Research: Developers should focus on multi-platform VR headsets

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/Halfpoint)

Global leader in games market intelligence, Newzoo, has released new research which looks at the VR purchase intention of consumers across 16 countries. The general appetite for VR amongst Western consumers remains low, with just 11 percent of the online population between 10 and 65 planning to purchase VR products in the next six months.  

The biggest driver of VR uptake is often expected to be gaming with devices like the Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, and HTC Vive all putting an emphasis on immersive games to help generate interest and ship units. The lack of interest from consumers may be attributed to current hardware cost of VR headsets, delays, and the lack of high-quality content available.  

Newzoo's research indicates that 80 percent of consumers intend to purchase devices which are supported on multiple platforms including console, mobile, and PC, which could indicate where development efforts are best placed. Of the main three high-end devices, the Oculus Rift is the best aligned to achieve this with support for both PC and the Xbox One.

However, VR interest has begun to move beyond just gamers. Seven percent of those surveyed, or 4.4 million people, stated themselves as non-gamers. Newzoo indicates that gaming itself won't be the most popular use of VR, but rather in-game and real-life spectator formats will draw the most time and money of consumers.  

80 percent of consumers intend to purchase devices which are supported on multiple platforms

Spain appears to be the biggest market for VR, according to Newzoo's research, followed by Italy and the US. Consumers in the Netherlands and Belgium on average seem to be the least interested with the emerging technology. 

There seems to be a divide between genders when it comes to VR appetite; with 68 percent of those who intend to buy VR being male. In Belgium, this rises to 85 percent. The research shows that some work needs to be done to ensure that VR appeals to everyone.  

Peter Warman, CEO Newzoo comments on VR: “We will leave guestimates on the future size of the total VR market in revenues to the experts in hardware and (online) retail sales. We are specialists in game revenues and gamer behavior. Hence our effort is to research and report on VR from a consumer perspective because ultimately, in the long term, VR and AR will change how consumers communicate and interact with content."  

eSports fans, interestingly, represent 45 percent of those who intend to purchase VR. This shows the market which headset manufacturers should focus on through sponsorship deals with large organisations in the space like the ESL. It's just another reason why eSports is so disruptive, and how it's evolving game development. 

Do you think it's better to focus development on multi-platform VR headsets? Share your thoughts in the comments. 

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