AMD claims 83% VR market share, shows VR on Polaris

Subject: Graphics Cards | March 14, 2016 - 07:00 PM |
Tagged: VR, radeon pro duo, radeon, capsaicin, amd

As part of AMD’s Capsaicin event in San Francisco today, the company is making some bold statements around its strategy for VR, including massive market share dominance, new readiness programs and the future of VR with the Polaris architecture due out this year.

The most surprising statement made by AMD at the event was the claim that “AMD is powering the overwhelming majority of home entertainment VR systems around the world, with an estimated 83 percent market share.” This is obviously not based on discrete GPU sales in the PC market alone, but instead includes the sales of the PlayStation 4 game console, for which Sony will launch its own PlayStation VR headset later this year. (Side note, does JPR not include the array of Samsung phones to be “home entertainment VR” systems?)

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There is no denying that Sony's install base with the PS4 has put AMD in the driver seat when it comes to global gaming GPU distribution, but as of today this advantage has not amounted to anything noticeable in the PC space – a stance that AMD was selling hard before the consoles’ launch. I am hesitant to put any weight behind AMD’s PS4 integration for VR moving forward, so the company will have to prove that this is in fact an advantage for the chip maker going into 2016.

AMD is talking up other partnerships as well, including those with HTC and Oculus for their respective headset launches, due in the next 30 days. Beyond that, AMD hardware is being used in the just announced Sulon Q wireless VR headset and has deals in place with various healthcare, media and educational outlets to seed development hardware.

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For system vendors and add-in card builders, AMD is launching a certification program that will create labels of “Radeon™ VR Ready Premium” and “Radeon™ VR Ready Creator”. The former will be assigned to graphics cards at Radeon R9 290 performance and above to indicate they are capable of meeting the specifications required by Oculus and HTC for their VR headsets; the latter is going to be assigned only to the Radeon Pro Duo dual-Fiji graphics card, meant to target developers that need maximum performance.

Finally, AMD is showing that its next generation graphics architecture, Polaris, is capable of VR as well.

AMD today demonstrated for the first time ever the company’s forthcoming Polaris 10 GPU running Valve’s Aperture Science Robot Repair demo powered by the HTC Vive Pre. The sample GPU features the recently announced Polaris GPU architecture designed for 14nm FinFET, optimized for DirectX® 12 and VR, and boasts significant architectural improvements over previous AMD architectures including HDR monitor support, industry-leading performance-per-watt 2, and AMD’s 4th generation Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture.

We are still waiting to see if this is the same silicon that AMD showed at CES, a mainstream part, or if we might be witnessing the first demo of a higher end part, wetting the appetite of the enthusiast community.


March 14, 2016 | 07:33 PM - Posted by quest4glory

The Samsung equipment would be better suited to a "Mobile Entertainment" category, so I would say no.

March 15, 2016 | 12:06 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

AMD looks to be everywhere everywhere in VR, Wow nice surprise!

March 15, 2016 | 01:03 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

83 percent of the market share for developer kits given to developers, so a few thousand units maybe, 83% of such a large market! Just WOW, and still not very many laptop GPU design wins, how's that single channel working out for you so far AMD! And get some Linux OS based laptop design wins, because windows 10 is like Metro II, the return of the crap, now with more spyware and ad baked in to the OS! No 10 lock-in or TIFKAM RT for me! Windows 10 it's just TIFKAM SPAM!

March 15, 2016 | 01:46 AM - Posted by undermined

not to mention that AMD even stated in their slides that around 1% of current systems in the hands of people are VR capable.

So they are claiming 83% of 1% or some nonsense.

I'd almost give them some slack on the VR capable claims stemming from the PS4 but Sony's PSVR hasn't shipped yet and we don't know what part the PS4 having a AMD APU in it plays into the PSVR being a mass market VR solution.

It might be that the AMD APU doesn't do anything VR related in the PSVR due to it using a separate breakout box with the HMD to function.

I'm all for AMD having a strong VR game to bring to the table to keep competition high versus Nvidia but AMD needs to have real world design wins and sales numbers, not PR marketing spin based off of Sony shipping lots of PS4s.

March 15, 2016 | 05:11 PM - Posted by Lance Ripplinger (not verified)

83% of what??? These companies should be fined by the FTC for making such ridiculous claims. Not only that, but how do we know that VR isn't just a fad, like 3D TV sets? Que the cricket sounds.....

March 15, 2016 | 07:35 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

AMD has released Radeon PRO Duo, a card that can create VR content. Not enough info is yet available to make a judgement on VR/AR systems. Let us see some real demos on Computex 2016.

AMD could show Polaris at Computex 2016. Computex is being held from 31st May to the 4th June 2016 at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center in Taipei, Taiwan.

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