GFK China executive: Low-tech VR could kill industry

Although many tech entrepreneurs say VR is the next big thing, industry analysts at GFK, the world’s fourth largest market research organization, warned about potential risks of exploring in the VR sector.

“No matter if it’s sales of VR products or user experience on average, we must admit that true VR has yet to come because today’s VR is still rather low-tech,” said GFK China marketing director Zhou Qun on Wednesday at CES Asia 2016 in Shanghai.

Zhou said that the market for VR products in 2016 may be three times the size of last year’s. 1.5 million units are expected to be sold in 2016.

However, Zhou pointed out that few products today can offer a quality VR experience, and the majority of consumers may not be able to afford them. Considering these drawbacks, Zhou said that the next year or so will be crucial for VR companies in competing for market share.

But competing with each other does not mean getting consumers’ attention by throwing whatever is available at them. “Today’s level of VR experience in general is still rather low and VR’s true potential hasn’t been made accessible to the public yet,” said Zhou. “This could be dangerous if consumers’ expectations aren’t met. If negative consumer feedback dominates, the entire VR industry would suffer a fatal blow.”

That is to say that VR companies must develop fast, but not so fast that they leave behind the true VR experience. Zhou emphasizes that sales revenue should come after consumers’ positive feedback and VR’s integration with other businesses, which will contribute to the industry’s sustainability.

Despite this dilemma, the VR industry may face other serious challenges, as the China Securities Regulatory Commission has called for a stop to cross-industry investments, acquisitions, reorganization and refinancing in four industries: finance, games, movies, and VR, Caixin News reported on Wednesday.

(Top photo from Baidu Images)

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