New SuperData Research report shows general public yet to be reached by VR hype, revises 2016 forecasts for VR industry

80 per cent of consumers are unaware of virtual reality

SuperData Research is reporting that the vast majority of virtual reality’s potential audience has yet to even hear of the technology.

In the firm’s latest report – Virtual Reality & the Next Killer App – it is revealed that public awareness is still remarkably low, with director of research Stephanie Llamas saying: “Broad consumer adoption relies on building awareness, but today nearly 80 per cent of consumers only occasionally or never hear about VR.”

Looking more closely at the US, home of leading devices Oculus and Vive, data shows that 50 per cent of Americans show no interest or knowledge in virtual reality.

Sony has captured the most attention among those who are aware of VR, with 28 per cent of Americans saying they have heard of PlayStation VR. Meanwhile, 22 per cent are aware of Oculus Rift, 21 per cent of Gear VR and only five per cent of HTC Vive.

The report also confirms that device manufacturers are struggling to meet market demand, prompting SuperData to lower its 2016 sales forecasts for the VR industry. Revenue predicted is now 22 per cent lower at an estimated $2.9bn for the combined sales of hardware and software.

Mobile adoption of VR hardware is also expected to be slower than previously predicted due to the lack of premium headsets on non-Samsung devices. The majority of growth in mobile VR is expected to occur in 2018 and beyond.

Given the low awareness around VR, gamers are still expected to be the primary drivers behind consumer adoption, expected to account to 78 per cent of sales in 2016. However, SuperData remains confident of widespread adoption by 2020, when gamers are projected to account for just 28 per cent of overall spend.

By this time, nearly 41 per cent of sales or VR hardware and software are expected to be driven by PC.

You can find out more and access a copy of the study at SuperData’s website.

Develop is currently running a month-long VR Special. Check out more virtual reality content here.

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