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Bright Spots In The VR Market

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Bright Spots In The VR Market

As the digital world waits to see if Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies continue to recover from the recent down market, bright spots are emerging in the NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) and online games sectors.

A cold market or is it heating up Traders looking for bright spots can find them in the DeFi (Decentralized Finance) universe, where creativity and curiosity are setting up new ways to join the metaverse movement.

Shareholders are becoming frustrated with Meta's increased spending, especially considering the slowdown in revenue growth this year. But for smart investors, there are a few bright spots to pay attention to, which signal a return to form is in the cards for those willing to remain patient with the company.

Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Adam Levy has positions in Meta Platforms, Inc. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Meta Platforms, Inc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

2017, though, has been far from a year of failure. In fact, there are several key areas where 2017 outright denied the naysayers and jabbed a finger in the eye of its prophets of doom; points of outright positivity that show how bright the future for the medium can be, and just how the creativity and passion of the people working in games can overcome even seemingly insurmountable challenges.

The most obvious example here, of course, is the success of Nintendo's Switch, a console that has had analysts and commentators eating multiple servings of humble pie all year around. After the commercially disastrous Wii U, Switch was a remarkable gamble; doubling down on the Wii U's "second screen" concept rather than abandoning it entirely, its development was Nintendo stubbornness writ large. The company firmly believed that Wii U's core idea was good, in spite of its shockingly poor market performance. It was the execution that was the problem, so the right execution, the right approach, and the right games would make it second time lucky for the concept.

That the Switch happened at all - rather than a sharp U-turn back towards a more 'traditional' console - is remarkable in an age where market data rules so much business decision-making and the space for faith and vision often feels limited. That it has been such an enormous success that even Nintendo itself has been broadsided by demand is a testament to the importance of that kind of process; of a willingness, sometimes, to stick by your guns, pick yourself up from a monumental failure, and try again, but try better.

With 10 million sold and demand still strong, Switch is now placed to blow the console market wide open; proving that there's demand for innovation, not just cyclical GPU upgrades, and re-establishing Nintendo as a top-class competitor just in time to rescue Sony from any danger of falling back on its PS3-era complacency.

There are now two million PSVR headsets on the market; a small installed base by console standards, certainly, but a hugely promising market for game creators given the relative lack of competition and the high attention paid to VR titles. VR overall is still waiting for its killer app but Sony has kept the flame alive this year; a few more stand-out titles (especially in terms of full-size experiences like Resident Evil 7 or Skyrim) and perhaps a little judicious price-cutting on the hardware could well push this from being a curiosity to a must-have device for a lot of PS4 owners next year.

We could talk about purely commercial bright points; the industry's c.10 per cent annual growth (now worth around $116 billion annually in software and services alone, according to Newzoo), or the even more startling c.26 per cent growth in the smartphone game market. We could even talk about ethical bright points, in a year which didn't seem great on that front; a g


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