40% of tech-savvy Americans plan to buy VR

In a survey of more than 2,000 tech-savvy US consumers conducted late last month, 40 percent said that they planned to buy virtual reality headsets in the next two years — but that price was an issue.

In addition, 61 percent of the respondents, who were mostly young and male, planned to use the technology primarily for gaming, reported Barcelona-based Softonic International, S.A., which conducted the survey.

Primary planned VR activity. (Data courtesy Softonic.)

Primary planned VR activity. (Data courtesy Softonic.)

For those not interested in buying, price was the single biggest reason.

Reasons not to buy VR. (Data courtesy Softonic.)

Reasons not to buy VR. (Data courtesy Softonic.)

If those who were planning to buy virtual reality technology, 38 percent were willing to spend over $500, which bodes well for makers of high-end headsets.

Planned VR spending. (Data courtesy Softonic.)

Planned VR spending. (Data courtesy Softonic.)

Respondents’ preferred choice of headsets was in line with with their price preferences, and the fact that the majority planned to use them for gaming. Almost two-thirds, or 63 percent, plan to purchase higher-end, tethered headsets such as the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and PlayStation VR. Just over a third plan to buy lower-cost, mobile-based headsets such as Gear VR and Cardboard-compatible viewers.

Preferred VR headset. (Data courtesy Softonic.)

Preferred VR headset. (Data courtesy Softonic.)

While price was the major consideration when deciding whether to buy a headset or not, for those who had decided to buy other factors came into play as well. For example, respondents were also interested in the design, the brand name, compatibility with other hardware they owned, performance, feature set, and choice of software.

Factors that affect choice of headset. (Data courtesy Softonic.)

Factors that affect choice of headset. (Data courtesy Softonic.)

Softonic surveyed 2,219 U.S. tech-savvy consumers between April 20 and April 26, before Google announced its new Daydream virtual reality platform.

Demographics of survey respondents. (Data courtesy Softonic.)

Demographics of survey respondents. (Data courtesy Softonic.)

Jojo Puthuparampil

Jojo Puthuparampil is a freelance writer who covers business and technology.