Research: eSports fans linked to VR purchase interest

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/gpointstudio)

Newzoo has released new research which looks at the VR purchase intention of consumers across 16 countries, and found a link with eSports fans in particular. 

Virtual sports enthusiasts represent 45 percent of those who intend to purchase VR, which goes to show the market which headset manufacturers should focus on through sponsorship deals with large organisations in the space like the ESL. However, 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. 

Gaming is often expected to become the biggest driver of VR uptake 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.

VR and AR will change how consumers communicate and interact with content

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

Peter Warman, CEO Newzoo comments on VR: “At Newzoo, we have been relatively silent when it comes to VR. This has to do with our expectation that the lion’s share of VR revenues will be generated by hardware sales, spectator content, and live viewing formats. Game software revenues from VR will remain marginal for the near future and be absorbed into current PC, TV/console and mobile game revenues." 

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 believes 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. 

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. Newzoo's research shows that some work needs to be done to ensure that VR appeals to everyone. 

"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,” Warman says. 

Are you surprised at the findings of Newzoo's research? Let us know in the comments. in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their IoT use-cases? Attend the IoT Tech Expo World Series events with upcoming shows in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam to learn more.

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