Analyst: VR ‘Try before You Buy’ use case most compelling

As an interactive medium that offers unparalleled immersion, Virtual Reality (VR) allows users to experience, preview, and escape reality. Early adopters are predominantly gamers, driven to the medium by the promise of ‘being there’. But given the huge growth potential of the market, it is interesting to understand the demographics of VR owners and intenders to ensure current and future use cases drive further demand.

A recent report from the User Experience Strategies (UXS) service at Strategy Analytics, Virtual Reality: Who are VR owners and VR Intenders?, has explored the demographics of VR owners and intenders in the US, Western Europe, China and India. While using VR to try out other products before purchasing them drew the greatest level of interest, at present there is no ‘one’ killer use case or ownership demographic that prominently stands out above all others.

Key report findings:

  • Overall, VR owners are more likely to be aged 25-34 in China and India, aged 25-44 in Western Europe and aged 35-44 in the US. VR intenders fit exactly the same age brackets in each region with the exception of the US where VR intenders are more likely to be older, aged 45+
  • Slightly more males than females currently own VR headsets; slightly more males than females also intend to purchase VR in the future. Interestingly the split between males and females remains constant across all regions
  • Different use cases draw different interests by demographic by region. Overall, VR ‘try before you buy’ is of slightly more interest to VR intenders in all regions, closely followed by immersive gaming, immersive media/entertainment and virtually experiencing live events

According to Chris Schreiner, Director of Syndicated Research, UXIP and report author, it is evident that there is no ‘one’ killer use case or demographic that stands out above all others. “OEMs must ensure that a range of use cases is available to meet the differing needs of region, age and gender.  Using VR to try out other products before purchasing them is unlikely to motivate consumers to purchase a VR device, it is one that consumers will use once they have VR, regardless of demographic,” he advised.

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