Is 2018 The Year VR Comes of Age?

In this week’s chart series, we will be immersing ourselves in the world of virtual reality.

VR is still a niche technology, with just 4% of the online population owning a headset. VR Headset Owners fit the profile of classic early adopters, as they are more likely to say that they are more affluent than the average, and that they prefer to own the latest technology. Supporting this, only 15% of them are in the bottom income bracket, but there is a degree of curiosity around the new technology – 4% of internet users who don’t own a VR device say they used a VR app in the last month.

A key distinction VR Headset Owners have from the general online population is that more VR Headset Owners say that having the latest tech is important to them than those who say they are price-conscious; in other words, they tend to be happier paying for the latest devices without thinking about the cost. For VR ownership to be more widespread, new users will need to be persuaded on price and affordability.

The price tag on this high-end technology has been a barrier to growth so far. But 2018 will see the launch of a new series of standalone VR headsets from Facebook’s Oculus and Google. These standalone devices aren’t just cheaper, but also don’t have to be tethered to a high-end smartphone or PC to work, which will help users jump into the device straight out of the box, making them more appealing to the less tech-savvy.

But while price may make the devices more accessible to a broader sample of the online population, manufacturers need to convince users of their use-cases and experience value.

VR Headset Owners are internet users aged 16-64 who personally own a virtual reality headset.