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Survey: One third of EU 11-64 year olds interested in owning VR

Gamers more interested than general population at 44%

New data collected in the UK, France, Spain and Germany by IPSOS and GameTrack, and provided exclusively to GamesIndustry.biz has indicated that a significant portion of the public are already interested in owning some form of virtual reality technology, with people who already own at least one game platform unsurprisingly showing slightly more interest than average.

The exact question asked was as follows: "New 'virtual reality' technology will soon be available, allowing you to experience more immersive entertainment at home. Wearing a special headset linked to devices such as computers or games consoles, you will be able to move around within virtual three dimensional environments and see and hear as if you were actually there. This could include playing video games, as well as interacting with other content (such as films or simulated environments).

Assuming the price was acceptable to you, how interested would you be in having this type of 'virtual reality' technology at home?

Coming from 180.5 million responses from people aged 11-64, the data indicates that a third of those questioned are interested in buying virtual reality hardware, a number which rises to 44 per cent when narrowed down to those who already play games on at least one other platform. Nine per cent of all respondents were "very interested" in buying a VR headset, whilst 24 per cent were "somewhat interested". 21 Per cent were "not very interested" and 39 per cent showed no interest at all.

Of the four countries questioned, Spain had the highest percentage of interested people, at 43 per cent, followed by France at 32 per cent, the UK at 30 per cent and Germany at 29 per cent.

Drilling down into the demographics of the positive respondents shows some interesting trends. Gender wise, those interested were quite evenly split, 55-45 in favour of male respondents. 15-24 year olds made up the largest portion of the interested parties, at 27 percent, although the over 45s were not far behind with 25 per cent. Of the different platform holders interest ranged from handheld gamers at 60 per cent, down to PC gamers at just 44 per cent.

The research probably won't be the basis of too many sales predictions at Valve, Facebook or Sony, but it is a clear indication that the appeal of VR, at least at an affordable price, is a reasonably broad one. Whether that 'acceptable price' is something which the big three players can convince the public they've achieved is still very much the question.

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Latest comments (16)

Pete Thompson Editor 5 years ago
If I had been polled I would have expressed very little interest in VR as I'm looking forward to AR.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.5 years ago
I'm interested in knowing what percentage actually envisioned strapping headgear to their face while being tethered to a computer versus those that envisioned being in a Holodeck from Star Trek.
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Keldon Alleyne Strategic Keyboard Basher, Avasopht Development5 years ago
What would be more interesting is how many people would still want VR after trying it out!

I think the Virtuix Omni adds a lot more to the user experience, and even if it doesn't take off in the home would be great for the arcades or group hiring.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Keldon Alleyne on 1st April 2015 5:43pm

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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 5 years ago
@Jim
I am actually surprised that even some would think that way considering in most media VR has almost always had some sort of headset. I have heard some people share their dissatisfaction with the idea of headset VR and wouldn't be satisfied unless it was like the holodeck. To me it seems incredibly unreasonable. It's like saying you wouldn't watch TV back in the 1980s unless you had what was shown in some random sci fi book.

Some may not like the idea of the headset, but it's really the only reasonable solution we have at the moment, and it works. It will give you an unparalleled experience, so why let the headset stop you? It's only a minor inconvenience. To me the price point is far more of an issue than it being a headset. However, even the price isn't exactly terrible either, considering it's something that can provide you with countless hours of entertainment.

Although, I would agree that for this polls sake, it be best to clarify that they are talking about headset VR. Not the holodeck.

Though I am not sure why everyone always points to the holodeck. From a logical and technological stand point, the holodeck seems pointless since you can accomplish the same thing without actually having to create matter. It's much too complicated. To me VR is better compared to the matrix, not the holodeck. Especially since the matrix version of VR seems a lot more doable. Minus the headjack.

The holodeck will likely never happen, simply because there is no reason for it too.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.5 years ago
Brook, 180 million people between the ages of 11 and 64 were surveyed. I guarantee you a huge portion have never seen a VR head piece.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jim Webb on 1st April 2015 2:56am

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Darren Adams Managing Director, ChaosTrend5 years ago
I really hope that 44% will be blown away with VR when it launches, not like I was back in the 80's when it last raised its head.
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Gareth Martin Senior Progammer, Coconut Lizard5 years ago
I have had the good fortune to try both an oculus v1 and v2 kit, and with the right content it's incredibly awesome, but with the wrong content it's bad to the point of nauseous, which could turn some people off VR for good if they don't get a good first impression. That said, when it's good, it's good.

