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40% Frequent Gamers Want to Buy VR Headsets in 2016: Report

In this Jan. 6, 2016, file photo, Yining Hou uses the Oculus Rift VR headset at the Oculus booth at CES International, in Las Vegas.  AP Photo/John Locher, File

In this Jan. 6, 2016, file photo, Yining Hou uses the Oculus Rift VR headset at the Oculus booth at CES International, in Las Vegas. AP Photo/John Locher, File

Esports and virtual reality are two areas of video gaming that have been driving innovation and interest over the last few years, and the ESA also noted that 50 per cent of its frequent gamer population were familiar with eSports.

The Electronic Software Association's annual report reveals that up to 40 per cent of frequent game-players intend to buy a virtual reality headset in 2016, while the console could be becoming less important as a gaming platform.

Some 63 per cent of US households are home to at least one person who plays video games regularly for three or more hours per week, the Electronic Software Association revealed in its updated 2016 report of Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry.

And 65 per cent of US households own a device used to play video games, it said.

At the same time, 48 per cent of US households own a dedicated game console, an impressive near-majority.

This means that the remaining percentage of households, and gamers, are spending those three hours-plus with a smartphone, tablet, Mac or PC.

As industry news site Gamasutra pointed out, the console figure also marks the first time since 2012 that console ownership has dropped below 50 per cent. In 2013, 2014 and 2015, it stood steady at 51 per cent.

Looking at a subset the ESA terms the "most frequent gamers," the PC is the most important platform (56 per cent), followed by a dedicated game console (53 per cent), smartphone (36 per cent), wireless device of some sort (31 per cent) or a dedicated handheld system (17 per cent).

Social games also occupy an important place in the landscape, according to the ESA, with 48 per cent of the most frequent gamers involved in these.

Then, focusing on mobile and wireless devices, the highest demand is for puzzles, board games, card games and game shows, a broad genre that attracts 38 per cent of the most frequent gamers.

That statistic flips on consoles, where shooters (24.5 per cent), action (22.9 per cent), sport games (13.2 per cent) and role-playing games (11.6 per cent) are the best-selling genres to hit double-digit percentage share, but it's not a complete change from the computer gaming scene, whose top-selling titles fall into the strategy genre (36.4 per cent), followed by casual (25.8 per cent), and then role-playing games (18.7 per cent).

Esports and virtual reality are two areas of video gaming that have been driving innovation and interest over the last few years, and the ESA also noted that 50 per cent of its frequent gamer population were familiar with eSports.

Suassing that, at 55 per cent, was the portion of frequent gamers familiar with Virtual Reality, as VentureBeat observed; of those, 58 per cent intended to play video games on VR, with 40 per cent saying they would likely purchase VR hardware within the next year (April 2016 and onwards).


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