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VR Headset Demand On The Rise

Two percent of broadband-equipped U.S. households, or 2.3 million households in all, already own a virtual reality headset, and 5 percent of broadband households plan to buy one in 2016, a , Parks Associates survey revealed.

Only 1 percent of broadband households bought a VR headset in 2015.

“The big change in VR for 2016 has been the availability or pending availability of VR headsets from companies such as Facebook (Oculus Rift), Google (Google Cardboard), and HTC (Vive),” said research director Barbara Kraus. “Sony PlayStation VR is expected to be released in October.  We expect gamers to be the initial market for VR.”

“VR is an immersive experience, and more is better for gamers — more immersion, better sound, better graphics, and more players,” Kraus said. “The mass market is more likely to adopt mobile VR, which will be less expensive and uses a tool — the smartphone — that the majority of U.S. consumers own.”

As more households adopt the devices, “they will emerge as a new way to experience content streams coming into the home and a new interface for other connected devices throughout the home,” Parks also said.

For consumers, Parks added, “the division between device and content is already blurred, and innovations in virtual and augmented reality could finally erase the distinction.”

Parks developed its statistics from its survey of 10,000 U.S. broadband households, “360 View: CE Adoption and Trends.”