In one particular prototype I won't name, playing in VR gives you a measurable advantage compared to not playing in VR, theorised to be due to having much better spacial awareness (from the ability to look around as well as having some depth perception, 3D glasses weren't tested). On the other hand, the kind of content which works well with VR in my experience (vehicle-based) isn't the same as the kind of content currently topping the sales charts (first and third person on-foot, which can be quite nauseating in VR).

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Gareth Martin on 1st April 2015 5:34pm

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Roberto Dillon Associate Professor, James Cook University5 years ago
Actually knowing that up to 66% of gamers are not interested since quite troubling to me (personally, I can't wait!)
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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 5 years ago
@Jim
The exact question asked was as follows: "New 'virtual reality' technology will soon be available, allowing you to experience more immersive entertainment at home. Wearing a special headset linked to devices such as computers or games consoles, you will be able to move around within virtual three dimensional environments and see and hear as if you were actually there. This could include playing video games, as well as interacting with other content (such as films or simulated environments).
They mention headset in it. So while it may not have been 100% clear on exactly what it may look like, it's pretty clear that it's something you have to wear.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.5 years ago
Brook, since when did having an accurate description stop people from having an inaccurate depiction in their heads? Besides, that description is very vague to people that don't grasp the idea of a 'headset'. Ask 10 different people what a headset is and you'll get several different answers. Now try that with 180 million 11 - 64 year olds.
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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 5 years ago
@Jim
You where comparing to them thinking of something like the holodeck which is so different that I doubt anyone actually thought it was like the holodeck. Even in your original post that I commented on you said "I'm interested in knowing what percentage actually envisioned strapping headgear to their face while being tethered to a computer " .. when that is exactly the question they pretty much asked.

What some people thought in their head doesn't matter because that is something you nor I actually know. That is meaningless speculation.

I think you are just grasping at straws here lol. Regardless of what they thought of what a headset might be, it's still something you have to wear. So it's nothing like the holodeck in the least bit.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.5 years ago
Brook, I'm not grasping at straws, I'm actually curious to know how people perceive these things. When you take such a huge survey body with that wide of range of age group, you're going to have a wide gamut of interpretation.

And yes, what they envision in their heads is of extreme importance. Are you telling me that if you asked 10 people something and they all thought you meant something other than what you meant that it doesn't matter?

You know it's not like a Holodeck, I know it's not like a Holodeck but I guarantee you with every bank note ever printed or added to a ledger sheet that 100% of those 180 million do not.

"Wearing a special headset " Headphones with a mic are called a headset. You know that, I know that. How many people might have thought it's a virtual reality room where you wear a headset for communication or input voice commands? Some people may interpret headset as headgear which can be seen as any of dozens of articles simply worn on the head. The survey statement makes absolutely no distinction that it is a set of face mounted screens.

Pull back from the industry knowledge side of things and image how a 64 year old woman might imagine what "Wearing a special headset linked to devices such as computers or games consoles, you will be able to move around within virtual three dimensional environments and see and hear as if you were actually there." might mean to her. If you don't think some people are thinking something like a Holodeck when they read that, then I don't know what to tell you.
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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 5 years ago
@Jim
Hmmm ... Good point. Well .. maybe next time they should show a small clip first of the device in question before the survey. Though ... I don't think anyone will get the full picture unless they actually try it. In which case, interest is going to be highly tied into whether or not you can get people to at least put it on their head.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.5 years ago
Now that we certainly agree upon. VR headsets are going to be one those 'you have to try it to understand it' devices for it to gain mainstream success. A video would certainly help point people in the right direction about exactly what a VR headset is (rather than any wild speculation they may conjure in their minds thanks to vague survey questions) but they really need to try it to know it.

Mall demo kiosks?
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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 5 years ago
@Jim
Ya, I was thinking kiosks are going to be really important to get people to at least try it. At the mall for sure but also in major retailers would be nice as well. Gamestop / EBGames too of course.

Though to be completely honest, I think the VR headset is so new that when people try it they are not going to want to stop. So I imagine lines to try it the first few weeks or so rofl XD Normally when you are in a store playing a game, you remain aware of this fact. With VR ... I think people are not going to be as aware of this, and may end up hogging the thing .... not on purpose of course.
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That "180 million" is obviously wrong - that looks like the sample size to me.

"GameTrack fieldwork runs throughout the quarter. Two months per quarter, a sample of 1,000 adults aged 18+ is interviewed via a short offline survey (including questions relating to the games played by their 6-17 year old children), to provide data that is used to weight responses from a much more detailed online survey. The online survey is conducted amongst a sample of 6,000 internet users aged 6-64 years. 6-64 year olds represent the vast majority of all video games players. The online survey runs weekly throughout the quarter."

A few thousand respondents seems more likely!
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