Early data is starting to come in that Virtual Reality Headsets are priced too high for the average consumer. A Context Virtual Reality study focused on European consumers is showing that::
- 37% of people would prefer paying nothing for a headset
- 21% would pay under £100 ($129 USD)
- 35% would pay between £100 and £200 ($129 USD – $259 USD)
That leaves only about 7% of European consumers who would pay above $259 USD for a Virtual Reality Headset. This is coming on the heels of another report showing HTC has only sold 100,000 Vive devices to date.
While consumer desires for lower VR headset price points might bode well for Samsung Gear, Cardboard and eventually Google’s DayDream device, it shows that higher end headsets from HTC Vive, Oculus and even PlayStation VR will remain niche devices for awhile. This isn’t even factoring in the additional costs of a high-end PC for the Vive and Oculus and PlayStation 4 device for PSVR. (Note: The Verge has a Virtual Reality Headset Buyer’s Guide that you can view here for all device price points and required accessories.)
Though pricing can always be adjusted based on market and consumer demand, the other datapoint from the Context Virtual Reality Study shows that 78% of consumers don’t understand enough about VR and 73% would wait before making any investments. This seems to be the bigger issue as consumers are currently not seeing the value in either Virtual Reality apps or Virtual Reality headsets. As we’ve pointed out before in a blog post on Virtual Reality investment, the majority of VR investment has been going to companies creating 360 degree content videos. These type of videos are not true VR and they are diluting the consumer messaging about what VR can be (and should be).
Until consumers equate VR to more high end and immersive experiences like Google’s Tilt Brush for the HTC Vive, they are going to continue to struggle to see the value in VR as a whole.
More information on the study can be found at IT Portal.