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Cost Isn't the Only Reason People Aren't Buying VR Headsets

Many are just not interested in the devices

May 16, 2017 | Advertising & Marketing

Virtual reality (VR) headsets don’t come cheap—some can leave a big dent in a consumer’s wallet. But cost isn’t the only factor holding back adoption of these devices. Many people are simply not interested in them.

Indeed, a March 2017 survey of US internet users by Thrive Analytics found more than half of respondents (53%) weren’t interested in owning a VR headset.

Older respondents were more likely to be uninterested than their younger counterparts. For example, 54% of 45- to 54-year-olds said they “just weren’t interested” in owning a VR device or system, and 67% of respondents ages 65 and older said the same.

In contrast, just 39% of respondents ages 25 to 34 said they were just not interested in owning a VR device.

Reasons that US Internet Users Are Not Interested in Owning a Virtual Reality Headset, by Age, March 2017 (% of respondents in each group)

Lack of content was another reason why some people weren’t tempted to buy a VR device. Though in this case, younger respondents were more likely to say this was a contributing factor to not owning a device compared with older generations.

But by and large, a greater reason than content availability for not owning a VR device—and something that has been discussed in other surveys on the matter—is cost.

Fully 43% of internet users polled were not interested in owning a VR headset because they felt the devices were too expensive, Thrive found. Moreover, among respondents ages 18 to 34, price was the most widely cited reason for a lack of interest in owning such a device.

A similar survey of US internet users by Gamer Network in February 2016 found that the largest share of respondents (51.3%) considered price the most important factor when purchasing a VR headset. Visual quality was the second leading consideration, cited by 47.3% of those polled.

Rimma Kats

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