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One in 10 of US homes could buy VR headsets

Digital-headerVR ThommoSome 9% of US broadband households plan to buy a virtual reality headset within the next year, according to Parks Associates.

The research firm’s Virtual Reality: Disrupting the Entertainment Experience report said that VR ‘purchase intentions’ had nearly doubled since 2016 when 5% planned to buy a VR headset.

Samsung’s Gear VR currently leads the market, accounting for 31% of US VR headset sales last year, followed by Sony’s PlayStation VR, which was responsible for 12% of US sales in 2016, according to the research.

Parks Associates predicts that approximately 24 million households worldwide will own at least one virtual reality device by year-end 2017, with that figure rising to 77 million households by 2021.

“VR has the potential to breathe new life into important CE device categories that have reached saturation, but challenges are hindering wider adoption,” said Parks Associates researcher, Hunter Sappington.

“Familiarity is low, with fewer than 13% of consumers having experienced VR first hand. The evolution of multiple players, each with their own approach to headset hardware, has resulted in a fragmented marketplace, which affects both content availability and future innovation.

“Despite these factors, the market is experiencing positive growth, with year-over-year increases in adoption and purchase intentions. The VR market will see changes over the next two to three years, with new technologies such as eye tracking and mixed reality being integrated into the evolving VR experience.”