stand-out titles (especially in terms of full-size experiences like Resident Evil 7 or Skyrim) and perhaps a little judicious price-cutting on the hardware could well push this from being a curiosity to a must-have device for a lot of PS4 owners next year.

We could talk about purely commercial bright points; the industry's c.10 per cent annual growth (now worth around $116 billion annually in software and services alone, according to Newzoo), or the even more startling c.26 per cent growth in the smartphone game market. We could even talk about ethical bright points, in a year which didn't seem great on that front; a good example is Blizzard's stoic commitment to making the Overwatch community as welcoming and positive a place as possible, even at the cost of attracting ire from the outspoken minority of players who mistake abuse and intolerance for gaming culture.

Perhaps 2017 has not been a banner year overall; but from market leaders defying expectations to once-loved franchises being given new leases of life, from green shoots in new and exciting areas (hell, even Magic Leap now actually seems like it might have a product some time soon) to groundwork being laid for major breakthroughs in years to come, there's been a lot to celebrate this year as well. The industry heads into 2018 with plenty of challenges on its mind, but 2017 has been, if nothing else, a year in which game creators showed their capacity to rise to challenges and defy expectations for the better.

Virtual tours get big green check marks on every marketing best practices list. Everything from re-purposing content investment for multiple goals to flexibility in messaging. Plus a few new analytics advantages. 360 Virtual tours are made from 360 videos, 360 images, audio, lead generation forms, and any kind of content strategically placed within the 360 virtual tour. Once the virtual tour is created it will work across all devices (desktop, tablet, mobile, and VR headsets). Visualize that potential reach!

Virtual tours are like putting your toe in the water with virtual reality. If you take the time to reflect on the enormous value outlined in #2 above you can quickly see how to maximize your marketing ROI now while creating a roadmap for increasing virtual reality in your marketing mix.

For the first time since Newzoo started tracking global games market revenues, we forecast the market to decline year on year. We now estimate that the games market will generate $184.4 billion in 2022, down -4.3% year on year.

While blockchain games and game-related NFTs experienced a similarly spectacular 2021, the severe correction in the crypto market and fears of a global recession have led to public interest and coin valuations substantially waning throughout 2022. Moreover, this past year exposed some fundamental flaws in the play-to-earn business model. It highlighted how creating a fun experience where players willingly spend is essential for others to be able to earn.

Spatial, which creates a tool best described as a VR version of Zoom, reported a 1,000% increase in the use of its platform since March 2020. In total, the value of the market for VR business equipment is forecast to grow from $829 million in 2018 to $4.26 billion by 2023, according to research by ARtillery Intelligence.

Forrester is one of the most influential research and advisory firms in the world. We help leaders across technology, customer experience, digital, marketing, sales, and product functions use customer obsession to accelerate growth.

I am the President of Coughlin Associates and a storage analyst and consultant. I have over 37 years in the data storage industry with multiple engineering and management positions. I have many publications and six patents to my credit. I am also the author of Digital Storage in Consumer Electronics: The Essential Guide, the second edition was published by Springer. Coughlin Associates provides market and technology analysis (including reports on several digital storage technologies and applications and a newsletter) as well as Data Storage Technical Consulting services. I publish a Digital Storage in Consumer Electronics Report, a Media and Entertainment Storage Report, and an Emerging Memory Report. I am active with SMPTE, SNIA, the IEEE and other professional organizations. I am the founder and organizer of the Annual Storage Visions Conference (, as well as the Creative Storage Conference ( I was general chair of the Flash Memory Summit for 10 years. I am also a Fellow of the IEEE and a member of the Consultants Network of Silicon Valley (CNSV). For more information about me and my publications, go to

I am an author, independent researcher and speaker exploring innovation, information technology trends and markets. I served as co-chair of the AI Summit in 2021 and 2022, and have also participated in the IEEE International Conference on Edge Computing and the International SOA and Cloud Symposium series.\nI am also a co-author of the SOA Manifesto, which outlines the values and guiding principles of service orientation in business and IT. \nI also regularly contribute to Harvard Business Review and CNET on topics shaping business and technology careers.


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