Strategy: The XR headset positioning map

Niclas Johansson
XR4work Blog
Published in
3 min readOct 27, 2022


Infographic about VR, AR, MR headsets and market positioning: Including Quest 2, Vive Focus, Hololens, Magic Leap, HP Reverb G2, Valve Index, Varjo


Presenting: The (new and updated) XR HMD POSITIONING MAP.

There are plenty of charts strictly comparing tech specs of HMDs out there. This is my attempt to look at the XR landscape from a strategic viewpoint. Hope it’s helpful! Clarification on my reasoning in this article.

The colors/ratings are an amalgam of three factors:

  • the manufacturer’s market intent/focus
  • the actual market reception
  • my subjective evaluation😉

This means it’s part analysis/part speculative based on available info when it comes to products I haven’t used.

As for the audience segmentation, it can be argued that consumer VR is still largely “enthusiasts”. So see it as relative to this specific niche.

On the org/professional side, the distinction is “work at the computer” vs use in more active settings. This can mean everything from an oil rig to a warehouse floor to a creative design studio to a VR arcade. “Field/lab work” is probably not the best term — what would be a better one?

Ok, on to the product segmentation:

Mobile (wireless) XR HMDs

The first category is usually called “standalone”, but is sometimes distinguished as “all-in-one OR all-in-two devices”. Here it’s simply defined as running on mobile compute.

Price is base price, so for Vive Flow and Nreal Light the necessary phone/compute puck isn’t included.

Pro-grade wireless XR HMDs

Next is the pro tier of mobile-compute HMDs. This is rapidly becoming a crowded product segment — look at the release years!

I couldn’t NOT include the Apple HMD here, but needless to say, its ratings are pure speculation (mine and others’).

PC-based (tethered) VR HMDs

Here we have what used to be the most crowded category until standalone swept in. Not that many anymore, and not a single new entry from this year. Still, lots of enthusiasts appreciate their rigs!

Price is base price. PC and in most cases lighthouses + controllers are necessary add-ons.

Pro-grade PC-based (tethered) XR HMDs

Finally, here we have the tier where we find the most powerful VR/XR that money can buy. Super high resolutions, and extra sensors galore for astronaut-level immersion. For highly skilled specialists at highly specialized work.

Thanks for reading this article! Hope you can find uses for it. Don’t forget to download the PDF for a more easily shareable file!

For your next step, welcome to join the XR4work community! There, you can learn from, network and discuss with almost 2000 professionals doing work with and in this exciting tech space.



Niclas Johansson
XR4work Blog

Juggler, martial artist, unlikely food entrepreneur now massively into VR/AR with @immersivt. (Swedish info site at )