93% of people in Japan haven’t experienced VR yet! Have you?

Recently, it has become more common to see VR headsets displayed at theme parks and shopping malls.
Last year saw the release of the first consumer virtual reality head-mounted displays (VRHMDs). Stories of preorders selling out almost instantaneously made headlines.
The Fields Yoka Survey is an online survey FRI conducts every year on over 10,000 people all across Japan; this year, we asked people about VRHMDs. Here are some of the results:

■ 45% had heard of VRHMDs, but less than 7% had tried one.

When respondents were asked whether or not they knew about “VRHMDs (virtual reality head-mounted displays),” 45% answered yes. Men were more likely to have heard of VRHMDs than women, with 57% of men answering yes compared to 33% of women. Recognition among men from high school to their 20s was especially high, with 70% of answering yes.
However, when asked whether or not they had tried using a VRHMD, just 6.7% answered said they had?quite a low number considering how many had heard of them. The number among men was 5 points higher, with 9.2% of men responding that they had compared to 4.2% of women. Among men from high school to their 20s, who were especially likely to have heard about VRHMDs, around 20% answered that they had tried one, showing that this age group has a strong interest in VRHMDs.

■ Of the people who have tried VR, 15% reported negative experiences

Now, how did the people who actually tried a VRHMD find it?
23% of respondents reported positive experiences, finding it “amazing”, “surprisingly realistic”, and “fun.” However, 15% of respondents reported negative experiences, saying they “felt sick,” “found the device heavy,” and “felt uneasy.” Among the top 10 most common responses, negative responses accounted for half. Half hopeful, half queasy seems to be the current attitude on VRHMDs.

■ 14% want to buy a VRHMD

Respondents were also asked whether or not they wanted to buy a VRHMD; 14% of respondents said they did. 21% of men saying that they wanted to compared to 7% of women, making men 14 points more likely than women to say so.
Looking at the age groups, male high school students stood out once again, with 41% saying they wanted to buy one. They also tied with men in their 20s for the percentage who said they already owned one at 2.6?the highest rate among any group.

■ Which VRHMDs will be the most popular in the coming years…?

Out of the several consumer VRHMD models released, which model will become the most popular platform? When respondents who wanted to buy a VRHMD were asked which one they most wanted to buy, the PSVR (the VR headset made for the home gaming console PlayStation 4), which has garnered attention with the game Bio Hazard 7, was a clear first with 39% of the vote. At the same time, almost half of respondents said they still did not know. From this, we can infer that people are not yet at the point where they are comparing different models, but rather have a general interest in buying a VRHMD without having any particular model in mind. Consumer VRHMDs is still a product category without any clear industry leader, so depending on how things unfold from here. it still seems entirely possible for other models to catch up.

(Article by Tsugumi Komuro)

Fields Research Institute (FRI) conducts research in entertainment.
This article was written by a member of FRI, through the original coverage of his/her interests observed in their daily lives.

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