Average Headset Owner Spends 6 Hours Per Month Using their Virtual Reality Headsets
The average virtual reality headset owner spends just 6 hours every month using their device according to a report by IDC. Gaming accounts for the most popular use-case for VR headsets with 72% of the respondents polled saying they had played a virtual reality game within the past three months.
The IDC report was drawn from five localized surveys carried out in the US, Germany, Japan, France and in the UK during the holiday quarter. Some 1,643 users of high-end VR headsets were queried. These included those who used the PC-based virtual reality headsets such as PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
The results of the survey painted a mixed picture for the VR industry. The respondents queried posted an overall high satisfaction with their virtual reality hardware; a satisfaction rate of 7.5 out of 10. That’s as a high a positive rating as users have provided for smart watches.
However, in spite of the high level of satisfaction, the frequency of usage still lags. The actual usage statistics are out of tune with the buzz and positive ratings that users give the VR hardware. On average, a headset owner will use their device for only 6.2 hours every month. The top 12% most enthusiastic users are still reporting 16 or more hours of monthly usage. However, 65% of owners are reporting less than 5 hours of monthly usage.
Variations also exist in the usage statistics of different headsets. While the PlayStation VR headsets are used an average of 6.8 hours per month, the PC-based virtual reality headsets are used an average of 5.4 hours per month.
The IDC report was sponsored by Sony so there is a certain preference for PlayStation VR which also mirrors the buying behavior. Sony has so far sold more than 4.2 million PSVR headsets. The other top players, HTC and Oculus, are yet to release their sales stats but their figures are expected to be lower than those of PSVR which has done incredibly well in the past few years, partly due to the fact it has been co-marketed with PS4.
The report has also brought out the regional differences in the user behavior. While Japanese users were more into gaming with 73.4% of users having played a game in the past three months, users in Germany had watched more videos than in any other market with 60% of users having watched videos and photos in the past three months.
Some good news emanating from the report which bodes well for the whole virtual industry was that consumers that are yet to buy VR headsets cited pricing and ease of use as their main purchase factors. Technical specifications and visual qualities ranked only fifth in users’ list of priorities. For most prospective buyers, factors such as ergonomics and the opportunity to test the headset before purchasing also ranked as important purchase factors.