Virtual reality may not be as ubiquitous as computers or smartphones. But the sector is poised for significant growth according to reports like this one from SuperData Research. While there are several different potential applications for the technology, gaming is one of the most popular uses of virtual reality for early adopters. So how many people are likely to take part in virtual reality gaming in the near future? And what brands and devices are already catching consumers’ attention?
In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 74% of respondents said that they at least somewhat understand what virtual reality is. 45% said that they are generally interested in virtual reality. And another 45% said they are generally interested in video games. There’s a significant overlap between those two groups. So it’s likely that more than half of those interested in virtual reality are also interested in gaming and vice versa.
When it comes to virtual reality gaming, there are a few devices already competing for consumers’ attention. Currently, 29% of respondents said they’ve at least heard of PlayStation VR, making it the most well known VR gaming device of the options available. 23% have heard of the Samsung Gear VR. 22% have heard of Oculus Rift. 10% have heard of HTC Vive. And 51% said they haven’t heard of any of those VR devices.
In addition, even fewer actually own those devices. 5% currently own a PlayStation VR, making it the most popular option. And 86% don’t own any VR gaming devices. Going forward though, 16% said that they would be likely to purchase a PlayStation VR within the next year. 14% are likely to purchase a Samsung Gear VR. Another 14% are likely to purchase HTC Vive. And 12% are likely to purchase Oculus Rift.
In general, 31% of respondents said that they’ve played games on a gaming console, computer or mobile device within the past day. 14% have done so within the past week. 8% have played games within the past month. 4% have done so within the past three months. 6% have played them within the past year. 7% said it’s been over a year since they last played any sort of video games. And 30% said they are not gaming consumers. The most popular devices for those who have played some sort of games within the past year include PC, PlayStation, Wii, Xbox, phones and tablets.
When considering new gaming purchases, 55% of gamers ranked cost as their top determining factor. 16% ranked brand name as their most important factor, making it the second most important among respondents. New, innovative technology and games available on the platform were considered moderately important by respondents. And gaming experience, ease of use and personal recommendations were considered the least important factors.
While virtual reality gaming hasn’t caught on on a large scale just yet, it’s possible that the major industry players could grow their customer bases exponentially within the coming year, especially if they target the right consumers. Gamers are already more likely to be interested in VR, so that’s a good sign for companies that make VR gaming devices. The fact that many gamers tend to value new and innovative technology is another good sign, although cost could be a deterrent for some. And since brand name also tends to be important to gamers, it could be beneficial for companies like PlayStation to target their VR offerings specifically to customers who already have experience with other PlayStation devices. The same can be said for Samsung and HTC. But Oculus might have to grow some brand awareness before employing that angle.