Executive Summary

How do consumers feel about VR? Who’s using it? How often? And what do they want to see next? Perhaps more importantly, what are non-users’ reasons for disinterest? And how can VR software and hardware developers optimize product strategies accordingly?

These are questions we set out to answer. Working closely with Thrive Analytics, ARtillery Intelligence wrote questions to be presented to more than 98,000 U.S. adults through Thrive’s established consumer survey engine. The results are in, and we’ve analyzed the takeaways in a narrative report.

This follows similar reports we’ve completed over the past five years (and last month’s corresponding AR report ). Wave VI of the research now emboldens our perspective and brings new insights and trends to light. All six waves represent a significant sample of U.S. adults for robust longitudinal analysis. This will continue to expand with each survey wave.

So what did we find out? At a high level, 23 percent of households own or have used a VR headset, the same amount reported in Wave V. Though this is flat growth, the good news is that VR continues to show high satisfaction levels and usage frequency.

As for price sensitivity, demand inflects when prices fall into the $200-$400 range and lower. This is notably the Meta Quest 2’s price range. In that light, this finding validates other evidence – and our market-sizing estimates – for Quest 2’s growth. It continues to hold a quality edge, aggressive price competition, and an accelerating VR market share.

Furthermore, standalone VR – embodied by Quest 2 – outperforms other categories. It specifically addresses many consumer objections to PC-based VR including cost, confinement, and setup friction. One exception is game console-based VR – namely PSVR – which has established a user-friendly persona.

Meanwhile, non-VR users report relatively low interest – 18 percent, down from 20 percent in Wave V. Worse is their explicit ambivalence towards the technology (“just not interested”). This downward trend is concerning, as public interest in VR continues to wane from its peak during the industry’s circa-2017 hype cycle.

Moreover, the disparity between current-user satisfaction and non-user disinterest underscores a key “chicken & egg” dilemma for VR. To reach high satisfaction levels, VR must first be tried. Yet non-users don’t want to try it, which presents a sizable marketing challenge for VR proponents to push that first taste.

But if anything is going to bring that accessibility and interest to mainstream markets, it’s the aggressive pricing and compelling play of Meta Quest 2, as noted. These factors continue to attract new users, which then attract developers. As game & app libraries build in this way, a virtuous cycle – or flywheel effect – propels the VR market.

These points join several other strategic implications that flow from the latest consumer VR sentiments. We’ll examine those takeaways in the coming pages, including the latest wave of findings and our analysis for what it means. The goal, as always, is to empower you with a knowledge edge.

 

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Methodology

ARtillery Intelligence has partnered with Thrive Analytics by writing the questions for the Virtual Reality Monitor consumer survey. These questions were fielded to more than 98,400 U.S. Adults. ARtillery Intelligence wrote this report, containing its insights and viewpoints on the survey results.

For market sizing and forecasting, ARtillery Intelligence follows disciplined best practices, developed and reinforced through its principles’ 17 years in tech sector research and intelligence. This includes the past 4 years covering AR & VR exclusively, as seen in research reports and daily reporting.

Thrive Analytics likewise follows best practices in consumer research, developed over its long tenure as a consumer research firm. More details about the survey sample can be seen in this report’s introduction and more on ARtillery Intelligence research methodology can be read here.

Disclosure & Ethics Statement

Unless specified in its stock ownership disclosures, ARtillery Intelligence has no financial stake in the companies mentioned in its reports. The production of this report likewise wasn’t commissioned. With all market sizing, ARtillery Intelligence remains independent of players and practitioners in the sectors it covers, thus mitigating bias in industry revenue calculations and projections. ARtillery Intelligence’s disclosures, stock ownership and ethics policy can be seen in full here.

 

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