It’s been a few years since the idea of virtual reality devices for individuals first came to the attention of consumers. And in that time, several companies have released their own versions of those VR devices. But not all of them have caught on with consumers like others, according to recent data from Nielsen. But there could be significant growth in the industry over the next few years. So how many consumers are interested in virtual reality? And what devices are likely to be the most popular? We asked 1,000 respondents about their thoughts on this growing tech trend.
Virtual Reality Devices
In Ask Your Target Market’s latest online survey, 44% of respondents said they have at least heard of the Samsung Gear VR, making it the most well-known personal VR device currently on the market. In addition, 42% said they’ve heard of the Sony PlayStation VR. 30% have heard of Oculus Rift. 25% have heard of Google Cardboard. 14% have heard of the HTC Vive. And 13% said they’ve heard of Microsoft HoloLens. 36% said they’ve never heard of any of those VR devices.
But even though most have heard of at least one VR device, few have actually purchased them. 7% said they currently own a Samsung Gear VR. 5% own a Sony PlayStation VR. Another 5% own Google Cardboard. 2% each own Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. And just 1% said they’ve purchased a Microsoft HoloLens. 86% of respondents said they’ve never purchased a virtual reality device.
Looking forward, 34% of respondents said they are at least somewhat likely to purchase a virtual reality device within the next few years. Those who are likely to purchase VR devices are established professionals and heads of household who appreciate great deals and convenience. They do tend to pick up on tech trends, but aren’t solely focused on those trends. They also buy a lot of products from established brands.
Of those respondents who are likely to purchase VR devices in the coming years, 45% said they’re interested in purchasing a Samsung Gear VR. Another 45% are interested in purchasing a Sony PlayStation VR. 30% are interested in Oculus Rift. 25% are likely to purchase a Microsoft HoloLens. 19% are interested in Google Cardboard. And another 19% are interested in the HTC Vive. Just 19% of potential VR buyers are undecided about what brand they would like to purchase their devices from.
Additionally, 81% of potential VR buyers said they would like to use their VR devices for gaming purposes. 69% would like to use them for watching TV or movies. 48% would like to use them for watching shorter videos. And 39% would like to use them for education or training purposes.
In general, 66% of respondents said they play games on their smartphones or mobile devices. 52% play PC games. 47% play console video games. 30% play social media games. And just 15% said they don’t play any type of video games. Of those who play console games, 54% are interested in owning VR devices. 49% of those who play social media games are likely to purchase VR devices. 46% of PC gamers are interested in VR devices. And 43% of mobile gamers are interested in owning VR devices.
In addition, 62% of respondents said they currently own other tech products from Samsung. 46% own Microsoft products. 42% own Sony products. 27% own products from Google. Just 8% own HTC products. And 2% own products from Oculus. In all of those cases, other than Oculus which only really makes VR devices, those who already own products from these brands were likely to be interested in purchasing VR devices from those same brands.
It’s not surprising that many who plan on purchasing VR devices are interested in using those devices for gaming and entertainment. And it’s probably not a huge stretch that people also prefer to get those devices from brands they already know and trust. But for the brands that want to win over more customers, it’s important to know that you’re not just marketing to the early trend adopters anymore. Those trendy consumers are mainly those who have already purchased VR devices or just are not interested. Now, the people who are thinking about buying in the coming years are looking for better value and more intriguing features. And they’re likely to be fairly savvy consumers. So marketing to current customers and calling attention to unique selling points could be a good way to make some VR devices stand apart. However, most of those who are interested in VR devices have already decided which brands they plan on buying from. So increasing awareness could also be a beneficial strategy to increase that customer base as a whole.