Survey Suggests Social VR Is Least-Used Genre, Solo Games The Most

by Jamie Feltham • April 20th, 2017

Social VR may one day connect people across the planet with ease, but it looks like it has some ways to go before people are convinced by it.

ESA surveyed more than 4,000 American households to deliver these results, specifically reaching out to the most frequent gamers within the home. The organization also compiled information from other groups like the ESRB, The NPD Group, and EEDAR.

VR Households 2

It is usage of VR that perhaps has some of the most interesting stats. For example, the most prevalent use of both PC/console and mobile-based VR is single-player gaming. 74% of those with a headset like the Rift, Vive or PSVR use their headsets for this, while 48% of mobile VR owners do the same. Interestingly, socializing in VR is the least popular experience, with 19% of PC/console users doing this and 15% of mobile users doing so. That’s a pretty interesting statistic to release the same week as Facebook launches its Spaces app in Beta; will those results start to shift or is Spaces barking up the wrong tree?

VR Households

According to the report, 11% of US households own a VR device of some sort. Now, before we go any further, it’s important to point out that this almost certainly includes low-end VR devices like Google Cardboard and its many imitators. All we know for sure about VR sales thus far is that Cardboard has shipped over 10 million, Gear VR has sold 5 million, and PlayStation VR (PSVR) has sold around 1 million, with Rift and Vive thought (though not confirmed) to be lower than that. With that in mind, we’d expect very little of that 11% — if it’s at all accurate — to include high-end VR headsets.

Elsewhere, the report claims that 63% of frequent gamers are aware of VR tech, and 15% have used it in the past year, which is surprisingly low given the 11% ownership figure. The average age of a VR headset owner is apparently 31 and 90% of those owners are happy with their purchase. One in three of the more frequent gamers say they plan to purchase a headset within the next year.

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  • Justos

    90% of VR content is single player. No surprise there

  • Donnie

    We need good Social VR applications first, nothing up until now has been very appealing.

  • Guygasm

    The vr specific results that are the title subject don’t come from the 4000 household survey. We have no idea as to the quality of this data.

  • jimrp

    if they can get FB Space to work I’m good with the first true social exp.