In the U.S., the virtual reality/augmented reality (VR/AR) category had a very successful 2021 holiday period with new products on the horizon from industry leaders, as well as from the excitement for the potential of the metaverse, the future looks bright.
According to The NPD Group, sales of VR/AR hardware and accessories during the five-week holiday period from the week of Thanksgiving through Christmas (Nov. 21, 2021 – Dec. 25, 2021) more than doubled in unit and dollar sales, up 180% and 153%, respectively, versus the prior year.
Based on NPD’s Weekly Retail Tracking Service data, growth was slightly lower for full year 2021, up 163% in unit sales and 137% in revenue compared to the previous year.
“This year’s holiday gains come as consumers continue to look for unique entertainment experiences and also likely benefitted from challenges consumers faced in securing popular gaming consoles,” comments Ben Arnold, executive director and technology industry analyst for NPD.
“That said, as new devices become available, and the consumer base has an opportunity to grow, we expect positive momentum in the year ahead – starting with 32% revenue growth in the first half. The Metaverse, VR/AR, and smart glasses will be areas to watch in 2022.”