Virtual Reality Companies to Invest In
VR is having a big moment right now, and the futuristic tech has been expanding at a tremendous rate. As is to be expected with any emerging technology, there’s no shortage of companies looking to stake their claim in the industry. With so many tossing their hats into the proverbial ring, it can be hard to know which VR company to invest in.
Whether you’re personally intrigued by VR technology or not doesn’t matter so much when you look at the numbers overall. In 2020, the VR market hit a valuation of $15.81 billion, according to Grand View Research, and it’s expected to hit $69.6 billion by 2028. This outlook is most certainly a positive one, but potential shareholders who haven’t ventured into the VR world may run into trouble choosing the best VR companies to invest in.
To help you make an informed decision about what virtual reality companies to invest in, we’ve compiled a list of several that appear to have promising futures in the industry. Of course, we’re not financial advisors: It’s a good idea to consult a professional before you invest.
Facebook/Meta Platforms Inc. (FB/MVRS)
In 2014, Facebook (rebranded as Meta Platforms Inc.) purchased Oculus, a VR technology company. The company had made great strides in the VR world prior to the acquisition but has skyrocketed since falling under the umbrella of social media juggernaut Facebook.
The company has already succeeded in popularizing VR technology at an affordable price with the launch of their most recent VR headset, the Oculus Quest 2, but that seems to just be the tip of the virtual iceberg. In late 2021, CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled plans for Facebook’s “metaverse,” a virtual reality representation of the Internet that users can exist within. If the metaverse takes off the way Zuckerberg is hoping, shareholders will be very glad they bought in when they did.
Sony entered the virtual reality market through its PlayStation 4 gaming console. The PlayStation VR headset allowed its users access to a high-end VR gaming experience that has been met with a large amount of praise. It’s consistently been among the fastest-selling headsets since its launch in 2016, beaten out only by the Oculus Quest 2.
Looking to the future, Sony has announced plans for a new model of the headset to work with the PlayStation 5. Users can expect notable upgrades to the new version, but shareholders should note that Sony may be limiting itself in the VR gaming space.
It should come as no surprise that Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has taken a vested interest in the future of VR. The company has its fingers in several technology pots, and virtual reality feels like a natural fit for them.
The company has already released a couple of VR-focused products, namely Google Glass in 2013 and Google Cardboard in 2015, though neither of those lived up to their perceived potential. However, this isn’t to say that Google has failed in the VR/AR space. Google Maps and Google Earth VR have made excellent use of the technology, and the company should be expected to make significant impacts on the software side of VR/AR technology in the future.
Microsoft is a true rival to Sony in the gaming space, which makes it even odder that they haven’t responded to PlayStation VR with an Xbox-compatible headset of their own. However, that’s not to say that the company has been sitting on its virtual hands.
Instead of pursuing the gaming VR space, Microsoft has instead turned its attention to the enterprise market with its HoloLens headsets. Microsoft touts the technology as a useful tool for any market and has even secured a $22 billion contract with the U.S. Army to supply them with HoloLens headsets for training purposes. This contract could prove to be a sign of things to come, and Microsoft may make a big splash in several practical industries with their VR technology in the coming years.
Virtual reality may feel like futuristic technology, but the foundation has been laid for quite some time now. Apple, for example, has already been investing in VR research for more than a decade. In that time, they have filed several patents and acquired numerous VR and AR companies. But despite this, Apple still has yet to release its very own VR headset.
But that could change as soon as 2022. If an Apple VR headset does indeed come to pass, commercial success would be a safe bet. The company already has a baked-in audience with its loyal fan base of iPhone and other Apple tech users, and more than likely, the VR headset would be welcomed into the collection with open arms.
When researching virtual reality companies to invest in, it’s easy to fall into the trap of looking solely at headset manufacturers. However, the companies that produce the tech that goes into making these headsets viable in the first place are just as important.
Nvidia is one of the top manufacturers of video game graphics processors and has significant ties to the VR market. Even outside of the gaming space, Nvidia’s graphics processing units (GPUs) are responsible for generating high-res images and renders across multiple industries.
Due to the emphasis placed on generating high-quality graphics in the VR space, Nvidia is in a unique position to succeed, as long as VR as a whole does, regardless of which headset leads the market.