Virtual Reality Headset Sales Decline in 2022: Impact on the Metaverse

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology have the potential to revolutionize industries such as entertainment, education, and healthcare. However, the declining sales of VR headsets in 2022 raises questions about the potential success of the metaverse.

According to NPD Group, sales of virtual reality headsets in the U.S. declined 2% year over year to $1.1 billion as of early December. Worldwide shipments of VR headsets and augmented reality devices dropped more than 12% to 9.6 million in 2022.

“The metaverse has the potential to transform how we work, learn, and interact with one another, but widespread adoption of VR headsets has been slow,” said Peggy Johnson, CEO of Magic Leap, the developer of lightweight mixed reality headset Magic Leap 2.

“AR has the potential to revolutionize industries such as healthcare, education, and retail,” said Johnson. “Meanwhile, VR is expected to focus on more specialized and immersive experiences, such as gaming and entertainment.”

Differences Between VR and AR

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) headsets provide unique and immersive experiences, but they have some differences. VR headsets fully immerse the user in a simulated environment. In contrast, AR headsets show digital information on top of the user’s real-world surroundings. VR headsets completely block out the real world and transport the user to a virtual environment, while AR headsets let the user see and interact with both the real and digital worlds simultaneously.

Top VR Headsets

When considering purchasing a VR headset, it is essential to consider your needs and budget. Think about what you want to use the headset and the hardware you already have before deciding. Some top VR headsets currently available include the Oculus Quest 2, Valve Index, HTC Vive, and Sony PlayStation VR.


The sales decline of VR headsets in 2022 does not necessarily mean there are problems with the metaverse, as the metaverse can be accessed through various technologies like AR headsets, smartphones, and other devices. However, the decline in VR headset sales could indicate that the market for VR technology is not as thriving as some expected, which could pose challenges for the VR industry in the future. Changes in consumer preferences or the economic conditions in 2022 could also cause the decline in sales. Still, the good news is that our team will attend CES 2023 and report back with any new findings.