Study Finds People Prefer VR Travel, Adventure to VR Games

Market research firm Greenlight VR reveals that consumers’ main interest in virtual reality is not games, but rather travel, entertainment, events, home design and education. The company’s recent 2016 Virtual Reality Consumer Report also notes that the top VR device consumers now want is the Samsung Gear VR, followed by the PlayStation VR, and that they are less enthused about paying a premium for VR than they were in October. The report surveyed more than 1,200 people aged 18 to 60, including both users and non-users of VR.

VentureBeat states that the report lists the top six use case categories for virtual reality: travel, tourism or adventure (73.5 percent); movies and recorded videos (67.3 percent); live events (67 percent); home design (65.9 percent); education (63.9 percent) and, last, gaming (61 percent).

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Among so-called high-tech spenders, 76.3 percent are “interested or very interested in virtual travel and adventure experiences,” a figure significantly above the 68.9 percent interested or very interested in gaming. This demographic is also more personally interested in movies and recorded videos (71.4 percent); live events, other than sports (71.2 percent); home design, remodeling, or decorating (70.3 percent); and virtual education (68.2 percent).

“Virtual reality has always been more than a medium for gaming experiences and consumers understand that,” said Greenlight VR chief executive Clifton Dawson. “Our findings from multiple studies suggest that some players in the VR ecosystem may be overly focused on gaming. The reality is that consumers have a wide variety of interests for using virtual reality. Platform and content providers would be wise to consider these bigger, richer findings as they develop their content portfolio and marketing strategies.”

The study also showed that 86 percent of those who have tried virtual reality have rated their experience as positive and that they are “highly likely to seek out another virtual reality experience.”

“Overall, we were struck by the strongly positive and broad interest in VR in general, and in specific uses in particular,” said Greenlight VR executive Steve Marshall. “Given all the attention in the press, we expected to find gaming as the primary consumer interest in VR. The reality is that consumers have a wide variety of interests for using VR — starting with travel and adventure.”