Results from a survey carried out by Valve suggest that a majority of PC users aren’t planning on buying a new computer for use with a virtual reality headset.
From the Oculus Rift to Sony’s PlayStation VR, there’s a lot of money being poured into virtual reality research and development by some very prominent companies. However, a new survey undertaken by Valve might suggest that users simply aren’t that interested in changing their set-up dramatically to accommodate the new tech.
Valve published results based on responses from 2,000 users from its SteamVR message board. Given the fact that respondents were browsing a forum all about virtual reality, you might expect more users to have plans to invest in a more powerful rig, or at least have an area of their home set aside for VR play.
However, that’s far from the situation that the results of the survey describe. Less than 20 percent of respondents plan to buy a new computer for use with virtual reality, and even fewer intend to move their system to a different part of their house to make it easier to enjoy VR content.
We’ve known for some time that virtual reality experiences on a PC will require rather hefty system specifications. Furthermore, any such title that uses some kind of motion controller will need a certain amount of open space for play. If users aren’t planning on providing either, it might suggest that they’re just not that interested in VR.
From vivid descriptions in sci-fi media to early real-world attempts like Nintendo’s Virtual Boy, virtual reality has always seemed like a likely direction for the video game industry to pursue. However, we’ve never seen such a broad attempt to develop the necessary technology as we have over the last few years.
Valve and Oculus are leading the charge for its implementation on PC, whereas Sony has PlayStation VR in the works and Microsoft continues to develop HoloLens. With so many major players working to create the necessary hardware, there are still some major questions about whether audiences are ready.
The best VR experiences are certainly attention-grabbing — but it certainly remains to be seen whether that will translate to the end-goal of high hardware sales figures. The figures released by Valve suggest otherwise, but we perhaps won’t know until the VR marketing machine hits high gear.