CivicScience | Video Gaming as a Virtual Reality: Who’s In?


CivicScience Reports: Use Cases for Our Real-Time, Deep Consumer Insights

Video Gaming as a Virtual Reality: Who’s In?

/ By CivicScience

Virtual reality gaming headsets are still new to the market. The most anticipated VR headsets are slated to launch in 2016, and they are expected to make a big splash in the market. In April 2015, Digi-Capital forecasted the virtual reality industry could hit $30 billion in revenue by 2020, which is believed by some to be a very conservative estimate.

Given the ‘futuristic’ feel associated with these products, we wanted to get a better idea who is likely to purchase a VR headset to enhance their video game play.

In the summer of 2015, CivicScience polled 10,000 adult consumers and found that 8% were interested and likely to purchase a VR headset to enhance video game play. Very few people already own one (roughly 1%), and 9% are still undecided whether or not they will make this purchase.

VR headsets topline

By combining those who answered “very likely” and “somewhat likely,” we came up with the VR headset “likely buyer” segment and compared them to the general adult population. So let’s see what we can learn about this consumer group.


67% of likely VR headset buyers are men, which is 37% more than the general population. Among these buyers, 63% fall into the millennial age range – 18-34 years old, which is a little over 2X higher than the general population. Due to their younger age, they are almost 2.5X as likely to still live with their parents. The potential virtual reality purchaser is slightly more likely to be currently employed and are slightly more likely (+22%) to have a household income of $35K or under, which could also be attributed to the age skew.


Media Consumption

Since VR’s primary use is to enhance entertainment and gaming, it isn’t surprising that likely buyers are over 2X more likely to play video games than the general adult population. Let’s see where else they differ:

  • Likely buyers are almost 2.5X as likely to be following the NHL “very closely.”
  • They are over 2X as likely as the general adult population to visit YouTube daily.
  • Likely buyers are over 2X as likely as the general adult population to primarily watch TV via online streaming.
  • They are 2X as likely as the general adult population to visit or read The Huffington Post.
  • Potential buyers are 43% more likely to read tech websites or blogs daily or weekly.
  • Likely buyers are 39% more likely to follow trends and current events in electronics and technology.


Shopping Habits

The likely buyer is willing to spend money on big purchases. In fact, they are 28% more likely to splurge on themselves.

Potential buyers are also likely to do research and check online reviews before making their purchases. And speaking of online reviews, they are 26% more likely to write a negative online review for a product they dislike.

The likely buyers are also more likely to be market mavens – they are 39% more likely to try new products before others and 31% more likely to tell others about new brands or technology, which can be seen in the bar charts below:

VR headsets - try new products

VR headsets - tells others


Digital Device Ownership

VR headsets - digital devices

Likely buyers have a higher device ownership rate and they are also 80% more likely to be addicted to their digital devices. Their device addiction can also be seen when it comes to their TV and movie viewing behavior. They are 45% more likely to be using a second screen device to view mobile apps, games, or content NOT related to the TV show or movie they are watching.

Additional Insights: Meow…

  • They are 73% more likely to hold a Computer/Technical/Medical job.
  • They are 65% more likely to own one or more cats.
  • They are 31% more likely to say ongoing learning is important or a passion of theirs.
  • They are 40% more likely to exercise several times a month or more.
  • 28% more likely to purchase organic food on a regular basis.


In Summary

Although likely VR headset buyers have some attributes that we would expect to see, there are also some interesting and unexpected findings. For example, they are more likely to splurge on themselves, which means they may not have a hard time spending money on the more expensive devices. They love hockey. And it’s notable that they are not totally sedentary beings; overall they do exercise with some regularity and pay attention to organic food.

Their market maven attributes will make them powerful spokespeople for these products, assuming they have a good product experience when the first major offerings hit the market. User-friendly, elegant VR products are hotly anticipated, and we expect 2016 to be an exciting year for monitoring consumer adoption and product sentiment in this space.


About the CivicScience Methodology:

CivicScience collects real-time consumer research data via polling applications that run on hundreds of U.S. publisher websites, cycling through thousands of active questions on any given day. Respondents voluntarily opt-in their answers with no incentives, compensation or coercion — they answer for fun and are kept anonymous, allowing for greatly reduce bias and higher levels of engagement. The question used in this report – “How likely are you to purchase a virtual reality (“VR”) headset to enhance your video games and / or computer games?” collected 10,190 responses from 6/30/2015 to 9/15/2015. All respondents for this report were weighted for the U.S. Census, 18 years and older. CivicScience builds deep, timely psychographic profiles of these respondents with each question they answer over time, providing valuable consumer sentiment and behavior insight data to the decision makers who care. The CivicScience methodology has been scientifically validated by a team of academic leaders and by independent research firms. CivicScience currently has millions of anonymous consumer profiles stored, growing daily.

See what insights we have about your organization

Chat with someone from the CivicScience team and let us know how we can help you.

Sign up to receive a recap from CivicScience