Some people just aren’t convinced that VR is the next big thing. Unfortunately for many customers, the opportunity to try the technology is not one that comes easily. Without having the opportunity to experiment with headsets at events or being lucky enough to know an early adopter, it’s nearly impossible to experience just what the headsets have to offer. In a recent study across 16 different countries, an average of only 11% of people had committed to investing in a device. That’s not too surprising considering the current lineup consists only of the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and a pre-order of the Playstation VR. That and a handful of lower end mobile-based solutions.
Until the market becomes a bit more saturated with devices that will allow customers to experience the technology, there’s really no way for people to understand just how enticing the technology can actually be. In fact, an average of about 30% of people said they “don’t know” if they will purchase a device. Most of these people have probably never had the opportunity to try the technology for themselves, but we’re confident that a large number of those consumers would switch their choice to “yes” if they could.
The study also showed a strong correlation between intent to buy VR and eSports fanatics. The study showed that 45% of those planning on purchasing the devices are avid eSports viewers, and 18% watch them occasionally. This says something about the general demographics of VR consumers, and could help to boost the sales while getting the technology off the ground. Since 63% of VR consumers are at least a little interested in eSports, it would likely be beneficial for developers of these competitive electronic sports to begin investing in the technology.
We’ve already seen a couple of demos from the likes of Valve, allowing spectators to view professional games of DotA 2 in a virtual theater with interactive aspects. Even if these sports don’t have methods of physically playing in virtual reality, enhancing the viewing experience is something that could potentially drive a lot of sales, taking advantage of the 63% of users interested in the technology.
The countries most invested in VR seem to be the USA and European nations, which comes as no surprise considering how prevalent eSports are in those nations. Many other countries still see video games as toys for children, but as tournament prize pools continue to increase, the new genre is becoming something much more accepted by general society. eSports are picking up fast, and will hopefully help drive sales of the virtual reality hardware.
Hopefully more people will become interested in virtual reality once it becomes more accessible.