Only a Quarter of Americans Have Heard of Oculus Rift

Posted by | January 06, 2016 | News | No Comments
oculus rift

How up to date are you on VR technology? A new survey from Frank N. Magid Associates tells us that while most consumers are interested in virtual reality, 51% of them aren’t familiar with the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, or other specific technologies. That left 25% that were “aware of any single product,” according to a graph put out by the firm.

Predictably, the Oculus Rift is the most well-known of the bunch, with 25% of respondents having heard of it. Gear VR followed with 21%, and PlayStation VR came in close behind at 20%.

Despite a big press push in association with the New York Times, including a free short film, Google Cardboard has made a lasting impression on only 17% of the respondents.

The study addressed people who play video games of any type. Of this group, 56% said they were aware of virtual reality, and most of them, 47%, said they were interested in it; though again, interest doesn’t necessarily translate to an awareness of what’s actually coming out on the market.

The survey respondents mostly said they would be interested in using virtual reality technology to watch television shows and movies. 59% said they would also be interested in playing PC and console games in virtual reality.

Office work can also be found on this list of interests, languishing at the bottom of the pile. Watching short films in VR is pretty low on the list as well, maybe lending us some insight into why Google Cardboard’s experiment with the NYT didn’t stick.

It’s clear from the responses that VR is being seen as a leisure device. VR’s potential in those areas is obvious. We’ve been dazzled for the past year by the ways that games can be fun, communal, and maybe vomit-inducing.

But if awareness of specific headsets is as low as the study indicates, the leisure space might not be where VR finds success right away. Depending on the brand, it’s expected that VR headsets will cost $300-$600–Pre-orders for the Oculus Rift began today, and we learned that it’s priced at $600.

The enterprise space, however unglamorous it might be, could offer big potential for VR. But only 14% of the respondents showed interest in VR for office work, and 22% for job training. (Of course, part of this could just be a general lack of interest in office work and job training.)

It’ll be interesting to see how these numbers play out as more virtual reality headsets come onto the market in 2016.

VR Awareness

VR Interest

Keezy Young

About Keezy Young

Keezy is a gamer, illustrator, and designer. Her background is in teaching and tutoring kids from ages 9 to 19, and she's led workshops for young women in STEM. She is also holds a certificate in teaching English. Her first memory of gaming is when her dad taught her to play the first Warcraft when she was five. You can find her at Key of Zee and on Twitter @KeezyBees.