U.S. Sales of VR/AR Gear More Than Doubled During 2021 Holidays

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PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y.—The virtual reality/augmented reality category of tech hardware and accessories had a very successful 2021 holiday period in the U.S. according to new data released by The NPD Group. 

Their sales tracking service found that unit sales of VR/AR hardware and accessories were up 180% during the five-week holiday period from the week of Thanksgiving through Christmas (Nov. 21, 2021 – Dec. 25, 2021) and that VR/AR hardware and accessories saw a 153% spike in revenue 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 benefited from challenges consumers faced in securing popular gaming consoles,” said 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.”

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.